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Casinos Dragon's Tale

#1
The de facto gap between video games and casinos, two categories of entertainment traditionally assumed to be of distinct natures, is starting to grow narrow. Historically, a console or computer game experience has been decidedly disconnected from the real-world circumstances of the players, deliberately granting them a retreat from reality, whereas a gambler’s ability to alter his or her real-world financial circumstance has always been at the core of the casino experience.

Casinos have had a virtual presence for decades. From a design perspective, these online casinos have many elements in common with online computer games, so discovering a blurry line between the two might be of little surprise. Both generally operate by combining their participants’ decisions with some measure of randomness to determine individual outcomes, leaving aesthetic/marketing considerations and the monetary integration matter as the only apparent differentiators.

Some MMORPG style computer games have taken a step toward the gambling end of this spectrum. Second Life, Entropia Universe, and many others have been designed around a real cash economy system, allowing players to freely exchange between game currency and real-world currency, while games such as Diablo III have experimented with systems that allow players to exchange virtual items with real-world currency amongst themselves. These games are innovative in that they patch the aforesaid disconnect between players’ in-game and real-world circumstances. Still, they retain the structure of traditional MMORPGs, and typically opt to reject the casino label.

Dragon’s Tale is an online Bitcoin casino approaching this fusion from the other end of the spectrum. Dragon’s Tale markets itself as a casino, but implements many of the deeper aesthetic and design elements conventionally found in MMORPGs, including an inventory for storing items, a quest system, character leveling, and more, while still providing the casino-defining integration between gambling outcomes and players’ real-world finances.

It’s not hard to see why the emergence of this middleground might interest video gamers. Playing video games is fun and can yield real-world benefit, i.e., story driven games can prompt players to consider deep philosophical and ethical questions through role play, but there is still a general disconnect between gameplay and real life, which some may find suboptimal. However, I think the benefit of projects like Dragon’s Tale might be even greater for gamblers. The first and most obvious thing Dragon’s Tale brings to the table beyond standard casinos is depth, through its explorable 3D environment and the inclusion of MMORPG elements such as those listed above. Almost any object one might stumble across while exploring is actually an opportunity to wager. The outcomes of some of these bets depend largely on luck, while many others are strongly influenced by player skill. In most cases, it’s clear which games are which, although a few are up for debate. While some pari-mutuel and player-versus-player games have been implemented, a large number of games in Dragon’s Tale are built on an innovative wagering system which makes it feasible to reward player skill even in house-banked games.

Dragon’s Tale’s hybrid model may ultimately help solve another issue in the gambling space. There is a minority subset of gamblers who habitually make irresponsible choices, such as wagering more than they can afford to lose, which, depending on the extent of the problem, can impact their lives catastrophically. Perhaps worse, a common response to this issue is to drench gambling in government regulations, a detriment to casinos and responsible gamblers seeking to freely enjoy their perfectly legitimate recreation. A lively debate lies in discussing which problem is worse, but I think projects like Dragon’s Tale may be a first step toward solving both. The key is experiential education. Dragon’s Tale allows players to join and start gambling for free, by earning small amounts of Bitcoin through gameplay. By both learning the concepts of gambling (risk/reward, martingale, anti-martingale, expected value, etc.), and acquiring a practical experience of how they feel during gameplay, a prospective gambler can better understand how he or she makes wagering decisions under various financial and emotional circumstances, and cultivate responsible limits before jumping in with actual money. Moreover, since a large number of games in Dragon’s Tale allow very low wagers (in contrast to the many traditional casinos which implement minimum bet sizes), the stakes of gameplay can be scaled up slowly as this experience is developed. There are probably some lessons that can only be learned through loss, but by starting on the penny slots, it doesn’t have to be an Earth shattering loss. Once the player has a solid feel for how money flows through the casino, they’re in a much better position to start playing at non-trivial, yet responsible stakes.

So I would definitely recommend giving Dragon’s Tale a try. I discovered it a few years ago, and have had a lot of fun. I also suspect that the type of gambling environment Dragon’s Tale is pioneering has long-run potential to shift the current landscape of mixed feelings about gambling, by providing a platform that makes it easy to organically develop responsible wagering habits. Check it out if this sounds enjoyable to you.

(I am merely a player, not an owner or employee of the casino, and I have not been paid or asked to write this review.)
 
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