What we call a ‘casino’ today has been around for at least three hundred years. Exclusive gambling houses, in general, have existed much longer than that, even thousands of years ago. But in this long period of time, gambling houses have evolved very little. In fact, the last new feature, slot machines, became popular only in the 20th century. Its biggest leap was comparatively recent: online gambling. Casinos now have a strong tie with modern technology. Its games and rules may not change much, but it is moving at the same pace as current tech: on to the world of Virtual Reality.
What Is Virtual Reality, and Why Is It a Big Deal?
Virtual reality, VR in short, has a self-explanatory name. It recreates reality. To be more specific, VR simulates a digital 3D space. But 3D animations, movies, and games are already commonplace, isn’t it? True. However, what VR adds to the table is perspective. When you watch movies or play games, they may be artificial 3D rendering, but they are on a flat-screen. Therefore, your vision becomes framed by a rectangle. But there is no such edge in real life to limit your vision. And this is where VR takes the next step: it puts you directly in the artificial 3D space.
In the past five years, VR has made some major strides. True enough, VR games are not currently a mainstream market. But the very idea of VR itself is the hallmark of progress and futuristic tech. Take, for example, the iconic video game franchise Half-Life. Released in 1992, Half-Life set up Valve, the developers, for lifetime prestige and adulation in the gaming world stage. In 2004, its sequel doubled as a tech demo for rapidly advancing game design and next-generation tech. But after 15 long years, the fabled third installment – Half-Life: Alyx – is a VR-only game. Realistically, only a minuscule amount of Half-Life fans have a VR headgear today. But despite all that, the overwhelmingly positive reception proves that VR is indeed the ultimate breakthrough of the current generation.
How Is VR Going to Affect Online Casinos?
The meat of casinos is the games. You go to the casino to play poker, to spin a few rounds on the slot machine, to enjoy the roulettes and the blackjack tables. So it is easy to see that they all translate well to online gaming. Consequently, online casinos blew up even when the public internet was still not all that common.
So what is the need for a VR casino? Well, for starters, consider this: you go to a casino for the games. But you also go to a casino because it is a nice place to hang out with friends. You go to a casino because you like the ambiance. Online casino gaming, to be sure, offers you the convenience of playing poker tournaments from home. But they mostly can’t give you these secondary yet important plus points of a casino.
The very goal of Virtual Reality is to give you a completely immersive experience. With VR, you will not be playing a flat deck but a lifelike table in a lifelike casino. The biggest draw is, of course, the social features. A full-fledged VR casino experience will include a lounge for you to perambulate and soak in Vegas skylines. With the advancement of input methods, it might even be possible to shuffle decks or hold your virtual fan of cards as you would in real life. As live dealers and services already exist, these social features can finally realize their full potential on a VR-enabled online casino.
In fact, the greater boon is not realism but the possibilities beyond it. Sure, it would be possible to replicate a landmark casino like Binion’s into a VR world. But the real deal is the prospect of playing in places you cannot reach in real-life – medieval taverns, fantasy settings, and even playing cards on Mars.
These gambling platforms could be integrated into a greater VR experience to truly deliver something entirely new. With such prospects, VR will not just be a substitute for real casinos, but something with its own unique features. It might also help bring slot games back in popularity since it has fallen out of favour with the new budding generation.
Virtual Reality would have been a pipe dream ages ago. But today, that dream is reality. Games like VR Pokerstars already showcase its strong suits. In fact, you can purchase a VR headgear, hook it in, and drop into a VR casino experience today if you are so inclined. That said, Pokerstars is but a taste of what the future holds. The glory days of VR-enabled online gambling are ahead of us.