This past week, I went to Reno,NV with various parts of my family. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been there (empty pockets and a new baby will do that), and it’s been a greater revelation to me how some aspects of gambling have assimilated some aspects of Digital Gaming. To illustrate this, I refer to the Ghostbusters video slot machine. At the Silver Legacy Reno, there are at least two situated (penny slots) on the gaming floor. The machine accommodates four people (two on each side), with a video terminal for each person. Each machine also has a large attractor screen on each side; it’s really slick with footage, sound effects and music from the films. Ghostbusters stands contrast to the more classic slots with the more recognizable symbols (BAR, fruit, sevens) on mechanical reels. The game pretty much functions like most modern penny or nickel slots: the player can bet on multiple lines from two to five times a single bet. However, Ghostbusters requires a multiple-line bet.
What has been the most amazing about the machine is how it represents the latest evolution of video slot “bonus” games. In the last ten years slot machines have adopted bonus mini-games to accompany the regular slot gameplay. What makes Ghostbusters so interesting is how the bonus games are as fully fleshed out as the actual gambling component.
This begs a question. Will Digital Gaming become a part of the gambling milieu? I would be interested in seeing a First-Person Shooter that rewards the skill of the gamer with money based on the bet made. How would that affect the way gamers play? How would that affect gambling and gaming rules? It’s common knowledge that the odds are always in favor of the house. So does that mean that a gambling FPS would pit my avatar in an un-winnable situation similar to Space Invaders? I know that tournaments are played for prize money, and I wouldn’t be surprised that side-bets and legal bets are made at QuakeCon. I would like to see the gambling industry try for a Doom – style machine.
Perhaps then, I would stand a winning chance. Ghostbusters wiped me out.