Evolution of Gaming Software OnlineBy: Joan Peppin, Wednesday September 8th 2010
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The focus of this article is not on the micro aspects like incorporation of features in gaming software but the broad directions taken so as to result in a step increase in the number of persons involved in gaming.
The history of gaming software is usually started from the inception of online casinos that allowed real money wagering at licensed sites. Prior to that gaming software was available but it had to be loaded on to computers from floppy discs and had to be played purely for fun. The first online gaming software had to be downloaded from the Internet casino and installed on the player’s computer system. It allowed players to wager against the house on a host of casino games using real money and also to withdraw their winnings.
The main drawback with this software was that it was developed for PCs using Windows operating platform and was not compatible with Mac, Linux or other operating systems. There were utilities that allowed Mac users to access Windows based applications but these were not very popular. Mac and Linux users came into the online gaming industry when instant play Flash software was developed. This gaming software allowed players to open the games in their browsers and was compatible with most operating systems.
Both the download and Flash software utilized a Random Number Generator that simulated events like the spinning of roulette wheels or dealing of cards. It had two minor drawbacks. There were some people who still worried about the possibility of the software being rigged. There were others to whom casino gambling meant human dealers actually spinning the wheel or dealing the cards. To get such players into the fold of online gambling live dealer gambling was introduced. Actual casino operations were video taped and streamed across the Internet to the players’ computers who could then place bets from home. Such online casinos are called live dealer casinos.
Online casino gambling requires players to function from a home computer or a lap top, which restricts the places from where he can gamble. For example it is impossible to gamble while commuting short distances on buses and trains or while waiting to board them. It is not practical to gamble while waiting for appointments even from lap tops. The problem is that these times are the most convenient for most players because they are doing absolutely nothing. This need has led to the development of mobile gambling. Players can access mobile casinos using Internet access in their mobile phones and can gamble in their handsets. Most online casino operators offer mobile gambling services as well. The spread of games in mobile gaming is presently severely limited as compared to online casino gambling but it covers major game categories including online slot games and even progressive jackpot games.
There is a potentially huge market in the social networking sites like Facebook. The number of members at such sites and the membership growth rate is awesome. There are already a large number of games offered at these sites. However all of them can only be played for fun. There are complex legal issues involved. A large number of members at social networking sites are below majority age and are not allowed to gamble. There have to be effective mechanisms of preventing them from gambling. The larger issue is that many countries hold online gambling illegal for adults. The most prominent of these is the United States, whose citizens form the majority on social networking sites. Once these issues are sorted out then real money gambling directly between players at social networking sites will be the next domain for gaming software.
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