Mobile Gambling Goes Mainstream
Sep 10, 2014
With technology ever on the march we take a look at how the games market spawned a new wave of gambling access across multiple platforms.
The razzamatazz that surrounded the launch of the new iPhone symbolizes not just that vast swathes of the population are easily hoodwinked by clever marketing, childish design and a simplified existence of one-size-fits-all uniformity, but that the mobile device is now not merely a status symbol, a fashion statement, nor even a functional phone, but a techno-hub, a point of access to your friends, family, films, songs, photos, and now even your money. Apple might hide it well, but in the end they, like perhaps Google online, want to be the gate-keeper to it all.
Given half their revenue comes from phone sales perhaps one can forgive Apple for so valiantly attempting to fight for the right to control your every informational requirements, however as recent security breaches imply, that might not such a fabulous idea. This has, of course, spurred on the ever present Android opposition, who are never more than a step behind and are nearly always 20% cheaper at a minimum. But whilst the two sides squabble over the hardware we should all be buying or not, the software developers have just got on with it.
Gaming Gained Ground Giving Gambling On The Go
• Mobile arcade games basis for gambling opportunities
• Ubiquity of internet devices granted access to new market
• Gambling acceptable in front of the television
The two standards are both catered for in equal measure. It is rare to find an app that desires any trade or popularity of note to be exclusive to one platform or another once the glittering glare of launch day promises has long since faded. This means that whilst the manufacturers of hardware all but constantly sue each other over the design or make up of the mobile devices themselves, there has been a pax between the software opponents. This is of course due to the modern programming infrastructure that the operating systems allow and the huge increase in third party development.
Where once third party development was everything to a personal computer, today it is to the smartphone and tablet that these are bread and butter. Certainly the big companies develop the odd useful app or two, but the vast majority are created by far smaller commercial enterprises. This allows them to cater for various demographics beyond the largest segment of the market, which has to be chased by those with larger overheads, and chase a different sort of user altogether.
No Noobs Need Apply
People enjoy card games that involve stripping away the multifaceted universe and simplifying the decision-making process to a closed system of fixed odds, blackjack for example, and the same can be said of the numerous gambling games and apps that now exist for our objects of ubiquitous internet access. They provide a comfortable reliable world of guarantees and set parameters in which there is a uniformity of information, and that last one is important. It is that one that hooks the casual gamer.
To a casual gamer there is nothing worse than a game at which someone else is better because they’ve more information, hidden knowledge gained over time, which experience can make one better at the game, at the core that shouldn’t be required to be good at it. The latest run-around-with-a-big-gun-shooty-shooty-bang-bang game for sixteen year olds who’d collapse in tears if ever actually placed in combat, require so much knowledge about weapons, tactics, the maps, etc that new people stand little chance of success.
In casual gaming there is a positive loathing of this hierarchy by experience. There are no noobs in Angry birds or bejeweled, just people who play it better or worse than others. Once you’ve played it twice you’re as as aware of everything within the game-sphere as everyone else. In the big gun etc. games, it can take weeks or months to arrive at a suitably competitive level that one won’t be harassed by racist 12 year olds on your own team who appear to have been born to jump, swivel in mid air, shoot three people, avoid a grenade and then berate you for not being the living embodiment of Rambo.
Casual gaming then is not so much about the pick-it-up-put-it-down time killing abilities of the games involved, but about the attitude towards playing it that the games themselves offer. Peggle might be as addictive as crack cocaine but it didn’t require more than a few minutes to work out precisely what you should be doing. By significantly lowering the expected level of challenge presented to a player, the audience for the games became far wider than merely the spotty-yoof demographic that Call of Battle Medal (or whatever) seem to appeal to all but constantly.
Cultural Approval Of Gaming Increases
The discovery that there were players beyond these complexionally-challenged spanners gave rise to the gaming console your gran likes, the Wii. This brought gaming out of the teenage bedroom and into the living room, gaming became the new family board game at xmas, it still causes just as many arguments, tantrums and mutter comments about ingratitude as the old board games did at xmas, but now it goes bleep and has moving colored pixels. This acceptability spread from the consoles and computers of the home to the mobile devices with which everyone now comes.
Mobile gaming developed in a form of mirrored time delay that produced replications of notable classics, and the usual plethora of the shooty-shooty-bang-bang games, but also a slew of casual games for all ages. Companies like PopCap produced slick games with a low challenge threshold that appealed to an entirely different demographic, yet again spreading the acceptability of gaming on your phone. The rise of mobile casinos can be seen to almost precisely track this level of social normality that gaming was granted.
The use of familiar themes, the involvement of mini-games and bonus games, the story-lines and simulated interaction within the mobile casino games gave them the same appeal and acceptability as had been granted to Plants Vs Zombies and other classics of the casual gaming genre. Gambling was now a casual game too, and the links between various technologies was not merely making that easier but creating another level of approval, by not just simplifying the access, but also reversing the process.
Casual gaming moved from bedroom, to living-room, to phone, and now gambling sites and apps were moving the other way, the app lets you follow the bets that the television is announcing for you in the station identification breaks prior to and just after the adverts in soccer matches. The technology isn’t new, but the attitude to mobile casino gambling certainly is. Sports gambling might be making the running today but it is only a matter of time before further unison between the entertainment mediums and the ”internet of things” makes casinos part of the living-room too.