Gaming is a favourite pastime for many around the world, and thanks to modern technology, what was already a seemingly endless spectrum of choice is widening even further.
We have move on significantly from the days of Pac-Man, and even Super Mario, with these relatively basic, low resolution games pointing to a bygone era looked back on with a warm sense on nostalgia.
Nowadays, gaming is far more true to life, and gamers are now routinely transported – temporarily at least – to a hyperreal world wherein the the fictional environment becomes the reality, or at least it creates such a striking similarity that the brain struggles to decode which is which.
In terms of traditional games consoles, enjoyed by men and women, young and old, in all four corners of the globe, this has become particularly apparent in recent years, with the development of virtual reality (VR). While VR may still be very much in its infancy in terms of its development, there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay, and its influence on gaming looks set to grow more and more in the coming years.
Indeed, disappearing are the days when a console player would be merely controlling a character via a pad – instead, players have developed an increased desire to be fully submerged in the action – in the thick of it, so to speak – on the football field, in the war zone, or somewhere completely abstract.
There is of course, a rather dystopian argument to be made against all of this, one which suggests that our ever-tightening relationship with ‘the internet of things’ and artificial intelligence (AI) is disconnecting us from one another, and destroying the notion of genuine interaction without the need for the medium of technology. However, that’s an argument for another day, as our love for technology shows no signs of subsiding.
In fact, it’s developing apace. Some of the most modern gaming systems out there contain facial recognition technology, which in turn creates a virtual likeness to the gamer in a ‘virtual world’. Incredibly, the most advanced of these systems even have the ability to sense your emotions by examining your facial expressions while you play, which then allows the system to act accordingly. Mind blown?
If you’re not quite as baffled as I was when I first discovered that, then try this one of for size: voice recognition technology. That’s right, no need to a controller any more – simply talk into the gaming system and let it do the rest. Admittedly, this has been around for a fair while – see those Alexa devices, for example – but only now is it advanced enough for it to be truly practical, with the best systems available to perfectly decode your instructions.
Naturally, this influx of technology and its fusion with our most prominent leisure activities is something that has by no means escaped the attention of some of the world’s largest and most prominent gambling companies. And why would it?
Online gaming and online gambling have become synonymous with one another during this age of huge technological strides, with many of the themes and characters overlapping to create a sort of universal feel of familiarity. And betting giants have been keen to get in on the act, bringing online casinos to life and making them more accessible than ever before.
For online gambling enthusiasts, this has opened up a whole new world of opportunity. While playing online casino games may not provide all the fun of the fair that a visit to a real casino provides, in terms of the glitz and the glamour, it most certainly trumps the traditional land based casino in terms of convenience. Gamblers can log on and play on their mobile devices in the comfort of their own home, play live casino games, and interact with other players and the croupier – creating the closest thing possible to that casino table camaraderie that you so often get at land based casinos.
Of course, the land based casino will always remain a popular attraction for gamblers, but there’s no doubt that the online competitors have successfully muscled their way in, not only because what they can offer is so accessible, but also because it’s so compelling. The nature of such games, even going way back to those basic low-resolution games discussed earlier, is well documented. Adding the potential to win large cash prizes from gaming only intensifies this.
What’s more, with such a realistic online setting, formed through the use of avatars and personal profiles, the social aspect of gambling is recreated in the online formats, too. Many users tend to stick to their favourite sites, so online communities of regular gamers are often formed.
The ease at which transactions can take place has also been a major shot in the arm for the online sites, as payments can be made easily via multiple avenues, thanks to the use of chip and PIN cards and mobile and online banking.
That said, one of the major challenges facing online gambling sites in particular is internet security, and the traceability of payments. For example, it’s shown clear as day on all bank statements if you’ve spent money at an online casino, and this isn’t something that everyone’s entirely comfortable with, so while technology makes it easier to play and easier to play, it also traces your every move.
● Technology has also made gaming participation far more realistic, and the theme of such games tends to reflect reality more accurately as a result
● By ‘technology’, we are referring to artificial intelligence, virtual reality, face and voice recognition systems – all of which are now readily available
● Online casinos have jumped on the bandwagon, and they can be considered to be close cousins of traditional online gaming, due to the way in which subjects and themes overlap
● Technological advancements done their utmost to ensure that the social element of traditional casino gambling has not been lost
● While technology has made depositing money in online casinos far easier, it’s easily traceable and this is not necessarily a positive for people who like to gamble frequently.