As we’ve moved into an era of the internet and interconnectedness, online and gaming and gambling have become popular and common forms of entertainment and leisure. They’ve made it easy to have fun without having to leave the house, in a way that nobody could’ve predicted before the invention of the internet.
The roots of the online gaming and gambling industries, however, can be traced all the way back to the early days of the internet – a time during which a few visionaries saw great potential for monetary transactions within the sphere of virtual interactions.
The whole concept of making money off people playing games and interacting online was entirely novel, but at the same time, it was incredibly intriguing and even more enticing.
We’re going to go back in time and trace the origins of online gaming and gambling and explore how both industries have absolutely boomed over the last few years.
The establishment of online gaming
Believe it or not, the origins of online gaming go as far back as the 1960s and ‘70s. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – the internet was only invented in the early ‘80s, so how could this be?
Well, in the early days, online gaming actually came to be when the first ever computer networks began to emerge, hence why it was possible for it to have been born before the internet took the world by storm.
Of course, it wasn’t really until the 1990s that online gaming really started to gain some traction. Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) were among the first online gaming experiences, and they were text-based multiplayers games. Although they were simple – and quite boring by today’s standards – these games laid the foundation for more sophisticated graphical online games.
One of the biggest milestones in this journey, however, came in 1991 when Neverwinter Nights was released – one of the very first graphical MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayers Online Roleplaying Games). Neverwinter Nights allowed players to create and control their own characters in a virtual world.
Now, online gambling started to gain popularity in the mid-1990s when the first ever online casino was established in ’94. It was established by a software development company, Microgaming, and for the first time ever, it allowed players to place bets and enjoy casino games without having to leave their homes. At the time, the concept was absolutely revolutionary, and it caught the attention of software developers across the industry.
Online gaming gains popularity
As the world approached the turn of the millennium, online gaming and gambling skyrocketed in popularity, with a plethora of new pokies and other games being released and loads of people starting to play them.
This rapid growth has been attributed to many factors, but there are five main reasons why online gaming gained so much attention and success at this time.
Over time, computer graphics have become more sophisticated and internet speeds have improved dramatically, allowing online gaming to become not only more visually appealing, but far more immersive too.
In addition, these technological advancements have also made it easier for online casinos to offer a wider range of games that boast realistic gameplay and graphics, making them far more appealing than before.
2.Marketing and promotion
Not only have games gotten better, but there’s been significantly more marketing and promotion, enticing players with the possibility of participating in tournaments, as well as rewards programs and bonuses.
The use of aggressive marketing has helped the industry to attract (and retain) a large user base.
As technology has progressed, namely things like the advent of broadband internet and the proliferation of personal computers, suddenly, more people had access to online gaming and gambling platforms.
In addition, the increase in the use of mobile devices (and the devices’ ability to run games and gambling programs) brought these things to a far wider audience than before, enabling gaming and gambling on the go – a brand new concept at the time.
Online gaming platforms introduced features such as multiplayer modes and chatrooms, which suddenly allowed for socializing. Thus, players began feeling as though they were part of a community, and they were able to play with friends (or make new friends) around the world.
5.Changes in regulations
When laws and regulations were introduced to the industry, it actually had a positive impact. It fostered a sense of trust and provided the industry with some legitimacy – thus, more people were willing to get involved.