Gaming is not all about characters jumping around on screen, shooting down enemies in a first person shooter or commanding vast armies to annihilate the forces of an enemy faction. In fact, if you go to certain areas within the United States or in other parts of the world, the word “gaming” acquires an entirely new meaning. For example, places like Nevada, Monte Carlo or even the Caribbean have an entirely different view with regards to the word “gaming” as in these areas, it is synonymous to, what else, gambling. And the traditional game publishers are also starting to take notice of the market that the can tap.Speaking in front of investors at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XV Conference, Robert Kotich, CEO of Activision, said in response to questions if gambling will play a big role in the future networked games, said that “there is great opportunity for wagering eventually… There’s probably lots of opportunities to figure out how to develop prize play [and] cash play as a future growth opportunity. You’re going to need a big installed base, and a very different regulatory climate. And that’s going to take some time.”
Kotich also said that with the integrated networking capabilities of the next gen consoles, gaming in order to win dollars is an inevitable evolution of the gaming community.
Personally, although I understand where the game companies are coming from (they are after all a business), I foresee that this development might lead to conservatives further vilifying gaming and gaming consoles as a really bad influence on the young. Hopefully, this scenario will not happen.