Historians tell us that men and women have participated in gambling activities for thousands of years. Anthropologists and archaeologists have discovered dice, sticks, balls, and board games that were used by ancient civilizations for entertainment and, through betting, for acquisitions of goods and services.
Beginning in the 1600s casinos opened, solidifying different types of gaming activities in one central location. The idea of playing at casinos spread through Europe in the 1700s and 1800s. By the 1900s the “mecca” of casino entertainment was in Las Vegas where players could enjoy lavish vacation getaways that combined luxury accommodations and entertainment with gambling activities.
One common denominator linked the casino industry—the fact that the casinos were open to individuals who had time and money to play. Travel costs, accommodations expenses, and other vacation expenditures combined, ensuring that only those individuals who had access to stores of disposable income would be able to play at a casino.
By the 1970s playing games for fun or for money became accessible to a wider population thanks to video arcade game options. Now, in the 21st century, these types of gaming machines have moved online. This makes it easier and more accessible than ever to play at one’s personal convenience.
Advances in the World of Online Gaming
The first video gaming machines were the packet-based computer networking games that were found in video arcades in the 1970s. Games such as MUD, Islands of Kesmai, Air Warrior, and MSX operated on internal networks which linked players so that all participants could compete against each other in real time.
By the 1990s game graphics, animations and sound effects advanced, giving rise to more action-based games such as Nexus Kingdom of the Winds, Ultima Online, Quakeworld and Starcraft. Players enjoyed more interactive games via better connection speeds and more decision-making options.
Today it’s estimated that 44% of Internet users—700 million people—play games online. This includes those who play on social media platforms, at online casinos, and via game apps.
Types of Games
Today’s online gamers have a wide choice of games. There are games that they can download and play for free as well as games that they can pay to play. Some of the most popular games are those that deliver payouts to the winners.
Many players prefer to play the traditional casino games of blackjack, poker, and roulette. However, the most popular games on the market today are fantasy games where participants encounter vivid graphic imagery and imaginative challenges.
In 2017 the most popular online games were the League of Legends, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Minecraft.
Slots play is also a hot gaming trend in 2017. Slots involve gaming challenges in which players encounter user-friendly navigational tools, interactive features and a wide range of theme choices.
Thanks to HTML5 technology gamers can now enjoy their online games on their smartphone or tablet devices. The games can be downloaded via game apps or accessed through a sign-in at the casino site.
Most online games are now mobile-enabled. Players can use their device’s touchscreen navigational tools to select and play the games. They can play on mobile through a downloaded or at a casino site on a mobile browser.
Many online casinos now offer live dealer action which is also available on mobile via live streaming technology. The live dealer casino is especially popular with card and table game players. These classic game competitors can enjoy a genuine casino experience through their desktop or mobile screen.
Social Media Gaming
Almost half of online gamers play through social media. One of the biggest reasons that players prefer social media gaming is the games’ social opportunities—as soon as the gamer begins he can indicate to his friends his game choices, successes, and payouts.
In fact, over half of social media players have indicated that, through video games that they experience through their social networks, they’re better able to connect with their friends. Many social network gamers compete with friends online or simply post their scores to compare with other players.
Surveys of online gamers show that the majority of players are over the age of 35 and most are male. More females than ever are playing online and the gap between male and female players is closing.
Many players feel that they are able to strengthen their family relationships through their gaming activities. Increasing numbers of parents—over 33%—engage in interactive, online games with their children at least once a week.
Gaming developers are taking note of this trend and are creating more episodic, adventure games with family-friendly content than ever before.
The advances in gaming technology are fueling more innovative games and a more involved gaming public than ever before in history.