Games People Play, Take 2

by , May 7, 2007 | 1:47 am

Matt the tech-geekiest Batface sends along a Slashdot item about real-money video-game tourneys … a good example of how online poker’s current issues could have ramifications that reach far beyond just poker.

It’s a geeky corollary to online poker. Fairly similar in many regards, including the use/debate about Bots (read the comments) and of course the potential legal gray-area.

btw, FPS means ‘First Person Shooter’, in case you didn’t know. Pretty much describes any game where you kill/blow shit up.

Thanks for sending, Sommer.

Indeed, the video game industry has a major stake in the evolution of online gambling/gaming and the UIGEA. Already, you can play soccer online — the winner of the Fifa Interactive World Cup scored a $20k payday — and buy additional games on the XBox 360 for credits that you purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. (Interestingly enough, they have a Texas Hold’em game on there — and at a near-prohibitive cost of 800 credits … compared to, say, 150, for other games.) And even though video games are very arguably matters of skill, age-old concerns about cheating become a real issue. Just the other week I took on some punk from New Jersey who had a Ronaldinho with superpowers — like he could run five times as fast as any other player, and shoot missiles on-goal from anywhere on the field.

Now think about Second Life

This little world in cyberspace has already established relationships with actual businesses and governments — more than US$1 million in transactions every day, Sweden is opening up an embassy, and Reuters has a Second Life news bureau … where one of the things it reports about is the fluctuating value of SL’s monetary unit. People/avatars have opened up poker rooms and casinos in Second Life … but little attention is being paid, probably because a Linden Dollar still is relatively insignificant in the world of international finance … currently trading for less than the Sudanese Dinar.

Call me a web-scrambled conspiracy theorist if you must … but the Neteller case is not about poker … it’s about who will control the currencies of the future.

UPDATE: More on Second Life gambling here. And perhaps recognizing what lies ahead … a Second Life Bar Association has taken shape to represent the virtual people in presumably any court.

3 Comments to “Games People Play, Take 2”

  1. Tim B.

    sigh… you know, this gay second life crap isnt exactly what i envisioned after reading neuromancer back in the 80s.

    but, it is what it is, i guess… and what it seems to be to me is a completely unmonitored, unregulated virtual currency market. if the justice department is concerned about terrorist money laundering, maybe they shouldnt fixate on online poker and take a closer look at second life.

  2. DanM

    Tim, have you read Ender’s Game? Very pokery (sorta) and Second Life futuristicky.

  3. Tim B.

    oh yes… i read it the first time in 1985, and several times again since then. its on my top 10 list of best sci-fi books of all time (a shame the same cant be said of its sequels)… it was, in fact, one of the more presonally influential books ive read. ill never forget the part where he is attacked in the restroom after arriving at the school… he evaluated the situation, and realized that a little bit of extra brutality now would go a long way towards quelling any conflicts in the future… he thought something to the effect that he could win THAT fight, or he could win EVERY fight thereafter. so, he killed the boy 🙂 that rang so true to me that its stuck with me ever since… and probably sheds a lot of light on my personality flaws 🙂