Humans are hard-wired to see patterns in everything from numbers to the way that raindrops run down a pane of glass. We are constantly trying to make sense of the world by predicting the outcome of any given sequence of events and the urge to try and leverage that into financial gain is woven through our history.
Since early civilisations noted that the six-sided astragalus bone, found in most mammals, could be used as a throwing piece, people have been using them to play games of chance. These early bone gaming pieces are thought to be the forerunner for the dice we use today and proof that people have been gambling since the earliest days of civilisation.
Evidence from ancient China suggests that games using tiles were popular, described in the ancient Book of Songs as a type of lottery game. These were a popular choice for governments that needed to raise funds to complete civic works and the profits from games like this may have been used to fund projects like the Great Wall of China.
While we have found ways to make almost any mundane task into a game, humans have also made games to accommodate innovations throughout history as well. As soon as a new material, manufacturing technique, or piece of equipment is created, it is incorporated into games or used for entertainment.
From fruit stones and shells to exquisitely carved gaming pieces rendered in ivory, gold, and other precious materials, everyone from the working classes to society’s elite have been captivated by the idea of creating games to share within their social and professional circles.
Gaming and technology
Given the history of gaming, it should come as no surprise that the trend for gamifying the latest technology has continued through to the present day. The earliest computer scientists recognised the potential for machines to provide entertainment as they designed the circuits that form the basis of modern computing.
Many traditional games such as bingo and card games were perfect for digitising, relying as they did on specified parameters and odds. Video bingo was a popular choice for players that wanted to take advantage of the computer’s ability to process numbers so quickly, and video poker offered players the chance to practice against a non-human player that would always provide a logical opponent.
Slot machines have been a popular choice since they were first conceived by an automotive engineer at the end of the nineteenth century. Charles Fey realised that the slot machines that were becoming popular would be even more efficient if their pay out mechanisms could be automated.
This heralded an incredible increase in the number of people playing slot machines, a proliferation of companies making similar machines, and an enduring love affair between casino goers and slot machines. Alongside popular favourites such as Pong and Space Invaders, traditional casino games found their place among the computer games that were rapidly becoming a mainstream entertainment option.
A popular choice with players
One of the things that has made online gaming such as popular choice among players is the convenience of online gaming. While casinos are known for offering a wide choice of games, their online counterparts have hundreds of variations on the traditional games offering an option to appeal to any player. The top online casino operators are also well known for offering a range of bonuses and promotions to their players which has contributed to the success.
The willingness of gaming studios to adopt new technology has also made it a very exciting niche for gamers that want to experience life on the cutting edge. From virtual reality to artificial intelligence, the world of gaming has incorporated some of the most exciting innovations of recent years.
Gaming has become a truly global phenomenon, with gamers the world over forming communities online to discuss their favourite games, talk tactics, and share tips and advice from wherever they happen to be. While offline games require a physical presence, one of the key benefits of online gaming is the flexibility to play from wherever you are at a time that suits you.
Gamers in different time zones can ‘meet’ online to play together, and friends that can’t coordinate their schedules enough for a casino trip and play together from their living rooms. Online gaming has the capacity to bring people together, and there are plenty of social media pages, websites, and forums created and populated by fans of a wide range of different games.
The appeal of innovation
Because today’s gamers are so used to having a wide range of entertainment options available to them, they have high expectations when it comes to quality and engagement. While early games may have focused on the new technology available, modern games now offer a more streamlined experience that includes studio-quality sound and beautifully designed graphics to make gaming an experience that appeals to all the senses.
Even games that are based on traditional casino favourites have benefited from the increasing focus on playability, incorporating new themes, storylines, and bonus games that offer players the chance to win jackpots and additional prizes. Live-streaming technology means that players can join games run by real dealers, playing in real-time against real opponents for the chance to win real money.
As computer technology has gone from a niche innovation to a ubiquitous feature of every aspect of daily life, gaming has kept pace to provide players with new and exciting versions of games that have been popular for hundreds of years.