What can online casinos teach us about adaptable media
As we enter the age of AR and VR, we’re willing to bet that this industry will be one of the first with boots on the ground.
As we enter the age of 5G, it’s easy to forget the often painfully slow and ugly path we took to get here. From the screaming dial-up of our old modems to the hilariously limited browsers of early phones, our struggles up until this point are easy to forget.
So how do we best recount our evolution in a way in which we can all understand? One of the best ways is to look at an industry which evolved alongside the internet age and its relatable technology at every single step.
In this case, we want to take a look at one of the longest standing enterprises in the online sphere, online casinos, to take a look at how it adapted at each step of the way, and how it made the best of each level of available technology.
The most obvious and popular choice when it comes to online connectivity, and with good reasons. These were originally the only real choice, with early browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer bringing home tiny websites and low-res images at a speed which we would find simply unacceptable today.
It might seem trite now, but the connectivity which even these limited technologies offered at the time was nothing short of a revelation. Games were a huge part of this, with the internet able to bring fresh experiences to our homes without the need to visit a physical retailer. The issue here was that the limited connection speed meant that any large games were a nightmare to manage and download, and thus it favored smaller experiences.
This is where browser games game in. Smaller games, attached to web-pages, these were the perfect fit for this new media, and online casinos were some of the first to jump at this opportunity. Not only did this allow these casinos to bring a whole host of classic experiences with which many of us were familiar straight into our homes, but they also had the legitimacy of real casinos and the rewards which that could entail.
Since that point, internet casinos have kept lock-step with every new generation. From the necessarily simple games of the early generations came more advanced games like slots which covered a wide range of themes. These took advantage of greater bandwidth and graphical capabilities, making the leap from an approximation of physical casinos into a form which, in many ways, offered that which the traditional never could.
This adaption is something we still see today, as even the newest desktop technology like VR has seen some adoption with online casino games, with more undoubtedly to come in the future.
The first games on pre-smart mobile phones were so limited that they offered little more than snake and pong adaptations. Not to say that these were bad – not at all – but looking back at this era it’s shocking to see just how far we have come.
As the era of smartphones entered the world following the turn of the new millennium, the possibilities opened up, but many were still hesitant to test the depths. While many industries are happy to follow trends, having the boldness to themselves forge a path is often not in their DNA.
Having learned their lesson from the early adoption of desktop computers, the online casino industry was not so hesitant. As with computers, these started off simple through sheer necessity, improving over time to what we have today. Nowadays, mobile casino games, just like many web pages, often offer a slightly different version to better adapt to the changing display and input types, and that’s just the start.
Mobile casinos also jumped into the app market, offering dedicated programs and a variety of mobile casino games like slots and jackpots in an experience which better took advantage of mobile resources, and cut down on overhead.
Tablet computers had long been a staple of sci-fi before they entered the world of reality, but their possible ubiquity was still vastly underestimated. Following much the same trajectory as mobile casinos, owing to similar infrastructure and operating systems, tablets started with fewer limitations than their mobile and desktop cousins.
This meant that when developments like online casinos came about, they were poised to make a much more impressive entry. Again, as with mobile phones, this showed the viability of the platform, and again it showed just how adaptable many games were to systems whose input capabilities were traditionally derided, at least with a little work.
The Next Step
Given what we have seen, it is safe to say that whatever the next big step in internet connectivity might be, the online casino industry will be one of the first out of the gate. Long-time operators in the mobile market – which is only just now seeing interest from the likes of gaming industry giant EA – one of the first into the desktop online scene, and demonstrators of what tablet had to offer, these guys aren’t content to rest on their laurels.
As we enter the age of AR and VR, we’re willing to bet that this industry will be one of the first with boots on the ground, and at the very least, we’re excited to see where this could lead the software industry as a whole.
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