Playing poker in Red Dead Redemption
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The Casino Gaming Paradox

You may have been at high school age when consoles such as the Xbox 360 made its way into the hearts of mainstream audiences the world over. Back then, however, the likes of Pokémon and Mario could often lead to some serious name-calling in the playground. Let’s face it: Mario and co weren’t exactly associated with anything that could be considered “cool”. Unfortunately, the “nerd” tag still applies to adults enjoying video games, seeing as many believe they’re nothing more than entertainment for children. But why is it that that same tag doesn’t apply to casino games?

The Casino Gaming Paradox

The paradox is that gaming, or gambling for money, at a casino online is totally acceptable for adults. But when adults play for fun on a PC or console, it is frowned upon and considered childish. Here’s why: when it comes to casino games, there’s an appeal that draws the attention of adults in a way that is less attractive to children. That appeal is the opportunity to profit. Children don’t have bills to pay and are happy to simply live out the fantasy that console games provide. Adults, on the other hand, are looking for that next windfall from their favourite slot. But is it just money or do they actually enjoy these games?  There’s another argument here for why adults flock to casino games while avoiding anything that can be played on a console. The fact that they can play for money means that they have an excuse to play these games that’s justifiable to their peers.

Nintendo to Blame?

Nintendo, in particular, is often viewed as a company that produces games designed specifically for children, despite the fact that they also enjoy a dedicated adult following. The introduction of the Wii helped change that image to a degree, thanks to games that simulated adult activities, such as tennis and general fitness. But the image hasn’t changed completely.

The Casino Gaming Paradox

Regardless of image, however, the fact is that high net-worth individuals, students, professionals, law practitioners, athletes, policymakers, homemakers, and entrepreneurs enjoy video gaming. These are people with many responsibilities, and some have significant influence. There are also those who have built full-time careers in the video gaming industry. Whether it’s developing the next Fortnite or beta testing, there are many roles within the industry that appeal to young gamers looking to turn their passions into careers. And then there’s esports, of course- a global market expected to be worth $1.9 billion in 2022, according to market research agency Ovum. So, when it comes to numbers, at least, gaming is clearly a big boy’s league.

From Consoles to Slots

Another Pokemon slot machine

While some casino games, such as blackjack and poker, clearly belong in the realm of adults, others are more akin to the kinds of games you can find on consoles. There are many instances of games enjoyed on a console that have been turned into slot form, such as Street Fighter and Tomb Raider, and there’s no ridicule involved for those who enjoy playing such slots. Of course, as mentioned, it’s the fact that children aren’t allowed to play slots and that money is at stake that makes casino games more acceptable for adults to play. And, after all, should someone win on the slots, their friends will want to remain on the winner’s good side, as there are some pretty tasty windfalls to be had.

CJ in a casino in GTA San Andreas

Of course, many who make fun of gamers spend their time on activities no more strenuous, such as watching television or playing on their phones. But these activities are less associated with childhood. But why should someone “grow out of” something they enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with staying young and having a perchance for nostalgia. Everyone needs to find their own way to unplug, relax, or decompress at some point, even if it’s only five minutes here and there.

Written by Dorothy Jones