Although many people make a difference between these two expressions, nowadays, gaming and gambling may be used as interchangeable terms.
Many people started objecting to the term ‘gambling,’ used when people play at a casino for real money. It reminded them of something illegal or addictive that can get players into serious financial troubles. So the expression gaming became commonly used by casino goers worldwide.
However, if you take a closer look, you will find that there is a strict division between gambling and gaming, and here, we will try and name some main features that differ gaming from gambling.
The crucial disparity between these two types of entertainment is that you have to spend money to gamble, and you can play various online video games for free.
However, with the emergence of different fantasy games where you can spend real money to buy loot boxes with random rewards that enhance your gameplay abilities or cosmetics, the fine line between video games and gambling games is becoming blurry.
We think that dividing games into separate categories and devoting some time to their descriptions will make things much clearer.
What Are Different Forms of Gaming
It may come as some surprise to you that the first attempts to make something that resembled modern video games date back to the mid-20th century — in the forties, to be exact. But the real boom took place in the seventies when Atari’s Pong video game saw the light of day. This revolutionary event in the digital entertainment industry started a global frenzy for gaming that is still at its peak.
Here, we are going to describe the most popular forms of gaming nowadays. The gaming world has become a seriously profitable market, while various gaming communities are mushrooming all over the world.
Role-Playing Video Games
Role-playing video games require players to take on the role of the main character or a group of characters called a ‘party’ and immerse themselves in various imaginary worlds and intricate storylines. They are engaged in completing different complex tasks and quests on their journey to victory.
The history of role-playing video games starts with the widely-known game “Dungeons and Dragons,” which was successfully transferred from paper into the digital form in the seventies. When this video game became successful, it opened the door to other video games to step on the gaming scene, which became a thriving market soon after.
People play these video games to experience what it is like to be a hero that saves the virtual world that surrounds them. The advancement in the game does not solely depend on the completion of different tasks — the gamer can usually advance by joining a crew or by stepping onto a new scene.
Role-playing games were reserved for personal computers only until the first gaming consoles like Nintendo appeared. Role-playing video games available on consoles are somewhat simplified computer versions. Today, when the popularity of RPGs is at an all-time high, you can find different online platforms that offer an endless sea of different RP games you can plunge into when you want to escape reality for a while.
The main thing about playing these video games is that you don’t have to invest real money to obtain different items you need during your gameplay. Instead, you can often collect them as you progress in the game, and then trade them with certain characters for something else or for virtual currency.
We can say that RP games offer a satisfying experience of being a hero who overcomes various complex obstacles to defeat enemies and saves their world.
Massive Multiplayer Online Games
These forms of video games are quite another story compared to regular RP games. As the name perfectly describes them, massive multiplayer online games involve a large number of players from different parts of the world that participate in a single game as a part of one team/faction or one of the opposing ones. These games concepts usually involve creating a specific virtual world or civilization as a team and then defending it from your adversaries.
The “Air Warrior” MMO is a cornerstone in this gaming branch, and it represents a virtual Air Force battle simulation. This video game dates back to 1984, but it has seriously improved by adding 3D graphics later on.
The MMO games are highly compatible which means you can play them on a lot of devices that have an internet connection, whether they are a computer or a gaming console.
People first started playing these compelling video games on their PCs. Later on, MMO game developers made them compatible with various gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation as well.
One of the most popular and the most successful MMO games is certainly World of Warcraft, or widely known as WoW. This game gets from 8000 to 9000 new players each month, while the profit from this multiplayer game in the period between 2005 and 2009 was an incredible $2.2 billion. Moreover, at the peak of its glory, it had an amazing all-time peak of 10–11 million subscribers.
Although the widespread notion is that you play video games just for fun and that this is the main difference between gaming and gambling, this is not entirely true. Namely, in the world of MMO gaming, each game has its currency that players collect to exchange for various weapons or boosts they need in the game. However, the world of virtual currencies started overlapping with the world of real currencies. This interaction first took place between the players and the game developers. With the growing popularity of the MMO gaming market, this interaction moved to the next level and involved game developers and other companies who wanted their share of this profitable market as well.
This is how a new kind of gamers appeared — Gold Farmers. They are players who deliberately pile up large amounts of virtual currency they use in the game to sell it for real money to other people. These people are despised in the gaming community, and this term is considered to be an insult.
So there seem to be some similarities between gaming and gambling because people have started playing various MMO with a goal of earning some real money.
What Kind of Gambling Games You Can Play for Real Money
In the world of gambling, there is a clear division between various games you can put your money on. Whether you decide to gamble at an online casino or to play at a casino for real money in Las Vegas, you will come across the following game categories:
- Table games are all card games, with the addition of Roulette, Craps, and some other games that require a table for playing. However, the star casino classic that can bring loads of money to skillful players is poker. The most popular versions of this game are Texas Hold’em and Stud poker games. These games can be extremely profitable to the best poker players. Another gamblers’ favorite is Blackjack because the gameplay is simple, and if you apply perfect card counting strategy, you can end up winning generously.
- Slot machines are another casino gambling game people rush to because of promising progressive jackpots that can turn them into millionaires in a matter of minutes.
- Video Poker games are also attractive because they offer generous payouts, while their house edge is pretty low.
- People also like playing Specialty games because they offer Keno, which is a version of the more widespread Bingo game.
- Finally, if you are a sports fan and would like to turn your passion into profit, you can always try sports betting, where you can invest some money and bet on the outcome of certain sports events.
The Final Verdict
As you can see, there are different forms of gambling you can try investing your money in hopes of winning big. Nowadays, when the online gambling scene even offers you to play your favorite casino games from home, the number of gamblers has increased drastically. However, most casino goers don’t like when someone refers to their favorite pastime as gambling because it reminds them of the downsides like financial losses or gambling addiction. Ultimately, that’s why numerous people involved in the gambling business replaced the word gambling with the word gaming — a term which doesn’t carry a negative connotation.