Responsible Gaming and Addiction

Gaming is one of those fun activities that most Ugandans find appealing. This is especially true for online gaming and online casinos. The beauty is that gaming online is safe because the regulation bit has been taken care of the National Gaming Board Uganda which is a body corporate that was established to ensure responsible gaming in Uganda.

Despite the regulation that has been put in place, it is still your responsibility as a player to ensure that you play the right way and avoid any gambling issues that may arise. Many games have gotten addicted because they probably were not advised as to how best to play. Many have found themselves borrowing money to facilitate their gaming and losing jobs all because they do not exercise any form of restraint. The truth of the matter is that for you to reap anything out of gaming, you need to be extremely disciplined.

The commonest symptom of gambling is the inability to stop irrespective of how much money has been lost. Addicts are the gamers that you will find playing day or night and who often resort to pleading tactics when told to stop. They keep requesting for more time or one more game. Addiction is mostly intensified or fuelled by the use of substances like alcohol and drugs since these remove any inhibitions that one might have.

How to avoid the addiction – The Four Pointers

  1. Have a pre-set budget: Creating a budget will give you a discipline that you need while gaming. Given that people earn different incomes, it’s essential that you do not base your budget on that of others but rather create one that fits perfectly into your income. Remember that gaming money should not take priority over bills like rent, food and tuition. It should be taken from your supplementary budget after other essential expenses have been removed. Remember to stick to your budget and not divert from it irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. If you need to reinvest, rather invest with your winnings than with money that is not budgeted for.
  2. Do not accumulate unnecessary debts: Borrowing is not a good decision when it comes to gaming. Not only will it create unnecessary anxiety but will also put a lot of strain on your finances. Remember that gaming is not a necessity so if you have no money, you would rather postpone it than enter into debts.
  3. Follow a strict set of rules: Setting your personal rules will help you have a discipline when playing. Set a time frame within which to play so as to leave room for other activities. Also essential is that you do not raise the stakes when you lose. Count all losses as such as opposed to them being a ticket for further playing. It is also essential that you follow the rules that you have set and not deviate from them.
  4. Never rely on your luck: Luck is just odds and this might not guarantee a good gaming experience for you. It is important that you understand that at certain times you will win while other times you will lose. At some point you will hit a jackpot but this does not mean that you should continue playing thinking that it is your night. It is important that you have fun while playing and not take the game too seriously. So play for playing sake and have fun while at it.

The above are just a few pointers of how to avoid gambling. However, in the event that you find yourself an addict, there is still hope for you. You might need some professional help along the way and might even need to close your accounts for a while until you get things under control.

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Can a Retro Gaming Dinosaur Enjoy An Event Like EGX?

We’ll forget the fact that a dodgy pint of lager curtailed my trip (I’ve only myself to blame) and crack on with trying to answer the key question – can a gaming dinosaur truly enjoy EGX? Many of our retro gaming buds are fully clued up with current/next gen gaming for which I salute them. Anyone who knows me will tell you that the last “new” game I bought was Final Fantasy XIII and look how that went! Give me a PS1 and FFVII and you’ve got a 10/10 rating from me.

So, if you’re like me you’re probably wondering whether a gaming convention (warts and all) is worth going to. My trip was the brainchild of my lovely girlfriend who on wanting to bump up my birthday present (March if you’re wondering) Googled “retro gaming event”. Google being Google proceeded to load up the biggest gaming event of the year purely because it had a “Retro Gaming Corner”. I fought my natural instincts to flee and agreed to this union.

Six months down the line and our romantic trip to Birmingham was upon us. For those who haven’t been there believe me when I say it is rather a nice city to visit and has more restaurants than you can shake a selfie stick at. Anyway, I digress. Excitement meant that a 5am start was had, hardly ideal when your train only leaves at 10am. After a relatively painless train journey we arrived at Birmingham International. The NEC is rather handily attached to the station. What is rather unhandy is the cross Birmingham hike through the station to get to it (I kid of course), but we arrived nevertheless.

The first thing that struck me was how dark it was. My mother always told me off for playing video games in the dark you see. “It’ll damage your eyes son!” she used to say, “You’ll need glasses when you’re old!” She’s right but I’d never remind her of it. I pondered the alternative, office-type squint-inducing fluorescent lighting and concluded the organisers knew best.

Right by the entrance are the indie games which I had to applaud. Tell a gamer the new COD or FF is lurking around somewhere and they’ll hunt it out, two hour queue and all, but they’re a bit more hesitant to seek out those indie gems. The standard of the indie games on show was quite phenomenal and it will also reassuring to see that the retro gaming vibe is still strong (watch out for features on Conga Master and Modsork soon). It’s certainly given me something to aim for with my current project. Given it was a Saturday afternoon there was still ample room to move about and chat to the developers whilst having a gander at their wares. Indie-only events are probably still a better bet for seeking them out but seeing as this was a small portion of a massive pie you can’t complain.

A ginormous banner for Final Fantasy XV brought me hurtling back to reality. We were in it now. The queues were long (apparently much shorter on a Thursday or Friday when the kids are at school) but I did manage to get a glimpse of said new COD, new Gears of War and also new FIFA and you know what? I hardly felt a thing. I don’t know who to blame for my complete lack of attachment to current gen gaming. I could blame Sony but then I’d have to ignore my love for the PS1 and PS2. I could blame Microsoft whilst also ignoring the 360 sat in my bedroom. But I’ll choose to blame the part inside of me that refuses to commit to a video game and my do these games require that (FIFA17 apart). The line between video games and movies is now distinctly blurred (this is what you wanted Nintendo!) and I’m not sure I like it. Give me three buttons and a spiky blue hedgehog and I’m happy.

Which brings me nicely to the hallowed Retro Gaming Corner, a lot bigger than I’d imagined (a pleasant surprise). Atari 7800s, Spectrum ZXs, SNES, Mega Drives, Master Systems as far as the eye could see. That’s a slight exaggeration but my were there a lot of them and all with cathode ray tubes to boot. Maybe it was the heat from all the CRTs, maybe it was the onset of some kind of bug but I literally couldn’t stop sweating. But through the sweat my eyes could make out the various forms of said blue hedgehog, manic miners, an under-fire from lots of barrels plumber and all was well. What pleased me more were the swarms of younger generation folk enjoying these gems. In a world where you’ve more than six buttons to master, the two/three button world must be a doddle. The games were also split by genre – the light gun games in one area (still far better than anything Kinect as to offer IMO), the “newer” rhythm games in another, platformers, shooters etc… There really was something for everyone. Would I like to have seen more of a fuss made of the retro gaming corner? Perhaps with a bit more interaction? Of course I would, but EGX isn’t about retro gaming, it’s about previewing new things and being a step ahead of the game.

The all-day ticket is quite pricey (about £20) but the afternoon session from 2pm – 7pm was around half that. Would I recommend it to an avid gamer? Only if you’ve got a bit of an interest in current gen gaming as specific retro gaming events provide a lot more for less money. I’d also take a few days off work and go on a Thursday to beat those pesky queues. And steer clear of the beer.

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