The Rise of The Humans
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Even in the multi-billion dollar hyper-tuned world of online gaming there are still some ideas that are so blindingly simple that they can take your breath away.
Image by MattsMacintosh
We ran into one such game recently and, aside from the quality of the site itself, the logic behind it points to an intriguing future for the gaming industry.
We were enjoying a spot of down time on the 32Red online casino site – other online casinos are available! – and without it really crossing our minds we stumbled into a fully interactive casino populated by real life croupiers.
At the time we thought nothing of it, after all, the site had gone to some effort to present this as an attractive enhancement to what was on offer. It was only later that we started to realise just how revolutionary this experience had been.
Here is what, in any ordinary context, we would describe as an online game. Like almost all of its competitors 32Red offers a wide range of different games. These vary from simple bingo games, to highly visualised slot games and the more traditional casino style card and roulette offerings. This was where we ended up.
But the thing about online games is that they are precisely – as the name suggests – online offerings. Even with the rise of all things interactive over the past ten years, it is still quite a novelty to come across a gaming experience involving a real live person. The default mode of interaction is via an avatar or some third party characterisation. The idea that what is packaged up and sold as an online ‘game’ should have this warm blooded component to it is just not what we are accustomed to.
And yet, this is a rapidly growing market for the online casino industry. It seems that just about every mainstream casino is getting in on the act. By way of an illustration, the search term “online casino live croupiers” returns 128,000 results. What we experienced at 32Red is no more than a fair representation of how online casinos are going about their business in 2014.
So much of what we see as progress is simply more than the combination of two existing concepts. Difficult as it is to imagine now, the idea that a phone might be combined with a camera was a revolutionary idea once upon a time. The same is true of the use of digital files for storing and trading music.
On this basis, the combination of modern streaming and gaming technologies with a glamourising sales pitch that is as old as time represents a similar fusion. It is not one that has yet translated into the mainstream leisure industry online. But it is in the nature of such things that an idea that works in one environment is sooner or later tried out in another.
Where this will lead is a matter for guesswork as much as any informed speculation. However, don’t be surprised if what we have come to associate as a depersonalized gaming environment starts to become populated with what are recognisably real human beings. Contrary to Hollywood’s breathless depictions of the rise of space-age cyborgs, what appears to be on the horizon is a far more surprising plot-line: we could call it ‘the rise of the humans’.
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