Madden Archives

Video Game Gambling: The New Frontier

We at the Deuce love gambling and we love video games, so what better than to combine the two for a brand new addiction? Yes, its video game betting. Two web sites are now online to give you the excitement of betting on the outcome of an event, like sports betting, and allowing you to impact the outcome of said bet with your own skills and no house advantage, sorta like poker.

World Gaming and BringIt are both online now and will let you set up a match with another gamer on certain Xbox 360 or PS3 (BringIt also allows Wii, PS2) games, put a wager down if you wish, play for that money and the winner will take it all…for a small fee (rake) of course.

What a genius idea. The best part about it is, it’s not even technically illegal as this is not a game of chance, it is a skill game, and therefore not considered gambling, its betting. You see, its a totally separate thing there. Anyways…

World Gaming
, to me, appears to have a better system set up compared to BringIt, allowing only games where the outcomes can be verified automatically from the video game system itself. In these games, you use your Gamertag or whatever the hell PS3 people use to identify themselves when you play your game and World Gaming’s computer system can automatically identify and verify the results of the game, thus ensuring the proper payout to the winner. The games it allows this “service” for are: on Xbox 360 you can challenge people in Halo 3, Madden 09, FIFA 09, NHL 09, NCAA Football 09 and on the PS3 you can play people in Fight Night Round 3, Madden 09, Fifa 09, Resistance: Fall of Man, MotorStorm 2 (tournaments only), NHL 09, NCAA Football 09 and MLB 09: The Show.

But, BringIt allows gamers to go 2 routes to verifying game outcomes. There are the games, such as above, which their system can automatically verify the winner, or if you’re playing in games that don’t, there will be sort of an “honor” system…which when money is involved, I have to think will fall apart quickly. In this honor system, both gamers have to say who won. No way this works for reals, but it does allow for more games and systems to be played with (all the above games are included plus tons more). More inclusive than World Gaming, but with way more problems that can be attached to it.

Online poker was a HUGE boon to the poker industry when it rose up in the early 2000s, now, at the tail end of the decade, one has to wonder if a similar event is about to occur. This could be the beginning of a whole new frontier in video gaming, blowing up the scene like what happened in the poker world before it. Video game tournaments, like poker tournaments did, already existed for the best of the best to compete against each other for substantial sums of money. This was generally only for the pro’s pros before online poker companies started sending their winners to the World Series, launching the game into unprecedented popularity. Now, just like when Internet poker blew up, the everyman has a chance to compete for cash right on his couch, away from the intimidating scene of a large tournament, while improving their skills during the all-American pursuit of the dollar.

Video games already have a huge installed base, as the industry as a whole makes more money than even the motion picture industry. If more and more people start playing for money, it will only be a matter of time before people other than the top gamers stop seeing video games as just a hobby and more like a possible career.

Some people are going to be banking some serious cash through these sites when they explode. I just wish this was out when I was still in college…I coulda paid off my future self’s law school debts with the money i won from kickin people’s asses in Madden on this site. Why does all the cool stuff come out when I don’t have time to use it?

Kenny Bell Needs Your Help

We’ve all seen or played Madden ’08 and marveled at the life-like moves of Reggie Bush and Chad Johnson in fully rendered CGI glory. A lot of those moves we watch and are astounded by were all provided by one man, Kenny Bell…and believe it or not, he has never even been invited to an NFL training camp.

Kenny Bell is a 5’9 wide receiver who can run a 4.33/40 with a 39 inch vertical and played collegiate football at Hofstra (where Wayne Chebret is from) after the University of Washington went under NCAA sanctions and his scholarship was revoked, but he has yet to get a shot at the big-time. The closest Kenny’s gotten to the pro’s is 989 Sports’ football video games and the Madden series.

The OC register interviewed the poor guy and he had this to say:

“I kept on thinking, ‘Any day now, I’ll get a chance to prove what I know I can do,’”

Kenny Bell graduated in 2002, has made a DVD of himself catching passes from Josh Booty and has a letter of recommendation from Jeff Garcia that states “He has shown me the talent and the skill to play on the professional level.” The horrible thing is this poor guy still carries around both wherever he goes, just on the off chance that someone…anyone…will give him a shot with a professional football team. Just a tryout, a practice, something to show a professional scout what he can do.

Its really kinda sad. There’s gotta be some team out there that can give this kid a tryout. He’s got the speed and the vertical, someone could see something in him, or at least tell him what he doesn’t have to make it into the pros. The guy is stuck in limbo, wondering if he’ll ever just get one chance to prove he can or cannot make it as a professional football player.

I wonder, if anyone give this guy a chance or has time, bad-timing, and extraordinarily bad luck has conspired to ruin all of Kenny Bell’s dreams. One thing is for sure, he will be immortalized forever in those Madden games. Every time i see a receiver stretch to grab a ball or get the hell knocked out of him so bad that he goes down in one of those helicopter blade spinning hits…I will remember that the guy that took that hit was Kenny Bell.

From The OC Register

Sports MMOG’s: The Next Big Thing?

In the realm of the interactive sports experience there are many options a fan can choose to feel more immersed in a sport or league that they are not actually a part of. There are fantasy sports full of keeper leagues and auction based player selection, all of which allows a fan to “own” their team and guide it to victory in their leagues. The leagues themselves are fun and allow for a lot of social interaction between members with drafting, trading, smack talking, etc, taking place even when its the off-season.

In video games, you have team manager simulation software which allow you to play GM and team owner doing all the necessary things behind the scenes to allow your team success on the field. For those who actually like to play the game, like in the wildly popular Madden series, there is the franchise mode (adding a team manager simulation to actual game play), the superstar mode (allowing a player to control and guide an athlete throughout his playing career, even importing players from the college video game) and even a life simulation game unto itself with the NBA Ballers world of playing the game to accumulate as much stuff as possible. There is even a social aspect to the games with video game leagues, tournaments and online game play growing larger and larger amongst gamers.

It is obvious that sports fans like the interactivity of playing owner, general manager, coach, and/or the players themselves in a variety of formats as well as the enjoyment of the social interaction between other sports fans who participate in the same activities. If anything, look at the sports blogging community for further proof of the latter point.

So after all this comes my question…when is the sports MMOG going to become a reality and if its done correctly, will it be the next big thing in sports fan/gamer community?

The massive success of the World of Warcraft MMORPG has spawned millions copycats, it is only a matter of time before someone sees how much money is being spent and made on fantasy sports, sports video games, and even sports blogging and sees the massive potential for the sports MMOG.

In poking around on the internet, I found there are a few companies who are vying to be the first to successfully market this idea. Before I continue though, you should know I’ve never actually played Warcraft or Second Life or any MMOG so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

  • Football Superstars: A soccer MMOG which allows its players to create a soccer player, control that player from his perspective, start out training and playing soccer with friends in a park and eventually become good enough to play professionally, earning money “with which you could buy the best that life can offer. Lead the life of a football superstar in a Utopian world…”.

    Basically, instead of experience points you earn money, instead of those guilds of online warriors, the players form teams. So this is more of a “Warcraftian” approach at the sports MMOG, only without the missions and tasks I would assume. Seems kind of limited, but for those who cannot play soccer in real life, I guess it could be fun. Kinda like you could go outside and have a real life, but instead you play the Sims.

  • Football Manager Live: Taking the popular Football Manager series and turning it into a MMOG. It seems to be a mix of the original Football Manager game, fantasy sports, and auction leagues all in one. You start a club from scratch, set-up mini-leagues, bid in player auctions and compete in live matches while controlling the tactics of games in real time, balancing finances, customizing your club and stadium and buying and selling players, auction style.

    This seems to be a different approach to the MMOG. Looks to be more like a fake fantasy league, which can be fun, but ultimately appears to be missing the point of the MMOG.

  • Empire of Sports: Finally, not a soccer MMOG. This game encompasses the entire world of sports. You create your character and develop their skills playing in a variety of games including basketball, tennis, skiing and a series of gym and fitness games, with more to be added. They make a point of saying these are not mini-games, but fully interactive and simulated versions of these sporting events. You then can travel around to a bunch of different “city centers” with facilities and services to help develop your character’s athletic talents.

    This game seems to be more of a Second Life/Sims way of going about things, in that it is more of a social experience but still has its own way of providing a “leveling up” experience. You don’t seem to be a part of any team here, just one person going about the business of becoming very good in the virtual world of sport. They don’t make reference to any sort of money or anything, so I wonder what you can do other than develop your character’s body by playing games and get good at them, all while meeting and talking to people online. Seems like it needs to be a bit more massive to be a MMOG.

  • Shot Online: A golf MMOG. You develop your golfing character to become a golf pro. If you practice every day and compete against players with different skills your character can to “level-up” their abilities. There are team matches to get money, tournaments, the ability to just purchase in game money, realistic and rare items to find and purchase in their mall, clothes to purchase, quests (to get those items I presume) and item exchanging with other gamers in the virtual world.

    All in all, this one seems to be the most complete MMOG out there…probably b/c its one of the few that is actually active. It has all the basic components of any MMOG out there. Seems like it wouldn’t be bad if the golfing was actually good…which I have no idea b/c I didn’t download it.

  • Ultimate Baseball Online: A baseball MMOG which allows a player to build their own character or become part of the community by creating teams, joining leagues, playing in tournaments, becoming a reporter(?), or managing the game as a GM (Game Master). If create your own team you make a team name, hometown, team motto, and preferred game times so that players can see what your team is all about. Then, you must recruit players (other gamers in the virtual world) and improving your team page with a team logo and news for people to read. Once the team is done, you can join a league for league play and play against people of similar skill levels. You can also develop your player’s skills through practice, pick up games, and joining a team and playing in league games.

    My first impressions are that this doesn’t seem as involved as the golf game and appears to be more like an online version of any baseball game you can play on an Xbox or PS3 only with a bit more control over things. Far less social as well I would think.

That’s all I could find, anyone else have any out there (text-based games excluded)? Is anyone going to come out with a football or basketball game out there that would take over the market? We have many successful versions of the parts of what goes into a successful MMOG, but will someone put them all together for a genre changing sports MMOG? If the Warcraft, fantasy sports and sports video game market is any indication, surely the interest is there…its only a matter of time. Better yet, when it does happen…who will be the sports MMOG Leroy Jenkins (see below)?

The Constitutional Vol. 11

Before we get to our dump, just like to say that we’re also a part of the hopefully soon to be infamous Epic Carnival here in the blogosphere. Of course everyone and their mother is a part of it, so there will be no shortage of good reading constantly on it. Luckily, this won’t affect the Deuce at all posting-wise, we’ll keep doing our thing, contributing to the Carnival as we can, like we did here with Urban Mushing. We’ll also be contributing elsewhere as well, look around for us popping up on other sites in the future. That being said…Welcome to the Constitutional.