Gambling, games of skill and human ecology: a pilot study by a multidimensional analysis approach
Luca Valera, Alessandro Giuliani, Alessio Gizzi, Francesco Tartaglia, Vittoradolfo Tambone
The present pilot study aims at analyzing the human activity of playing in the light of an indicator of Human Ecology (HE). We highlighted the four essential anthropological dimensions (FEAD), starting from the analysis of questionnaires administered to actual gamers. The coherence between theoretical construct and observational data is a remarkable proof-of-concept of the possibility of establishing an experimentally motivated link between a philosophical construct (coming from Huizinga’s Homo Ludens definition) and actual gamers’ motivation pattern. The starting hypothesis is that the activity of playing becomes ecological (and thus not harmful) when it achieves the harmony between the FEAD, thus realizing HE; conversely, it becomes at risk of creating some form of addiction, when destroying FEAD balance. We analyzed the data by means of Variable Clustering (Oblique Principal Components) so to experimentally verify the existence of the hypothesized dimensions. The subsequent projection of statistical units (gamers) on the orthogonal space spanned by principal components allowed us to generate a meaningful, albeit preliminary, clusterization of gamer profiles.