Gambling in Online Games
As a former World of Warcraft player and somebody who often dabbles in other MMORPGs I have bet on an almost unfathomable number of things. From Chocobo Races in Final Fantasy XIV, to slot machines in Ragnarok Online I am no stranger to trying to make my virtual fortune by hitting the casino rather than beating up monsters. I remember when the original Pokémon games had a casino in them and that was the only way players could get a Porygon. This was subsequently removed in later games as gambling isn’t seen as being very ‘child friendly’. The thing is though, even if something in a game isn’t called gambling it often still is.
Take risk-reward. This is an amazing thing in most games. Do you risk enough of X in the hopes you’ll get Y. Sounds like gambling to me. How is that different from putting coins into a random number generator enough times till you get the result you want. If you can risk enough money you might get the reward. In video games this often means pushing your luck if say you only have 3 health potions, but this monster is particularly hard. Do you risk taking it on with the chance you might lose? Still counts as gambling, but instead of currency you’re playing with your characters life.
I can understand it gambling is addictive and it is what makes a lot of video games so more-ish. Take Clash of Clans for example. In this mobile game players create their own village and then perform raids on neighbouring villages for money and prestige. Players can also spend real world money a luxury currency – gems. Gems let players speed up the many processes in Clash of Clans, but everything that can be done with gems can be done by other players without them, but it takes longer. In this example players can risk their own real-world money in the hopes that is profitable for them in game. However, they never get that money back in any other form than a better village or cool new troops. Is this gambling?
In a sense it is. It is has the same effect as putting coins into a slot machine, but all the rewards are given in game. How is this different from say an online casino like here at LadyLucks with it’s range of slots and gambling games? I know that in the case of LadyLucks if you have an unprofitable run then it is real money, but on the other hand if you are lucky you get real money back. I’m talking money you can go out to the shops and spend as well.
The Golden Saucer in Final Fantasy XIV is always full of people betting their in-game currency on something. From Chocobo Races to scratch cards; this emulates real world gambling options. Online games are a safe place for people to learn the concepts behind gambling, get a similar rush without feeling they need to put up their real-world money. I miss the casino from Pokémon.