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The Future of Crypto Gambling and the Blockchain
Shane Addinall posted a post in BlogOnline gambling has been around for close to three decades now and has evolved and grown immensely over that time. Enhancements in technology have been one of the biggest motivating factors for these changes, coupled together with the demands from the player-base for increased innovation in keeping with these modern conveniences. The perfect example of this trend playing out can be found in the call for a mobile gambling market. Did you know? The first mobile gambling venture in the UK (the biggest iGaming market in Europe) was a mobile lottery, which launched in 2003. One of the most significant evolutions happening at the moment is the increased growth and influence of the cryptocurrency market. The popularity of crypto casinos is on the rise, thanks to the increasing technology in the blockchain world – a world dominated by a millennial generation that is comfortable adapting to fresh technology and ideas. In fact, they demand it! Because the future is in the hands of the current generation, tomorrow’s gambling market must evolve to meet their needs and desires, or it will die out. Current data suggests that sub-40-year-olds are not as drawn to mainstream casino games as older generations are and are more prone to enjoy the latest social gaming innovations from the crypto space. What is the Winning Recipe for the Future? To understand the future for crypto and general online casino gaming, we need to understand the subtle changes that are happening in the market right now. These are indicating factors of where the gambling market is going. Currently, all the communicating factors point towards the position that strong ‘’digital community’’ values are at the heart of this current and up-and-coming generation of players. Interaction online is becoming a major trend across various markets. Just look at a few of the obvious examples around us. Social Media Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are bigger than ever before and newcomer, TikTok, is making big waves. Billions of people use these applications daily to reach out to their friends and the greater world. Quick Fact: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It boasts a massive 2.8 billion active users in the first quarter of 2021. These platforms provide the perfect setting for a digital communal environment. People can find their voice and link themselves to special interest groups and communicate with friends across the span of the globe in a matter of seconds. The social media craze is a real indicator that the current generation is a fan of digital community qualities. The Latest Video Gaming Crazes While single-player games were a lot of fun for those over 35 years of age when they were growing up, this is no longer the case. Today the most popular games in the world are all multi-player options. Games such as Roblox, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends draw millions of players around the world daily. All the pre-mentioned gaming brands have one thing in common – they are multi-player based. In fact, Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex Legends are all Battle Royale type games, meaning that players can team up with others to compete against other player-based teams. Technology like Discord and other team chat software applications even allow the gamers to talk to each other while playing. Why are these multi-player titles the most popular games right now? Because they all offer a social environment where people can interact with others. It seems like common sense that players exposed to such gaming environments would seek similar or better-quality gaming interactions when they graduate to the gambling sphere. ✓ The E-sports Boom One of the fastest-growing digital industries at the moment is e-gaming. This immerging market not only harnesses the qualities of one-on-one competition but affords fans the option to bet on the outcomes of the games. While e-sport is in its infancy, educated estimates predict that this fresh and fast-paced gaming market should reach a capitalisation of around $13 billion by 2025. Once again, the driving influence for this popular digital sport form is the fact that players compete against each other for a shot at the prize. In many games (like FIFA), each side can comprise of multiple gamers. It is no longer as thrilling to compete against a machine as it is to take on your peers head-to-head. It seems that even in the world of machines and high-end tech that basic human qualities will endure, albeit that the social trends are a little different from the norms of generations gone by. ✓ Live Casino and Poker Trends Closer to home, two of the quickest growing game options at online casinos are online poker rooms and live dealer games. Evolution Gaming has taken the world by storm and is a heavyweight in international gambling circles. They just recently acquired gaming giant, NetEnt, for a massive sum. The recipe behind the company’s success has been its ability to join real people together in a casino environment for a common cause. The social interaction involved makes live table games and gameshow titles very popular. Virtual table game libraries are shrinking on casino sites while live game portfolios are growing. Did you know? Trends amongst younger gamblers show that live casino games such as Live Monopoly, and other such gameshow titles are firm favourites in the live dealer marketplace. Online poker similarly offers a social aspect to the game. While the dealers are not visible via stream, multiple players can take seats at the virtual tables and interact via a live chat tool. Online poker has exploded thanks to fabulous social poker sites like PokerStars. ✓ The Outcome The simple fact is that the current generation loves technology and can spend hours lost in the digital realms. However, they remain human and therefore crave interaction as social beings. A platform that can combine this form of entertainment with the necessary interaction qualities is onto the winning solution for the future. Up until now, the crypto casino world has done a sterling job in identifying this need and working towards placating its punters. Why Does Crypto = Community? There are few good reasons why cryptocurrency and crypto casinos are on the cutting edge of the social gambling trend and why they are community-friendly. These include: Multi-Player Games: There are a number of casino games coming from the decentralised market that focus on multi-player playability. They are extremely popular. As a relatively new tech in casino realms, blockchain-based casinos are usually frequented by younger players. Power to the People: Decentralised blockchain technology removes the need for a trusted middleman. This ideology directly empowers the people and encourages person-to-person interaction and trade. It implements a return to a more basic and personal way of life. Us against the world: The crypto world is very misunderstood and often shunned by mainstream finance, much like the current millennial generation is misunderstood by the ‘boomers’ who have gone before it. Both the platform and the people have an ‘’us versus the world’’ outlook on life. A common cause is usually a great unifier and brings communities closer together. One thing we can learn from crypto is that the next generation is eager for change. A change that sees a move away from isolated gaming experiences and embraces a more social and inclusive environment. What We Hope to See Soon The crypto realms are already on the right path and are quite likely to lead the way ahead. This is what we hope to see happening soon. ✓ More Innovative Multi-Player Games Now that we know what the industry needs to attract the next generation, we hope to see more and more mainstream and blockchain-based game providers introduce such games into the marketplace. Spearhead Gaming’s debut arcade/gambling game, Astroboomers: To the Moon, is a classic example of the type of entertainment we need to attract the up-and-coming player base. We also hope to see advanced mechanisms for players to share their accolades and wins within groups and special social media platforms. This alone provides great incentives for more competitive player types. ✓ Increased Usability at Crypto Casinos The practical issues involving high costs for microtransactions need solving to bring the crypto casino market to its full potential. Quick Fact: Ethereum launched a second blockchain platform called ‘’Ethereum 2.0’’ to try and solve the high transaction fee dilemma facing the usability of Ether for smaller transactions. Right now, decentralised blockchains cater better to big funds transfers than to multiple small ones. Blockchains, like Ethereum, are leading the way towards this sort of usability. ✓ Increased Education on Crypto Tech ‘An informed people are a happy people,’ according to a wise old adage. More education about crypto-realms and the qualities of the blockchain would go a long way towards the evolution and enhancement of the current online industry and influence current player bases to make the change. This should include a change of ideology to follow current social trends and an increased willingness from mainstream operators to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of tender on their sites. Round-Up One thing is for certain, the online casino industry has proven itself resilient over the years. Its ability to change and adapt is demonstrated in its year-on-year revenue growth. Its versatility is sure to continue as leading brands place big money into monitoring current trends and ensuring they stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Journey with us, at GamblersPick, as we keep you up to date with all the latest trends and introduce you to all the newest innovations and technologies as they drop.
Upgrading Your Gaming
GamblersPick posted a post in BlogIn a year where the world has been plagued by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's encouraging to see industries that have managed not only to thrive, but to keep us thoroughly entertained. Video game sales hit a record of $10.86 billion in just the first quarter, up a full 9% from an already successful previous year. According to industry analysts, these sales represent comfort and connection being brought to the homes of otherwise distanced and disconnected lives. In that spirit, we chose to survey more than one thousand people who own at least one video game console. We asked them about the various upgrades they intend to make to their gaming experience as well as the types of considerations they make before purchasing. If you're curious to peek into the trends of this ever-expanding industry, keep reading. Primary Console Upgrade Considerations The first part of our study examined general console upgrading habits. The gaming world has been eagerly anticipating the releases of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, which were released on November 10 and November 12 respectively. So upgrades have likely been on the minds of gamers. Over half (59.1%) of people who already own a gaming console said they intend to upgrade within the little time left in 2020. Given the timing of two big releases right as holiday shopping is starting to kick into high gear, it makes sense that a significant number of gamers are looking to upgrade. While most gamers had at least tried consoles different from their own (82.2%), a plurality of gamers surveyed said they stick to the same console brand every time they upgrade. Just a tiny 2.2% of gamers said they rarely upgrade within the same brand. As for feeling pressure to keep up with the latest consoles, 72.6% of gamers said they felt some pressure to keep up with the newest versions. PlayStation loyalty, however, was perhaps the most pressurized. These gamers were the most likely to say they feel a lot of pressure to keep up. Thinking Through the Upgrade The next part of our study asked gamers about the factors they consider before upgrading their video game consoles. We also analyzed the most common upgrades people are currently considering. The two main factors gamers said they consider before buying a console are availability of games (78.7%) and compatibility of games (65.2%). These factors eclipsed details like special features (40.5%) and mobility (27.2%). Even though those perks may be nice, the ability to play games actually presents a major barrier to purchase for many. More and more often, games are becoming tied to the consoles themselves, which can be frustrating for gamers. Many of Xbox's most popular games, for instance, are Xbox exclusives, meaning they can only be played on that particular console brand. So the console you have may very well dictate what games can be played. It makes sense then, that gamers would have to consider availability and compatibility of games so heavily before buying a console. The most common console upgrade gamers said they were currently planning was to the PlayStation 5. That number, however, may be related to the fact that 39% of the people we surveyed already had PlayStation 4's, a higher percentage than any other gaming console. Instead, 17.5% of gamers chose to upgrade to the Xbox Series X this pandemic season. It's not surprising that the Nintendo Switch was still among the top planned console upgrades among gamers, considering how popular it was early on in the pandemic. Even in the summer, after the first major wave of the virus had died down, people were still having trouble getting their hands on one. Gaming Wish List Whether or not people intended on upgrading, we were interested to see which consoles were most desired among gamers. PlayStation was again the most commonly coveted brand. Specifically, gamers wanted the PS5, which is set to release in mid-November. Pre-orders for the console are already skyrocketing –some analysts call it the No. 1 product this holiday season. The Xbox Series X, another notable release coming this month, was a distant second with only 28.7% of gamers saying they wanted it. Nintendo Switch also was a contender at 25.5%. There are reports that a new version of the Switch could be released in early 2021, so the fact that people are still coveting it now could mean good things for the new version when it's available. Gaming More in a Global Pandemic As we mentioned earlier, the video game industry is having a heyday as people have had to stay home and spend more time indoors this year. Evidently, COVID-19 brought some new people to gaming. More than 22% of respondents reported buying their very first video game console since the onset of the pandemic. As for those who already owned a console, many (44%) did admit to playing more since COVID-19 struck. Xbox owners were the most likely to report as much. Gifting Games Not only are new consoles being released, but the holiday season is upon us. As gamers look toward these gift-giving occasions, we wanted to know what they had on their wish lists as well as their shopping lists. More than a third of the gamers we surveyed (36.4%) said they were going to ask for a new console as a gift this 2020 holiday season. That said, there was a major generosity streak circulating among gamers as well, with an even higher percentage (40.5%) intending to gift a console to someone before the end of the year. The most common gift gamers intended to give was the new PlayStation 5, which is no small gesture. On average, gamers intended to spend $380.40 before the year is over, whether on themselves or others. The two most common gifts (PS4 and PS5) were also the most common brands already owned by gamers. Game On The hype was building for newly released consoles like the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, and gamers were clearly paying attention. Many reported that they’re currently looking to upgrade their own consoles, and a fair number plan to purchase new consoles as gifts this holiday season. And we’re happy to see it – not only the generosity, but the ability to connect and enjoy one another’s company, if only virtually. 2020 is certainly a year where we need that. Methodology We surveyed 1,007 people who currently own a gaming console. Respondents were 54.9% men and 44.5% women. Four respondents were nonbinary, one was transgender, and one respondent chose not to disclose their gender. The average age of respondents was 35.5 with a standard deviation of 10.2. Data about the factors gamers consider before upgrading their consoles was collected through a check-all-that-apply question. Therefore, percentages won’t add to 100. People were asked to report the most they planned to spend on gaming through the end of 2020. The average presented was calculated to exclude outliers. This was done by finding the initial average and standard deviation and multiplying the latter by three. This product was then added to the initial average. Any data point above that sum was then excluded from the calculation. When reporting what consoles they most wanted, even if they didn’t plan to upgrade, people were instructed to choose up to three consoles. Limitations The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration. Fair Use Statement Gamers demonstrated careful considerations before making upgrades. If you think information like this could help someone making a gaming-related decision, you are welcome to share what you’ve found. Just be sure that you link back to this page and that your purposes are noncommercial.
So You Want to Become an Esports Athlete?
GamblersPick posted a post in BlogWhen you hear how much you can make playing video games these days, you might be tempted to pick up a controller – or devote more of your time to the pursuit in the event you’re already a gamer. In just a few short years of playing, esports athletes are growing net worths equivalent to those in traditional sports. Teams are earning nearly $5 million in a single competition, and all you need is a controller and a game to get started. If temptation has gotten the best of you, you’re not alone: There’s no end in sight for more players and more money entering the industry. Using data from existing esports players’ stats and demographics, we were able to see what typically happens once a person gets started in the sport. Your age, your country, and even what types of games you think you’d like to play can factor into whether you have a shot. Keep reading to find out more. Rise of the Digital Athlete We weren’t kidding when we said esports is exploding. The graph above denotes the rise of esports in terms of annual total active players as well as the total prize money in esports over time. Using the number of tournaments reported for each year, we were also able to calculate the average earnings per tournament as the years progress. Some say the earliest video game competition dates back to 1972 – Stanford University students competed in a Spacewars tournament, and the prize was a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone. By the 1980s, Atari had popularized gaming competitions, while classics like Pacman, Pong, and Space Invaders gained worldwide notoriety. Later, 2002 saw the release of Xbox Live, which brought online play to all of its console owners. Fast forward to 2019, and over $227 million was awarded in esports prize money. Per tournament, this averaged to $44,152 last year alone. Over the last decade, esports has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. As recently as 2000, there were only 258 active esports players competing. Today, there are more than 25,000. And there’s more money to be made – beyond competition earnings, sponsors have made room for many lucrative careers. Major networks like ESPN are getting increasingly invested in video games’ top players, but there are also livestreaming sites like Twitch that offer less hardcore gamers the chance to earn paychecks. Aging Into Esports Next, we wondered how age factors into esports success. Video games may sound like a young person’s sport, but the lack of physical exertion in video games (as compared to typical athletics) could theoretically give older players a fighting chance. Only one player among the top 20 lifetime highest-earning players is under the age of 20. His name is Kyle Giersdorf, and he’s a 17-year-old from the United States. In just three short years of playing esports, he’s already earned over $3 million. More often, the top earners skewed slightly older: 53% of the top 500 players are between the ages of 25 and 29, and this age group, along with those in their early 20s, were those with the highest median earnings. Only 1.5% of top players are 35 or older. To break this down as your hypothetical “salary,” let’s take a look at top earner Johan Sundstein from Denmark. He’s 26 years old and has earned nearly $7 million in his career. But that’s the very top earner globally, and it’s taken him 11 years to accumulate his fortune. That works out to roughly a $630,000 annual salary. Of course that’s a great salary, but it is significantly lower than the earnings of some top athletes in traditional sports – Lebron James made nearly $89 million last year. However, esports is relatively young compared to traditional sports leagues, so it’s possible salaries like that will come to esports athletes in time. Worldwide Winners Your country also can impact your odds of making it to the top. The next part of our study looked at the percentage of players from different countries ranked in the top 500 players overall. The five most lucrative games over time were also compared by country. The top three countries for esports champions were the United States (21.3%), Korea (16.6%), and China (14.1%). That said, certain games proved much more lucrative in some countries than others. South Korea has a particular passion for video game culture, and playing is considered a primary form of social activity. Similar things can be said of both the U.S. and China as well, where more players connect with one another this way. The most lucrative game overall – Dota 2 – is what’s known as a multiplayer online battle arena- or MOBA-style game, and it has become incredibly successful in China. Thus far, Dota 2 has earned players in the country $64.6 million. Recently, though, China had to ban the team Newbee from competitions after they were caught fixing Dota 2 matches. Fortnite, whose franchise is worth an estimated $2 billion on its own, has already earned American players over $31 million. This is a battle royale-style game, where 100 players attempt to out-survive one another. And the world’s second most lucrative game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is dominated by Denmark, with the country’s players garnering $14.7 million in winnings. Counter-Strike is a multiplayer first person shooter where teams of terrorists fight against counter-terrorists. Earning Styles The final portion of our study analyzed player earnings by their preferred genres and games. It also looks at which games would have the most competition as well as the most prize money to be won. These two numbers were used to calculate the games with the highest potential earnings per player. The kinds of games that brought home the biggest paychecks also had the most players – or the most competition. First person shooter was the top genre of choice with 39.1% of players, followed by MOBA games (16.9% of players). These two games earned players $210.5 million and $346.7 million, respectively. Dota 2, a particularly lucrative choice for a MOBA game, also had the highest potential earnings per player. With 3,681 players playing the game and $224.5 million in lifetime prize money, each gamer has an average potential earning of $61,007. The biggest competition may have been for players choosing Counter Strike, however: Nearly 13,000 competitors are vying for $96.5 million in total prizes. Follow the Money The potential to make the most esports money depends on a number of factors. As the data showed, the top video game players tended to be in their early-to-mid 20s and often lived in the U.S., Korea, and Denmark. Dota 2 was helping players earn more than any other game, but particularly for those in China. If you’re interested in getting involved, there couldn’t be a better time. The competition may be getting fiercer, but jackpots and financing of the sport are also increasing. That said, your chances of success are likely improved if you start before hitting 30, though there are successful older gamers. Regardless of age, be ready to put in the work: Current players have noted the sleepless nights and endless hours of practice it takes to make it to the top. And you certainly don’t have to wait to become the world’s best player to start having fun. While we can’t guarantee the odds are in your favor, there are certainly more opportunities to get involved in the sport than there previously were. And the sooner you get started, the better. Methodology Using data from Esportsearnings.com, we sought to explore the rise of esports and the feasibility of becoming an athlete within the sport. When examining the age of esports players, we confined our analysis to players ranked in the global top 500 players by overall earnings. Age data were not available for some players. The same was true of country data for a small percentage of players in the top 500. We also looked at countries’ dominance across different games. We looked at the top five games for overall prize money awarded. It should be noted that for all prize money data, totals are based both on game release dates and the date range of available data, which can fluctuate across different games and genres. The Esportsearnings.com site classifies games into 10 genres. Looking at data across all genres, we sought to find the total number of players in each genre. Prize money totals by genre are across the entire available time frame, rather than for a specific year. Finally, when we assessed the specific games with the highest potential earnings per player, we divided the total lifetime prize money awarded in a game and divided it by the number of players for that specific game. We confined our analysis to games with at least 50 players. Again, these should be considered potential lifetime earnings, rather than potential earnings in a single calendar year. Limitations As is clearly stated on the Esportsearnings.com website, the site relies on user contributions of information and publicly available data sources. Therefore, the completeness and timeliness of the data can be hard to estimate. This project is purely exploratory. Fair Use Statement While esports has steadily risen in popularity over the years, becoming a pro in the sport is by no means easy. If someone you know would benefit from the information in this project, you are free to share for noncommercial reuse. We ask that you link back here so the project can be viewed in its entirety and the methodology can be reviewed. This also gives credit to our contributors who make this work possible.
Las Vegas Video Games: 6 Games Set in Sin City
GamblersPick posted a post in BlogLas Vegas, often referred to as "Sin City," is an area that's so storied and unique that it seems almost make-believe. With its bright signs, flashy lights, and colorful characters, the city is endlessly interesting. So it makes sense that some of the best video games ever made are set there. Whether you visit Vegas often, or you only know about it through what you see in the media, everyone can enjoy some Las Vegas video games. So continue reading and we'll walk you through the best video games that take place in the City of Second Chances. 1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is often recognized as one of the greatest video games ever designed. The game was created by Rockstar Games in England and was released in 2004. It is the seventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series. The game is available for Microsoft Windows and Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Apple computers and phones. It features an open-world environment and follows the story of a former gangster who travels throughout the fictional state of San Andreas. The state of San Andreas is heavily based on both Nevada and California. Set in the year 1992, the game makes references to the 1980s and 1990s crack epidemic, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and the LAPD Rampart scandal. It's currently the best selling title for a PlayStation 2 game, with over 20 million units sold. Plot The basic plot of the game focuses on Carl "CJ" Johnson as he comes home to Los Santos (Los Angeles) to attend his mother's funeral. CJ is soon framed for murder by some corrupt police officers. He's forced to leave town and so he escapes to San Fierro (San Francisco). While in San Fierro, CJ races cars and operates his own garage. A government agent then contacts CJ and asks him to help with a gang problem going on in Las Venturas (Las Vegas). A gang is trying to open their own casino and CJ agrees to help get information in exchange for his brother's release from prison. CJ assists the federal agents but is then ordered to be killed. A friend then comes to CJ's rescue and helps him escape. After making it out of Las Venturas alive, a rapper by the name of Madd Dogg asks CJ to be his manager. CJ agrees and goes back to Los Santos with his sister and her boyfriend. 2. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas As the sixth installment of the Rainbow Six franchise, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas was released in late 2006. The Rainbow Six franchise was developed by Tom Clancy and is based on his novel, Rainbow Six. The franchise is about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit known as "Rainbow." The first game was designed by Red Storm Entertainment and was developed while the Rainbow Six novel was being written. In the Vegas installment, we follow a brand new Rainbow team that's been dispatched to Las Vegas to fight an international terrorist organization that's attacking the city. The game was released by Ubisoft, the parent company of Red Storm Entertainment, and received critical acclaim. Plot The game takes place four years in the future, in the year 2010. Several rainbow operatives are fighting Irena Morales, an international terrorist, and his henchmen in Mexico. Irena escapes and only one of the operatives, Logan Keller, makes it out safely. Logan is then taken to Las Vegas where he needs to deal with a similar situation. He's dropped outside of the Calypso Casino and meets up with a new team. They clear out the casino and save the hostages. The group then travels to the Red Lotus Casino and saves a kidnapped reporter. They then move to the Vertigo Spire, which is the game's version of the Stratosphere. A bomb was placed in the Vertigo and the team disarms it. They then move on to Dante's Casino. But when they get there, they find out that Irena's real target is the Nevada Dam, which is analogous to the Hoover Dam. At the dam, Logan kills Irena but he finds out he was double-crossed by a fellow operative. As the traitor gets away, the words "To Be Continued" appear on the screen. 3. Call of Duty: Ghosts Released in 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the tenth major installment in the Call of Duty franchise. It was published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward. The game was released in November of 2013 for PlayStation 3, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox 360. It's also available for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game received praise for the introduction of the game mode - Extinction. Extinction is a four-person co-op mode where players fight against different kinds of aliens in a survival style map. The main objective is to terminate all of the alien hives. Plot Similar to Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in the future, this time in 2027. It also follows an elite operative by the name of Logan. The United States is currently at war with a terrorist organization by the name of the "Federation of the Americas." Logan and his brother, Hesh, are part of a special unit of the American military. After fighting along the Mexico border, the brothers return to Santa Monica, California and reunite with their father, who confesses that he is the leader of the Ghosts, an elite squad who are trained to perform missions behind enemy lines. The brothers are then recruited into the Ghosts and go to the Yucatán Peninsula. They break into the base of the Federation and find designs for a new superweapon. After dismantling a Federation factory in Brazil, the Ghosts are then sent to a safe house in Las Vegas. But when they get to Vegas, they're captured by a former Ghost operative who's been brainwashed. After an all-out American assault, the Federation's weapons are destroyed. The brothers then go after the former Ghost agent in order to avenge their father. However, the traitor manages to capture Logan and attempts to brainwash him instead and recruit him into the Federation. 4. Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a point-and-click video game that was released in 2013 by Replay Games, Intermarum, and N-Fusion Interactive, in conjunction with the franchise's original creator, Al Lowe. The game is available for iOS and Android, OS X, Microsoft Windows via Steam, GOG, and Linux. The game is a remake of the 1987 video game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. The development of the game was crowdfunded via Kickstarter. Leisure Suit Larry is an adult-themed video game franchise that follows Larry Laffer in his often futile attempts to seduce women. In this installment, players must solve a variety of puzzles, which they can do by picking up, talking to, looking at, or licking items on a variety of people and objects in the game. There are five buildings in the game: a mini-mart, a multi-floor casino, a love chapel, a disco club, and Lefty's Bar. The game takes place in the city of Lost Wages (Las Vegas) and players can help Larry earn money by playing the slot machines. Plot The plot of the game is extremely similar to that of the original versional. It even takes place in the 1980s. After Larry Laffer has grown tired of his loveless life, he decides to travel to Lost Wages in the hopes of losing his virginity and maybe even finding true love. While some characters were cut from the new version of the game, others were modernized or replaced. 5. Fallout: New Vegas Fallout: New Vegas is an RPG video game published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Obsidian Entertainment. It was released in October of 2010 and is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows. The game takes place in an open-world, post-apocalyptic environment that consists of Nevada, California, and Arizona. It's a spin-off of the Fallout series and set in the year 2281, four years after what happens in Fallout 3. Players act as a character named Courier. When the game was released, it received critical acclaim thanks to its improved gameplay, quests, and writing. Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton even makes a voice appearance as radio DJ "Mr. New Vegas." Plot As the game begins, three major groups are trying to gain control over the city of New Vegas and its neighboring regions. Four years before the game takes place, two of the groups fought at the Hoover Dam. Now, those powers are once more trying to gain control of the dam but so is the current leader of New Vegas, Mr. House. As his name implies, Courier is a courier working for the Mojave Express. And as he's taking a mysterious item known as the "Platinum Chip" to New Vegas, he's ambushed. Fortunately, he's soon saved and nursed back to health. As Courier attempts to get the chip back, he encounters various people with all different kinds of problems. He can choose to either help, ignore, or harm these people. And these actions can result in him receiving either negative or positive karma. When he finally finds the chip, he ends up in the middle of a major conflict between the three warring factions. All of these factions are trying to gain control of the Hoover Dam which is the most effective power source in the area. It's revealed that Mr. House ordered the Platinum Chip for delivery. The chip is a device that stores data and has a program that can make Mr. House's security robots more powerful. One of the factions, Ceasar's Legion, attacks the Hoover Dam. Courier can now choose to help Mr. House connect the Dam to his robot army, defend the Dam with the New California Republic, help the Legion attack the Dam, or destroy the Dam so that no one can control it. The game then ends with a narrated slideshow that goes over the results of Courier's actions. 6. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Described as a part prequel, part sequel to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, this instalment was released in 2007 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The character Logan Keller is no longer around and the player actually gets to create their own character. This new character then takes on the role of Bishop. The game itself deals with events that occur both before and during the Logan Keller story. The player also now has the ability to give commands to their AI teammates with their own voice through a headset. Plot Taking place in 2010, Bishop is commanding a team in Las Vegas. After an NSA agent is taken hostage, Bishop and his team try to track the agent down at a Vegas sports complex. But they're too late and a fatal bomb is detonated. They then learn that a second bomb is on its way to the Las Vegas Convention Center. There, they discover the chief of security is tied up but there's no bomb. They're then told that the bomb is actually on the roof of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. They defuse the bomb but learn about a third bomb in a Chinese theater. They rush to the theater and successfully stop it from exploding. Bishop is then knocked unconscious. He's saved by a fellow operative and then later meets up with Logan Keller. The two then travel to a Costa Rican villa in order to stop the terrorist behind who's these acts. Bishop is able to kill the evil mastermind. At first, his superiors reprimand him for disobeying orders. However, they're also so pleased with his work that they offer him a position as deputy director at Rainbow HQ in England. Which of These Las Vegas Video Games Are You Going to Play Next? As we can see, Sin City has certainly set itself up for some very chaotic and interesting games. While many are post-apocalyptic and violent, others are more humorous and cheerful. Like the city these games take place in, Las Vegas video games provide an array of environments and characters that you can have a lot of fun with. So which of these games do you want to play now? Looking for more Las Vegas and gambling-related articles? Check out the rest of our site today!
Gambling & Gaming: Why is There Casino Streaming on Twitch?
GamblersPick posted a post in BlogIt's no secret that gaming is more popular than ever. And now thanks to the internet, you can even enjoy watching other players anywhere in the world via online gaming. This is largely due to websites like Twitch. If you've never used Twitch, you're definitely in for a treat. Twitch makes it possible for users to watch and learn from the best of the best, which is great for taking your gambling and gaming skills to the next level. This article takes a look at how you can make the most of casino streaming. Keep reading to discover insight into the wild world of Twitch gambling and get a better understanding of how it works. What is Online Casino On Twitch Exactly? Twitch was founded in 2011 as a platform for broadcasting video games but has also become extremely popular with users for watching Twitch casino players. It allows users to learn more about the game without having to risk their own money. Watching skilled players at their best is a lot of fun, yet can also be used as a great learning tool for expanding your knowledge of casino games. Why Do People Watch Slots On Twitch? The answer is pretty simply: watching Twitch slots is fun! Twitch also serves as a social platform, enabling users to chat while they play at home or watch live streaming as a community of gaming fans. Watching slots being live streamed is also the ideal way to learn strategy while becoming more familiar with the various types of machines. What Do You Need to Get Started? All it takes to get started is to create an account. This will take only a few minutes on the Twitch website. Next, simply download the streaming software and you'll be ready to connect to the broadcast of your choice. Can You Live Stream In a Casino? Most casinos won't let you live stream from their property. Thus you'll need to limit your live stream activities to online casinos. How Do Casino Streamers Make money? Online casino streamers make money primarily in the same way you'd make money on other platforms such as Youtube. This includes the use of ad revue, Twitch Affiliate Program, or even by attracting sponsorship deals. Keep in mind that becoming a member of the Twitch Affiliate Program isn't easy. You'll need a minimum of 50 followers within the last 30 days, a minimum of 500 total broadcast minutes, and 7 unique broadcast day, with an average of more than 3 concurrent viewers. Just make sure that you're familiar with Twitch affiliate rules before getting started. How Much Do Casino Streamers Make? How much should you expect to make from casino streaming? That demands on the number of followers you have. The secret to building a successful Twitch channel is to get as many followers as possible, get a lucrative sponsorship, and then maximize ad dollars. A Guide to Casino Streaming and Gaming On Twitch Watching casino streaming on Twitch is fun. It can also be lucrative. The key is to leverage your skills as a top player to attract a huge following of loyal viewers. So don't miss out on the fun! Create an account, log on, and start live streaming today!
• 77% of respondents believed video games make social distancing easier. • 68% of respondents agreed video games reduce stress surrounding COVID-19; half of gamers said games distract them from negative news during this time. • Nearly half of gamers surveyed had met up with friends in video games while social distancing. • Discord was the most preferred voice communication platform for gamers during the COVID-19 pandemic. • Gamers favored the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One while adhering to stay-at-home orders. The question of how we spend our time has really been put under the microscope lately. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone's schedules (to say the least), and whether your calendar got busier or blew wide open, you may have already learned a thing or two from the way your days have changed. Maybe you've gained a new skill, found ways to socialize, or have gotten creative. But perhaps you're just looking for ways to cope with the stress. Based on recent findings, however, there may be something that provides the perfect intersection: video games. We spoke to 1,000 gamers who were actively practicing social distancing. They shared how they've continued to socialize using video games, as well as how gaming has helped them to cope with the stress of COVID-19. Continue scrolling to see what the gaming community has to say during these trying times. Gaming at Home Even during the height of the pandemic, using video games to socialize wasn't half bad. Most respondents rated the experience as "good," "very good," or even "excellent." In-game chat was twice as popular as Zoom to communicate with other gamers, as well. But what did video game socializing actually involve? A lot of the same things normal life would, just virtually. More than 46% had used video games to meet up with friends, and another 55% of respondents attempted to recreate real-life scenarios of some kind. Things like birthdays, baby showers, and even weddings are being celebrated online and often include virtual games. Eight percent of respondents said they had also gone on a date in a video game since the pandemic began. That said, women were less likely to enjoy socializing in video games. Unfortunately, video games can be breeding grounds for sexual harassment, particularly of women. Of course, both men and women should socialize only where they feel safe, as they would in real life. Consoles for Remote Life The "console war" (as many techies call it) between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was alive and well during the quarantine. This particular battle, however, was won by PlayStation: 23% preferred PS4 during this time, while Xbox served just 13.6%. PlayStation may be particularly conducive to socialization while in isolation –some fans praise the console's "social screen" feature, which allows others to see what you're seeing. Another clear standout in quarantine was the Mario franchise. Mario Kart was the most popular video game to play while social distancing. And it also helped people feel the best: Players ranked this game as one of the least stressful things they could play during social isolation. It lost only to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Minecraft. Call of Duty was almost as popular as Mario Kart but was the most stressful game to play in quarantine, according to gamers. Modern Warfare and Black Ops 4 (both Call of Duty games) took first and second place, respectively, for the most stressful video games. Gaming Schedules Without a normal schedule to adhere to, respondents found a variety of times that worked well for gaming. Evenings between 6 and 10 p.m. worked best, but afternoons and playing throughout the day were also popular. These hours added up to an average of 15 hours each week of gaming while social distancing. But nearly a third of respondents spent more than 20 hours each week playing video games during isolation. Those hours spent gaming represented much more than the games themselves, as we came to find out. Around 77% said video games make it easier to socially distance. In many ways, video games made them feel more connected to positive things: 59.1% felt more connected to friends, 68.2% saw a reduction in COVID-19-related stress, and 50% used the games to distract from negative news. Many even censored negativity – 45.5% chose to avoid virtual violence during these times. Financing Gaming During COVID-19 Quarantine games weren't all free, however. While social distancing, gamers spent an average of $101. Nearly 41% of gamers spent money on video games, and 26.6% purchased downloadable content, while a much smaller percentage bought things like headsets and new controllers. Nearly 1 in 5 gamers planned to spend their coronavirus stimulus check on something video game-related. More specifically, around 14% said they would purchase video games, 6.1% said they would use the check to buy downloadable content, and 5.3% were going to use the funds on a console. When all was said and done, gamers anticipated using 38% of the check on gaming supplies. How to Start Gaming Now With all of the benefits respondents expressed, we wanted to know if they would recommend it to others. We figured a few suggestions for enjoyable ways to pass the time in quarantine couldn't hurt. Sixty-eight percent believed nongamers should get in on the action and give video games a try while social distancing, and around 51% said to try it with family or friends. If finances are a concern (which they are for many during such an economically turbulent time), gamers had a solution for this as well: 47.2% suggested starting with free-to-play games. Identifying the right game for you was also highly recommended. This means that even if your first gaming experience isn't ideal, there may be other genres to try that are better suited to you. The recommendations over consoles highlighted a rivalry once more – gamers were fairly evenly split over Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but the first two were ultimately the top choices. The Mario series was the top recommended game for social distancing. Keep Playing Gamers continued to list a host of helpful tips for both existing players and anyone else looking to get started in the exciting world of virtual games. During the height of social distancing, now more than ever seems like the perfect time to give gaming a try. Who knows? You may develop some great online relationships and feel a little less stressed. Fair Use Statement Social distancing has certainly spiked the need for sharing. If you know someone who you’d like to share these contents with, you are welcome to do so as long as your purposes are noncommercial. You must also link back to this page so our contributors can receive proper credit for their work.
Loot Boxes Exposed: The Truth About Games With Loot
GamblersPick posted a post in BlogGames with loot are everywhere these days. They aren't restricted to free mobile games that try to leech from your wallet anymore. In the third quarter of 2019, gamers spent a staggering $1.4 billion on these so-called microtransactions. Loot boxes came to be controversial with the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2 back in 2017. This game was full-price and should have given players everything as part of the game's progression. Instead, gamers had to make their characters more powerful through loot boxes that were randomly won during games. In theory, this should have been fair across the board, with random upgrades given to players equally. Yet this is where microtransactions rear their head: some gamers paid real money to buy more loot boxes and progress faster. The result was an unbalanced competitive videogame. Yet this isn't the only problem with loot boxes. Some countries have been asking one key question: are loot boxes gambling? They rely on chance, so are they? In this article, we're going to take a look at microtransactions in video games to see whether loot boxes are similar to gambling. Read on and find out more! What Are Loot Boxes? Loot boxes are exactly like they sound like: they're digital boxes that are full of loot to help players in the game. Some argue that games with loot begin with Blizzard's Overwatch but they go back further than that. Team Fortress 2 is a game published by Valve that was released back in 2007. For a while, it was a standard online shooter but it later started adding more and more cosmetic items. It soon got to the point where Team Fortress 2 was jokingly referred to as a "hat simulator" by gamers. After a while, Valve began adding more weapons to the games. These could be won through chance but players would sometimes be rewarded with a locked loot box. To unlock it, you'd need a key. These keys became something of a cryptocurrency. Players could buy items with keys and skip the crate or even pay for game codes with keys on various websites. Overwatch took this model but it can be differentiated from other games with loot by the fact that all of its loot box items are cosmetic. Players won't lose anything if they don't unlock them. Mobile games are typically much more predatory with their loot boxes, with free games offering faster progress in exchange for real money, which buys the player a loot box. What is the Problem With Loot Boxes? Microtransactions in video games are controversial for several reasons. First off, there's the way it affects gameplay. If players can pay-to-win, players who don't pay have the odds stacked against them: see Battlefront 2's problems. Then there are the ethical issues. A lot of these games will be played by children, often on their parents' devices. The same devices that have their parents' payment information saved. You can see where this is going, can't you? You don't have to look far to see reports of children spending thousands of dollars on their parents' cards in these games. You can argue that the parents should have their information more locked down, but are games with loot preying on children? Other people have argued that loot boxes are a gateway to gambling, setting up children for a life of addiction. This is somewhat alarmist but it does betoken a significant point. Are loot boxes gambling? If they are, how are governments going to regulate it? It's hard to argue against the theory that loot boxes are gambling. When randomly won, they rely on pure chance, but there's always that temptation to pay more to get more loot boxes for better odds. They might not be a casino game, but the same larger purpose is at play. One of the psychological hallmarks of gambling addiction is "loss chasing". This is an attempt to claw back lost money through more gambling. Is it loss chasing to buy more loot boxes in the hopes of getting that rare gear you've not yet won? How Games With Loot Are Being Regulated In the United States, games with loot are not being regulated as gambling. Around the world, however, governments have started looking at microtransactions in video games with a more skeptical eye. In the United Kingdom, for instance, officials have recommended that loot boxes be treated as gambling. This would put a tighter age limit on games with loot boxes and require a maximum daily spend limit be enforced for children. In Japan, the government ruled that gamers would no longer be able to assemble a collection of items they've won from loot boxes into a more powerful item. These prizes would be treated as such under Japanese gambling law. As a result, the so-called "complete gacha" have been removed from most Japanese games, despite some loopholes. The Dutch Gaming Authority wrote a study in 2018 that found that four of 10 studied games violated gambling laws. As a result, popular video games like Team Fortress 2 and Rocket League no longer let Dutch players open loot boxes. Similar legislation was put into place in Belgium. In Australia, the government has recently proposed that loot boxes should be locked behind an age-gate. To access them, players would need to verify their age with the company. Meanwhile, New Zealand has so far argued that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. Should Loot Boxes Be Regulated? There isn't a strong argument to be made against the idea of loot boxes being gambling. They rely on chance and can have catastrophic effects on their players' wallets. While we aren't arguing for a ban on games with loot, they should face tighter regulation as online gambling does today. If you're a fan of loot boxes and buy them regularly, we would recommend checking out our list of tips for gambling responsibly in 2020.
Today, over 1 billion people watch eSports. To put this into context, this is double the number of people who watch Formula 1 motor racing, 8 times the number for the World Series, and 10 times the number for the 2019 Super Bowl! Clearly, this type of "sport" has quickly taken the world by storm. But how did it even come about? And how did it manage to disrupt the dominant world of physical sports? In this article, we'll show you the world of competitive gaming, including its history and some iconic players. What Is eSports? As you may have guessed, "eSports" stands for "electronic sports." This is where people play video games competitively. In the beginning, it was a very niche type of pastime, with only gamers watching eSports. But as time went on, eSports became more and more mainstream. Today, many casual or non-gamers are avid fans and many bars cater to tournament viewings now. These tournaments are run just like with sports tournaments, with live coverage, commentators, replays, and more. It may seem like eSports has only just arrived on the scene, but the truth is, it has quite an extensive history. Read on to find out more. The History of eSports Believe it or not, the first official eSports tournament happened in the '70s. On October 19, 1972, students at Stanford University held a competition for Spacewar, which was a game from the 1960s. The winner of the very first eSport tournament was Bruce Baumgart. The prize? One year's subscription to the magazine Rolling Stone. While that was the first "official" eSports tournament, it wasn't until almost a decade later that eSports arrived on the mainstream scene and attracted the public eye. In 1980, Ataris put on the Space Invaders Championship; over 10,000 people flocked to this event, which caused quite a stir. Later on in the year, Walter Day created a video gaming world records organization called Twin Galaxies. These two things were the catalysts to video games becoming more and more popular in the mainstream over the next few decades. Competition Sparked Explosive Growth in the Industry Atari had a monopoly over video games in the 1980s, but when Nintendo arrived on the scene with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985, they became some hot competition for this giant. Next in line was the Sega Genesis, which hit the shelves in 1989. Nintendo did their part in growing the early eSports scene by holding their own tournaments. They started off with the Nintendo World Championships in 1990, which toured around the entire country. They then held another tournament in 1994 to promote the Super NES (SNES) after its release in 1991. Real competitive eSports became a reality when ID Software created their first-person shooter (FPS) Quake in 1996. A year later, they put on Red Annihilation, which was one of the first Quake events ID Software held. From this tournament, the first pro gamer was born: Dennis "Thresh" Fong. eSports Wasn't Just a Western Phenomenon If you follow eSports, then you'll know that the continent of Asia has a lot of professional gamers; more specifically, South Korea. How did that come to be? In the late 1990s, much of Asia went through a financial crisis. As a result, much of the youth would hang out at internet cafes, otherwise known as "PC Bangs." Here, they'd all gather to play Blizzard's StarCraft: Brood War and socialize. Brood War quickly became a national craze, which led to huge competitions in South Korea. The nation became so obsessed that they had gamer houses, where eSports competitors would live together and play StarCraft all day to up their APMs (actions per minute). Some Iconic Gamers We already mentioned that the first professional gamer was Thresh. But who else? Let's take a look at some iconic names in eSports. Ninja Ninja (Richard Tyler Blevins) is an American gamer who first got into eSports by playing Halo 3. However, he rose to extreme popularity in 2017 when he started streaming his gameplay on Fortnite Battle Royale. Stewie2K Stewie2K (Jacky Yip) is an American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player. Currently, he's considered one of the best in this game. He's played for Cloud9, SK Gaming, and Team Liquid. Dyrus Dyrus (Marcus Hill) is also an American gamer. He made a name for himself by competing in League of Legends. In his career, he's played for teams All or Nothing, Epik Gamer, Team SoloMid, Delta Fox, and Meme Stream Team. Thinking About Joining eSports? After reading all this, you might be thinking: how do I join eSports? After all, it'd be fantastic to be paid for something you love to do. But it's not that simple, nor is it that easy. It's true that it's a lot more accessible nowadays to become a streamer and potentially, an eSports competitor. After all, Twitch has made it very easy to broadcast your gameplay to the masses. But it takes more than just passion to become one of the best eSports players. You have to live and breathe the game of your choice, and you have to be able to dedicate hours upon hours to practice and improve your skills. You'll also need to work well with others, as you'll most likely have to join a team to make it big. Watch as Competitive Gaming Takes the World by Storm There's no doubt about it: competitive gaming is here to stay, and it's here to also take the world by storm. For its humble beginnings in the 1970s to its massive presence today, eSports is a huge industry that'll change how people view "sports" in general. If you're looking for more information about eSports we recommend reading this comprehensive guide to competitive video gaming.