To most people, gaming and online gambling might seem like two sides of the same coin. But avid gamers (and gamblers) know the intricate and fundamental differences between the two. However, with the line between the titan industries blurring progressively in the past decade, will we see a monumental merge in the future?
Gaming and Gambling — Distant Cousins or Brothers in Arms?
The gaming industry has been booming for decades, and, as the games become more extensive, imaginative, and technologically advanced, the title of a gamer has become somewhat of a laurel. Playing just to impress your friends became a thing of the past now that professional players have taken a real stand and used skill-based gaming to fight against the prejudice and stigma that followed the industry like a dark cloud.
At the same time, gambling companies also worked hard at rebranding. With casino games taking the world by storm, and online casinos making gambling more accessible than ever, the image of what an average gambler looks like had to be changed. In fact, some avid players often like to call themselves “gamers” as the title of a gambler sounds pejorative and condescending.
And thus came the confusion between gamers and gamblers. Are they more into Super Mario or slots? What do they spend their money on? Mobile gaming or mobile casinos?
Let’s Clear the Air
To clear things up really quickly — these are two very different things. First of all, the objective is different. You aren’t playing for money when you’re playing video games. After all, don’t they say that money changes everything?
In video games, the objective is to reach the end, while the gamblers have the objective of wagering (and hopefully earning) money. Furthermore, some of the most popular casino titles are games of chance. That means that skill isn’t involved, and the players can’t guarantee wins. Things aren’t as bleak with playing video games because your outcome depends on how skillful you are and which strategies you use.
Although there’s quite a bit of skill that goes into gambling (when it comes to specific games), the house always wins. You might be able to derail it a bit with your expertise in poker, but when it comes to slot machines and their online counterparts, the house wins quite often.
Of course, gaming and gambling aren’t that far off of each other. With modern technology on the constant innovation track in both fields, these two might become closer than we think. Even today, there are significant similarities between the two — at least in spirit, if nothing else.
There Are No Losers Here
Both gamers and gamblers play to win. However, while winning brings nothing but bragging rights to gamers, gamblers leave a winning session with money in hand. Of course, the only exception are professional players, who are, honestly, living the dream. But when it comes to recreational gaming and gambling, money changes things.
Still, gamers playing skill-based video games will do anything to win (just like gamblers). The drive is the same; it’s just fueled by different motivators.
The Unrivaled Sense of Achievement
If you ask an average gambler why they gamble, they’ll never say, “Because I need the money.” The rush that follows each winning (and losing) hand, that high they get after a particularly trying session, the sense of achievement after a win — gamers know those feelings by heart. We feel them every time we reach a new level and beat a new boss.
Finding the Best Shortcuts
Gamers live for cheat codes! Although the debate of “to cheat code or not to cheat code” is forever ongoing (with no clear winner in sight), we’ve all used them from time to time. Because we want to win, we want to reach that new level, beat that next opponent, and dominate the game.
Gamblers are no different. Although there are no cheat codes in gambling, there are bonus codes that will help a player out. In fact, most gamblers make their decisions on whether to use a specific casino or not based on the offer.
Everyone wants to have the upper hand, something that others don’t, so they can hit the ground running. BoVegas codes and bonus offers for game-like slots offer the opportunity that many games don’t — starting with an advantage.
Blurring the Lines
Although most games still don’t have the gambling aspect to them, that’s probably something that will change in the near future. Features such as loot boxes that have started popping up everywhere in the past few years are the clear proof of the gaming industry incorporating some aspects of gambling into its product. But is that all there is to the monumental gaming and gambling merge?
What WIll Bridge the Divide?
Will video game gambling be limited to an odd loot box or two forever? Most likely — no. When we talk about bridging the divide between these two industries, we’re in fact talking about two things:
- video game gambling — VGG
- virtual reality — VR
These efforts will probably bring the two industries closer than ever in the next few years.
Video Game Gambling and Virtual Reality
VGG is the next logical step for online casinos. It offers the best of both worlds — interactive playing and wagering money. Let’s say that your favorite game is Skyrim (it doesn’t matter which one).
You’ve given hours of your life to this game, and you have quite a bit to show for it — you’ve leveled up your character, you have awesome skills, brew amazing potions, etc. That’s lovely, but it won’t put food on your table. However, what if it could?
Too Good To Be True?
VGG is just that — an opportunity to earn money while progressing through a game. If you beat your opponents’ scores — CHA-CHING — you get money.
While it sounds incredible, VGG is still in the early stages. It will take quite a bit of game development to hash out all the details. But, depending on which games get adapted, this innovation could change the entire landscape of the industries.
While VGG is brewing, the gambling industry is eyeing another recent addition to the gaming family — virtual reality.
Taking the World By Storm
Virtual reality is making huge strides when it comes to both development and accessibility. Playing a VR game is really a next-level experience. The opportunities that this type of technology offers are plentiful both for gamers and for gamblers.
The casino industry took notice right away, and thus virtual reality casinos were born. Although still in its infancy, this niche gambling market might not have the proportions of, let’s say, online sports betting, but it has momentum on its side.
Gamers and Gamblers United?
With the technology evolving and growing each day, it’s only a matter of time before both industries are revolutionized beyond recognition. However, that doesn’t mean that a full-on merger is in our future. Although both virtual reality and video game gambling shook and continue to shake the industries, gaming and gambling will never become synonyms.
There will always be gamblers who aren’t interested in the storylines that gamers live for, and players who want nothing more than the thrill of gaming.
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