The Virtual Circuit

The other night I caught an episode of “60 Minutes” that had a segment on internet gambling (net version here). Well, having seen my share of gambling blogspam, I have no doubts that the numbers used are legit; it’s a huge… HUGE… business. Well, via a Wonderland post comes word of a mod for Quake 3 called Quake4Cash. From the homepage:

Welcome to Quake 4 Cashâ„¢ where you can prove your skills and earn some money. We’ve designed a mod for id Software’s venerable and recently GPL’d Quake III Arena to bring you the ultimate competitve environment.

Are you good with the railgun? 70%+ headshot ratio? You’ve come to the right place then!

Register, download the mod, login to our servers and put your money where your BFG is.

Although I’m unaware of any other games that do this, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are many already out there; though probably most are still 2D. In contrast, Quake 3 is both a 3D game and a wildly popular one at that. It’s tailor-made for this kind of immersive, competitive gaming… and the betting it could spawn.

Something like this reminds me of boxing. I could see Spectator micro-betting (everything nowadays is “micro”) becoming really popular. Don’t just bet and stay in the bleachers… get into the game. Follow your horse up close. Watch as your pick vanquishes the opposition (or turns into a pile of gibs). All up close and personal in a way you don’t even get with real world betting; watching a two-dimension television screen isn’t as immersive as being on a simulated 3D racetrack or in a virtual ring if the resolution is decent.

Assuming they can keep the cheats out and this does take off, I’ll venture we also see some content creators getting into the game doing custom skins and weapons; perhaps spawning a niche industry in the process. It’ll be a whole new kind of circuit.

Going to have to keep an eye on this. Always fun to see how money flows through the system.