Playing games is something humanity has done for ages. The games have remained the same from the beginnings of written history, it’s just technology that has changed, offering us new and different ways to play them. In our time, the most widespread way of playing is through a mobile phone – statistics show that mobile games rule the gaming industry both by revenue and the number of players involved. There are, in turn, different ways of playing different games, sometimes in forms and systems that might sound surprising to some.
Playing for money
Playing games is supposed to be about fun, and fun doesn’t usually involve money – except for the money you pay for the game itself. Well, not in all cases – sometimes the thrill of putting money on the line is part of the fun itself. There are many people play video poker games at 7 Sultans, an online gaming venue where they can do just that. Video poker has been around since the mid-1970s, combining the thrill of placing real money bets on hands of poker, and the fast-paced action of slot machines, appreciated by millions of player at the 7 Sultans and beyond. While video poker is quite an entertaining game even with no money involved, the versions the 7 Sultans offers its players come with that extra thrill that makes all the difference for them.3
The 7 Sultans Casino has been around for almost two decades, offering its players a large collection of real money games to explore.
Playing by post
One of the first role-playing games I’ve ever had the chance to play was Bored of the Rings, a text adventure game based on Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney’s parody novel with the same title, released in 1985. It was the first time I crossed path with interactive fiction, but not the last – I soon connected to the Internet, and discovered play-by-post role playing games. These games, slow for the public accustomed with MMOs and other simulated universes, doesn’t rely on computers to handle their actions, but on the players themselves. The environments and the characters are not created using pre-defined elements but built freely by the participants. Combat is decided by either throwing a dice or using a virtual random number generator.
Today’s play-by-post games rely on fantasy classics, video games, and even comic books for inspiration. The mediums hosting these games range from forums and blogs to Discord, Google’s Hangouts, and Skype.
One of the most interesting ways to play, often misunderstood by outsiders, LARP is the culmination of role playing. The first LARPs were run in the 1970s, inspired by fantasy tabletop games and fiction, and the habit of stepping outside regular life and literally into a different world has survived to this day.
Most LARP groups stick to the heroic fantasy/swords and sorcery genre but there are groups in Eastern Europe organizing LARP events with post-apocalyptic themes, often inspired by GSC Game World’s cult video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.