Wanting to play is a primal human instinct. Even the youngest children instinctively begin to play with all objects in their vicinity. In adults, this urge declines sharply, but at the same time seeks new ways to discharge itself. The older ones, therefore, play in an “adult way,” for example by competing against each other in sporting contests or by playing cards on the weekend. Many old games continue to exist in the digital age, while at the same time a true revolution is happening.
Gaming yesterday and today: How big is the difference?
How big is the difference between gaming yesterday and today? Thirty years ago, there were very few computer games, and fifty years ago there were none at all. Today, the world is flooded with such games, and everyone can enjoy them at any time, whether at home or on the go. Gaming has shifted heavily into the virtual space, if only for the sake of convenience because it’s much more difficult to organize an analog round of ludo than it is to just flick on the smartphone.
As a result, people also play much more alone, against an AI. And when other human participants are present, they are usually not in the same room, but scattered somewhere, sometimes even on the other side of the world. In the process, you get to know people you would never have met in physical life. In some cases, even long-distance friendships develop, people, meet again and again on the net, exchange information via chat, and realize various playful projects. This never used to happen in the past, when people had to be in the same place when playing games in order to be able to interact with each other at all.
Analog versus digital entertainment
The example of casinos makes this transformation particularly clear: anyone who plays real-money slots online no longer has to visit the local arcade to do so. They don’t have to sit next to other players, they don’t have to be waited on by the service staff, they just sit on their cell phones and occupy themselves with the virtual world. He may have found his casino on the comparison platforms, which list numerous reputable providers in this field. Where users can compare the various conditions free of charge and click directly to the desired portal: This is much more convenient than searching for the nearest local casino on the net and driving there without comparison options.
Nevertheless, the local gaming venues remain, just as Monopoly continues to exist as a board game and poker as a touchable card game. While fewer game-loving people tend to gather around the kitchen table, they continue to do so. Above all, those who place a lot of value on socializing will never give up the “old” way of playing. This basically means that two gaming cultures now exist side by side and even cross-fertilize each other.
The opportunity to go two-track
Almost every game from the analog world has been digitized in multiple ways. This creates the opportunity for fans to go two-track. If no friends or acquaintances are available for an evening together, you can simply dive into the virtual world and enjoy your favorite game. Some even use the Internet as a training opportunity for the analog “real thing. In this way, they get in shape to perhaps win the big one at the next real meeting.
At this point, it’s worth looking back at the casino theme once again. Many poker pros have started out on the digital circuit, qualifying for major tournaments there and eventually competing in the World Championship in Las Vegas or another physical event. This is how digital play blurs with physical play!
And it is precisely this fusion that will continue, for example via augmented and virtual reality. Soon, the digital world and reality will hardly be distinguishable from each other, because guests will sit together at the table as in the past, but they will now be virtual avatars. They unpack the Monopoly game, which looks exactly the same as it always has, slide their pieces across the board, and yet are not in the same place. Playing is fantasy, and there has never been so much fantasy as there is today! Basically, with VR and AR, we move into pure fantasy worlds – or in the real world enriched with fantastic elements. Never before has this option ever existed, except in our dreams.