Poker gambling virtual communities: The use of computer-mediated communication to develop cognitive poker gambling skills


Internationally, the prevalence of online poker gambling is estimated to be between one percent and eight percent of the general adult population. In relation to these estimated prevalence rates, the potential for addictive behaviour and the paucity of theory, online poker is an important concern for public health. Individuals may seek knowledge that will assist in developing poker gambling skill via virtual community interactions. In this paper, the authors use a virtual ethnography design to observe knowledge creation, transfer, and retrieval processes within a poker-focused virtual community. The paper develops current knowledge and understanding of how computer-mediated communication (CMC) is used by poker gamblers to develop their executive cognitive skills and enhance their proficiency. Two independent poker gambling virtual communities were observed for a six-month period. Data were collected through participant observation, and content analysis was used to identify emergent themes. Two central behavioural themes emerged from the participant observation (i.e., 'Experiential Reporting' and 'Development of Poker Skill'). The implications of poker gambling knowledge creation, transfer, and retrieval via CMC on responsible gambling are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

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