Grammar Blog: Week 10: What is Gaming?


I am a Las Vegas native. I was born and raised here. It turns out I also play an unhealthy amount of video games.

So I say the following as a Las Vegas person who also plays video games: I’ve always considered “gaming” a reference to video games. Gambling refers to a system, it could be a game, wherein one bets a certain amount of something in the hopes of winning more of that something. Probably something of a tangible value like money.

As an example: A game of blackjack for the sake of playing blackjack is an example of gaming.

A game of Starcraft II played for a bet is an example of gambling.

Gambling can involve games of all sorts, but gaming can be associated with games that are normally correlated with gambling.

Although there are video games with various gambling mini-games in them, such as Final Fantasy XII-2. I would consider those to be gambling simulators since no real money is actually won or lost, just in-game currency that cannot be paid for with real money.

So one could use gaming to gamble, but one typically gambles through the system of a game.

So take it from a native: Although I consider gaming to refer to video games, there are plenty that use gaming to refer to gambling.

Why are words weird?