Metaverse = Casino? Gambling, Gaming, Tokens and NFTs on the Web3

Photo by Cleyton Ewerton on Unsplash

They say that Las Vegas Casinos do not have clocks or windows and that they require minimal effort to gamble and that there is almost no friction or discomfort to sit down, play and take no notice of the time… Time passes without having a notion of what is happening and: What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas! they say they say…

The aim of the Casino is to propose a space that seeks to generate money for the owners (who have the house edge) and the patrons or clientele through gambling. This is designed for people to keep playing non-stop if possible. This process is characterized by increasing efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control through the replacement of human with non-human technology (George Ritzer & Todd Stillman, 2003). They say that the casino works because it is the concrete answer to the precise human impulses to play and have fun + bet + risk, through a social place of leisure and comfort.

What are the main characteristics of the traditional casino?

  1. A designed, spacious and pleasant space to encourage play and please the five senses.
  2. Regulated activity with limited stakes — Players cannot win more than the casino can pay.
  3. Tokens that have a specific economic value by themselves and tokens that do not have a value in themselves, but rather represent something. The first group includes the casino chips and the second group the gambling machine chips.
  4. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with peak operation at night.
  5. Objective: play to earn. It also has entertainment and distractions.
  6. It can be addictive. Full of incentives to gamble.
  7. The house always wins.

Why is real money exchanged for substitute money (tokens) in casinos?

- Convenience for the house: easy to count and arrange at the tables.

- Gambler comfort: play more freely without friction.

- Security for the casino: it reduces the risk of fraud and/or counterfeiting.

- Cultural tradition: it is an integral part of the experience of the last century.

What are the main features of the actual Metaverse?

  1. Technologically decentralized, designed, hyperlinked and almost infinite virtual space for audiovisual indulgence.
  2. Activity not regulated by law (for now).
  3. Cryptocurrencies instead of fiat currency.
  4. Tokens that have a specific economic value by themselves and those that do not have a value in itself, but rather represent something.
  5. Open 24/7/365.
  6. Play to earn logic.
  7. Still to discover who is the house and who has the house edge.

Why is real money exchanged for substitute money (tokens) in the Metaverse?

- Financing for creators, payment for miners, opportunities for buyers.

- Comfort for the players: play more freely, without friction.

- Security for the play area (playground): it reduces the risk of fraud and or falsification.

- Cultural tradition of online games before cryptocurrencies.

There is also the numismatics or hobby of collecting casino chips (tokens). These can multiply their “intrinsic” value by thousands of times according to their particularities. The hobby of having strange or unique things seems to be part of those mysterious human impulses that lead us to play to earn. Those virtual “oddities” today are called NFTs.

So, according to these forced comparisons does the new “virtual physical space” (Metaverse) have characteristics that make it seem like a casino (a kind of false Matrix that is the reality created by the machines from which it is necessary to free oneself) or does it more like the true hidden virtual reality you have to choose and discover? Is the Metaverse flattening the world? If the Matrix machines have created a simulated reality that is confused with the real one who has created the Real Reality (RR) that is confused with the false one?

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