Recently there’s been a lot of talk about whether loot boxes and other forms of microtransactions in video games are a form of gambling. Wherever you come down on this issue, the presence of gambling in popular video games is definitely not a new one.
Increased gamification of online casinos, such as with leaderboards and daily challenges at many of the most popular sites, is quite a new reflection of how video and casino games can overlap. For other indications of how gambling implicitly and explicitly makes video games more enjoyable, look no further than some of the world’s favourite video games.
Tropico 4 & Tropico 5
Problem gambling is an issue that we can’t ignore, and these games are the only ones on the list that incorporate it directly. You can set El Presidente, the protagonist, to have a compulsive gambling trait. If this is part of the character’s DNA, they are prone to take off, gamble with the treasury’s money, and land the country in seriously hot water. Wins can boost the economy, though – although they might also be siphoned directly into an offshore account! Working with gambling addiction as a feature is novel and adds something more to the game; all we can say is that if you win one of our jackpots, be sure to behave more responsibly than El Presidente!
Fallout New Vegas
Set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, this game shows Sin City as you’ve never seen it before. You can play slots, Roulette and Blackjack at any of the 6 casinos in the game. That’s all that is left in the barren wasteland that was once made of bright lights and huge wins.
One of the twists is that unlike the leading online casinos, the game’s casinos are not always completely above-board and honest; so you really need to stay on your toes. You don’t want to get swindled or become the victim of straight-up thievery, after all. The graphics in this game are exceptional, and you’ll feel like you really are in a new-world Las Vegas.
The Witcher 3
One of the best-crafted and most popular games of 2015, The Witcher 3 is still relevant now thanks to its intriguingly complex storylines, narrative arc and gameplay. Today it has more fans than ever, based all around the world.
A card game called Gwent has an important role in The Witcher 3. Players can enjoy it as they pass the time between slaying monsters, and it’s also key when they’re moving between areas in the game’s world. A mini-challenge in The Witcher 3 is to build a strong deck by collecting cards over time. This makes playing games with the cards better, something Poker fans will definitely appreciate, and makes it easier to move around within
Grand Theft Auto
There are many casinos featured in the Grand Theft Auto games, and they’re often parodies of real-life establishments, which adds a little cheeky humour to things. In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, for example, Caligula’s Palace is a clear play on Caesar’s Palace; Caligula was also a ruler of Ancient Rome. Not every casino in the game is accessible, but there are several that you can play at. All of them, even those that can’t be entered, have elaborate backstories and may allow partial access such as to a suite, adding more depth to the well-developed Grand Theft Auto world.
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption is brought to you by Rockstar Games, the same talent that is behind Grand Theft Auto. The game centres heavily on casino games, making it the perfect way to round up our tip of the iceberg list of popular video games that feature gambling.
The game is set in an American frontier town, and Red Dead Redemption players have the opportunity to sit down for a few rounds of Texas Hold’em Poker, and can try to bluff and cheat as players in the saloons of the Wild West often did.
If cheating players are caught, they can be challenged to a fight to the death, or can be taunted in other ways. The rough-and-ready game of Liar’s Dice is also featured, and makes Red Dead Redemption more gritty and enjoyable. You’ll have a lot of fun, but will also be glad games don’t go down like this any more!