Online games are a popular form of entertainment and social activity in the modern world. In fact, online games gave birth to a whole new form of competition known as eSports. There are also different types of games that people play on the internet. These are video games and gambling. Both can be social, competitive and they have to do with our culture. There are online casinos available all over the world, and even though most of their content is created as a single-player experience, they do have tournaments. These tournaments are a popular incentive, much like bonuses, and promotions as all of them improve the chance of someone winning.
Here we will talk about gaming and gambling, and how they are connected to our culture. We will go over how these two activities evolved, and how they continue to evolve. Lastly, we will speculate what new technologies or design philosophies will be implemented to improve user experience.
Throughout history, we were drawn to games. The term learning through play is often used in education as it describes how we develop and learn about the world. It’s not even strictly related to the human species, as other animals also develop the skills they need to survive by playing with one another. Since humans are social, most of the games we came up with were social experiences. They help us develop cognitive skills, improve our capability for problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and they also emphasize cooperation. So, it’s no surprise that most of the online games we play today, also rely on those design principles.
We are simply drawn to games that incorporate these elements. We love games that allow us to develop and improve as individuals, and games that reward teamwork and cooperation. A good game will stimulate intrinsic goals, and players need to be motivated to become better at it, simply because they enjoy it. That being said, lots of games started using extrinsic rewards or motivation, which is sometimes good, but it can often ruin a good experience if it is perceived as a chore.
Gambling is another very old form of entertainment, as traces of this activity can be found in almost all ancient civilizations. But even these games had a personal progression curve. You could implement the strategy or use a keen eye in order to get better. The same applies to the dealer or the game owner, who needs to be more skillful in order to make it difficult for the opponent to win. However, a lot of games mainly had to do with luck and intuition.
Later on, card games were invented, and we even got a standardized 52 card decks. This same deck was used to create multiple games, many of which are available in casinos both online and offline. Some of the most popular ones are Poker, Blackjack, and Baccarat, and all of them do allow players to rely on some sort of strategy in order to improve their odds of winning.
Slots on the other hand are a more recent invention, and they have significantly changed compared to the original Liberty Bell machine. They are one of the best examples of how digitalization has affected gaming. But slots also point out something very interesting within our behavior. Much like a lottery, we can rarely win anything while playing slot games, and everyone who is playing is fully aware of it. Yet even with those odds, people continue to play both lotteries and slots.
This is because the jackpot is so high that it can transform one’s life completely. In other words, this is what we see in these games. They are almost regarded as divine intervention. By some chance, you get a brand new and better life, and that’s why players don’t mind the odds. Moreover, the money comes from other people, so it’s like a method that decides who will receive a major blessing.
As stated, games are often connected to education, but the type of education is fun. As a result, we get the best type of learning that is almost ideal. Because we really learn the most when we are unaware of the fact that we are learning. Some of the games that were played by people evolved into sports competitions, where the best of the best get to compete. Those who are not competing often spectate, and want to create a different form of competition among spectators. They wager on who will win, or if something else will occur during the match.
This on its own reveals something else about our psychology or culture, and that is that we love to compete. People love to prove they are better than their peers, and even form rivalries, in the way this will to compete also facilitates improvement. Improvement or advancement is something our civilization is obsessed with, and this spirit of competition goes beyond sports or individual rivalries. Companies compete, countries compete, even scientists compete for finding accurate answers or solutions. Betting on outcomes has a double meaning. We bet because we hope to receive an award or get lucky, and we bet because we want to reassure ourselves in our own assessments.
Finally, our will to compete is often reflected in our lifestyle. It created a culture where we want to look prestigious in order to show our accomplishments. Land-based casinos are one example of this mindset. They are an expensive form of entertainment, and playing in luxurious casinos means you can afford it, which indicates one is successful. However, we also live in a culture that wants to put emphasis on equality or equal opportunities, which is something that online casinos tend to reflect. Online casinos are basically available to anyone, and they offer generous bonuses to users which allows them to have more funds they can use for wagering.
As all of our cultures want to inspire improvement and advancement, both gaming and gambling are affected by emerging technologies. Currently, the majority of games that are available are made for mobile platforms, and online casinos are also made to be playable on mobile. Moreover, there is a trend emerging, that one of wearable tech and casino sites can also be accessed using some of these gadgets. This is how gambling evolves, and its content is optimized to fit all of the latest trends. However, we don’t seem to get new casino games. There are different slot titles, but in essence, they are all very similar.
Video games have a similar trend, especially AAA titles. Nowadays, it’s important for video games to be designed for team play, and to have an open world, or to be a battle royale, etc. When something becomes a trend all companies want to mimic its success, unfortunately, players are looking for more innovation. Since it’s difficult to cater to the majority of the player base it is possible that we will get more niche audience games. One such example was Death Stranding, the player base was very divided when it came to this title, but those who liked it were thrilled, and it was undeniably original.
Going forward we might see the same thing with online casinos, as they are competing for their portion of the player base. As more and more countries are legalizing this activity, the competition is becoming more fierce. So, eventually, operators will be forced to offer something unique that will possibly resonate with a portion of the player base, and have that unique content on their site. It’s really a similar principle that we currently have with slots and different table games, however, those are just replicas of physical casino entertainment. Down the line, we will likely develop more unique games that are exclusive online casino entertainment.
Our culture wants to facilitate different values in society. Culture is what connects people, allows them to be corporate, inspires them to improve, respect, and learn from the past. These values are often reflected in art, politics, and even in games. This is why games can be educational, awaken our competitive side, make us better at thinking and problem solving, or help us become more creative.