For our entire lives, different types of games were contained in nice neat little worlds of their own. Professional athletics were professional athletics. Gambling games were gambling games. Video games were video games.
Casumo, the Olympics, and the Future of Sport/Video Game Hybrids
Today, with the advent of digital gaming sources like Casumo, these distinctions are all starting to break down. Esports are going to be in the 2022 Olympics, to the shock, amazement, and sometimes anger of people all around the world. Major sporting institutions are investing big money in competitive video game leagues. Digital recreations of professional sports are continuing to become more sophisticated, lifelike, and immersive, especially as they are coming out on virtual reality systems.
All of this is starting a debate about what a sport even is. Is Chess a sport because it has an Olympic bid. Is Call of Duty a sport just because their leagues built around it (own of which is owned by Rick Fox) and people are starting to watch it on TV? Is poker a sport just because the best players have intense workout regimens to help them endure games that stretch out into long hours?
Whether we like it or not (and plenty of sports fans don’t), the line between sports and video games is becoming increasingly blurry. It’s only a matter of time before people watch digital sports games without even thinking about the fact that they’re “not really real”. People are already doing this today. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream.
There are many reasons why this might be the case. This is all speculation, mind you, but we really might see events like this in the near future.
Imagine allowing professional football players to play in virtual reality. There wouldn’t be the risk of injury, the huge stadium costs, and the usual kind of marketing and media dollars spent to make it all work together.
Imagine being able to play 1 on 1 basketball with a person on the other side of the world. This will be one of the outcomes of the growing telepresence industry.
Imagine being able to walk into a digital casino, complete with live dealers and all the games you could ask for, without leaving your home. We have early versions of this with Casumo, but it’s only a matter of time before systems like these make the experience complete.
It’s easy to see how, if one of these imaginary scenarios becomes a reality, the ripples of it will affect all corners of the sporting world. There are many fans out there who resent the change that this brings to the “purity” of their game of choice. Whether this is right or wrong, certain changes from digital technology are going to sports.
Hopefully, this will expand the viewing opportunities, playing choices for professionals and non-professionals, and new skills learned in all the world’s great sports. This may not become mainstream for awhile to come, but in the meantime, look for the beginnings of this new reality start to pop up in the fringes of the sport you love most.