With more than 6 million adults and half a million teens suffering from problem gambling in the United States, this debilitating addiction has caught my attention. My plan was to create a ficticious persona on Facebook and participate in the online World Series of Poker. My character would exhibit common signs of problem gambling during play and gather data regarding people's reactions.
Common signs of a gambling problem include losing time from work due to gambling, gambling that is making your home life unhappy, gambling affecting your reputation, feeling remorse after gambling, gambling to get money to help pay debts or solve other financial difficulties, a decrease of ambition or efficiency due to gambling, gambling until your last dollar is gone, borrowing to finance your gambling, having difficulty sleeping due to gambling and so on.
This led to a mixed array of responses, but mostly people were negative toward me and not interested in suggesting help. This could be due to the fact that I was breaking the norm by engaging other players in deeper conversation than the occasional "great hand" thumbs-up routine. However, there were a few players who sounded genuinely concerned about my problem and suggested I seek help.
Tumbler Sketchbook: http://problemgambler.tumblr.com