How about those millennials? I’m more interesed in video games than demographics, but that seems to be the hook that is getting casinos interested in a different kind of gaming. You can now find tournaments at the Silver Sevens, as I talk about in the latest Green Felt Journal:
Millennials—technically those born between 1980 and 2000, but more generally anyone younger and more tech-savvy than whoever is running things—started aging onto casinos’ radar about a decade ago (today they are 16 to 36 years old). Past millennial outreach efforts have included nightlife (great for those who can afford bottle service prices) and social media (an already crowded arena).
Read more: Games Millennials Play – Vegas Seven
I’m happy that I didn’t let me Generation X bitterness flow too freely. It just bugs me sometimes that no one seems to care what Gen X does with their time or money–we went straight from Baby Boomers to millennials.
But seriously, I think LEET is doing some very interesting stuff now. If you’re into games, you could do worse in Las Vegas.
Based on a Twitter conversation with @AgentMarco, I decided to look into what was happening with betting on video games. The result was this week’s Green Felt Journal:
Could betting on video games be the last chance for gambling? In 2009, Woody Levin debuted BringIt.com, a website that let gamers open accounts and bet against each other on a host of Xbox, PlayStation and Wii games. Accepting bets from $1 to $100,000 per matchup, the service appealed to hardcore gamers and soon attracted more than 100,000 users. But encountering some technical challenges, Levin chose to shift emphasis toward the social-gaming space, hosting mini-games where players competed for virtual currency. But he believes that wagering on video games has an enormous potential.
via Will Video Games Go Vegas? | Vegas Seven.
This was fun to write for a few reasons. First, it was a story idea that developed as part of a genuine conversation on Twitter, which to me shows how great a medium Twitter can be. When it’s done right, it’s people talking, and learning from each other.
Second, it’s something that I honestly haven’t seen much written about, so I’m glad to have the chance to blaze a trail. Not like it’s not fun talking about the latest month’s revenues, but there’s only so much to be said there. I’m really glad to have an editor, Greg Blake Miller, who lets me do stuff like this.
Finally, this week, as usual, I’ve been given great art for the column–I love the homage to Space Invaders.
I hope to write more about this in the future, and I really do think Atlantic City casinos should strongly consider doing something with video game tournaments.
Problem gambling is classified as an impulse control disorder, and it looks like it may have company. An Iowa State study says that many children suffer from addictive video gaming. From USA Today:
Nearly one in 10 children and teens who play video games show behavioral signs that may indicate addiction, a new study reports.
The study found 8.5% of those who played had at least six of 11 addictive symptoms, including skipping chores and homework for video games, poor test or homework performance and playing games to escape problems. The research, which is published in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science, is based on a 2007 Harris poll of 1,179 U.S. youngsters, the first nationally representative poll on the subject.
Exhibiting six of 11 symptoms can lead to a diagnosis of addiction, such as pathological gambling. Iowa State University researcher Douglas Gentile adopted the addiction criteria for gambling because there is no current medical diagnosis of video-game addiction.
Study: Video-game-playing kids showing addiction symptoms – USATODAY.com.
This seems to be a rather casual study; the authors just substituted “video gaming” for “gambling” on a screening checklist. But it raises interesting questions about the nature of addiction for both video games and gambling. For example, is the addiction to the activity of gambling, as it appears to be with video gaming? In that case, it’s not really about the money, but about the activity. That’s got to have some implications for treatment.
“I’ve been using the computer for so long, and command-Z works for undo in all the software programs. So whenever I find something in my life that I want to undo, I reach for the command-Z keys and I find it weird that it doesn’t work.”
— Lisa Hoffman, graphic designer, who probably spends too much time at work.
Did you ever spend a while playing a video game, then go around thinking you’re still in the game? Maybe you should unplug for a while and read. Try, for example, this Wired article about the phenomenon and see just how often this happens.
I don’t think this happens with books, but I could be wrong. Personally, I know I’ve never grabbed someone’s head and tried to flip to their index after spending a day reading. Have you?