I caught this last night, “New machines make slots a multiplayer game” (Link), and while sleeping on it hasn’t yielded any additional insight, there’s something intriguing about the idea of mashing up casino slot gambling with – of all things – an MMORPG. I can’t find the original article on Reuters, so here are a few excerpts from the C\Net site:
Slot machine makers, keen to find a new selling point for a traditional game, are trying to increase the social aspect of slots by linking up machines so players can share payouts and the thrill of winning.
The trend began last year with the latest edition of the popular Wheel of Fortune slot game from International Game Technology, which allows up to nine players to sit around a large spinning wheel and share in the winnings.
“A powerful and developing trend over the next two years will be the movement toward multistation, communal play gaming devices,” Merrill Lynch analyst David Anders said in a note.
Aristocrat’s Oneile said multiplayer slots could eventually integrate into a network environment, known as server-based gaming, which is heralded as the next big advance in gambling technology and would allow casinos to download the latest games from a central server onto individual machines.
Some things come to mind:
– mass social acceptance of LAN parties
– cosplay coming to America
– the appearance of “gambling guilds”
– roleplaying theme hotels springing up near casinos
– growth in cottage industries supporting these activities
There are probably other potential developments, but like I said, sleeping on it didn’t help. However, I’m tucking this one away for another round later.