Saturday, June 16, 2007

Can casual games industry draft behind poker?

Last month, I blogged about the Poker Players Alliance group that was trying to lobby for changes to gambling law to recognize games of skill as being just that, skill based, and therefore not under the umbrella of 'gambling'.

Today Kotaku points out that a resolution has been introduced into congress to tackle the subject.

The resolution can be found in full here.

Kotaku reads this as being relevant to MMO's, but it's clearly relevant to ALL games. The opening paragraphs of the bill reference Bridge and Mahjong, for example. Skill-gaming business models are currently a viable business model for casual games as well as core games like FPS games and the like. One of the reasons the model has been limited is that it's currently an 'arms length' business model, since many still see it as gambling.

Think about it. When you tell mom you are bringing home your new fiancee, and he/she is a professional poker player, what's mom's reaction? Now change that to professional chess player. You imagined a different reaction, no? Poker has come a long way in terms of public perception, though it still has some air of vice around it.

A societies laws reflect it's values, and vice versa, though generally the laws lag when the values change. If something like this were to become law, it merely reflects the fact that people are open to the idea of games of skill being something that can be an arena for fair competition.

I for one, look forward to watching ESPN's Celebrity Zuma Championship.

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