Roleplaying is a term which refers to the act of various people taking on the roles of characters, assuming their actions in a shared imaginary world either through assimilative actions, taking control of an avatar, or through verbal or literary descriptions. The result is an unscripted story being created, often in real time, with everyone participating to further the plot line.Many times a roleplaying session will have either a set time limit, or a set number of sessions, at the end of which the story comes to some sort of discernable conclusion. These are called closed roleplaying sessions, because they have a definite and defined ending point.The flip side of this is open ended roleplaying. This occurs when a world is allowed to persist continually, with players able to access it with their characters at will. One example of this would be the popular game “world of warcraft” which is available online, twenty four hours a day and seven days a week allowing for network time outs and technical glitches. Players can log on and further their own personal stories pretty much at will, which helps to slowly further the main story arc that the site is slowly pushing forward.One of the properties often found in open ended roleplaying sessions is that they involve entire worlds, rather than just one predefined location, like a dungeon. Having that much space to spread out allows the characters to embark on a seemingly endless number of wild adventures, which can twist and complicate the plot of the overall story arc in enumerable ways.It is also possible to use open ended roleplaying for table top exercises. The story merely does not have to end, and each session can build upon the one that came before it. The only problem is that if the story goes on for too long, the characters paths may divulge, making it difficult to keep up with what everyone is doing. Luckily the person running the game can then decide to either split the game into two boards, employing a second referee, or can simply guide the paths of the characters back, intertwining their lives around one another.Open ended roleplaying is just one option when engaging in communal storytelling. It provides the widest range of choices for characters, and allows the story the broadest berth. However it can also make it harder to maintain focus over time, and so is not for everyone who likes to play.
The very first online casino opened up in 1996 and is still around today. In fact, there are several casinos that opened up the first few years that gambling has been on the Internet (and hundreds since), making it one of the most successful online industries ever. But it was not always success and easy roads for the online casino industry, as you will soon see.Even before InterCasino opened their virtual doors in 1996, there was a ton of opposition. Lawmakers and anti-gambling groups lined up to take their pot shot at the upcoming online casino openings. But once the High Commission of Antigua and Barbuda in the West Indies passed the “Free Trade and Processing Zone Act”, the pieces were in place to make online casino history. They started the Division of Gaming to give out the first official jurisdictional licenses so that potential operators could now legally open up their online casinos. Since the US and other big countries refused to give out these licenses, this is a huge part of online casino history.Luckily since then, several other jurisdictions have started issuing licenses all over the world, including Canada, the UK and more. But that list stops short of the United States, which still steadfastly refuses to issue licenses.The first online casinos were met with a lot of skepticism, as sending information like credit cards, names and addresses over the internet was still met with a lot of suspicion. Online casinos were thought to be shady or run by the mob. Slow connections meant stalled programs and graphics and a lack of quality software providers in the fledgling industry meant a lot of stalled platforms.Enter CryptoLogic and Microgaming, two online casino history pioneers. CryptoLogic went out of their way to provide encryption technology to the online casinos, meaning that sensitive information like credit card numbers were now safe from hackers. Microgaming was one of the first and still one of the best software providers, making crisp graphics and realistic sound back when these things were still hard to come by online. Cable modems and DSL lines made it faster and more convenient to start downloading software, with less lag and connection problems.All that was left to do was to earn trust, which started happening in 1999. That was the year that Microgaming, in an effort to show the honesty of most online casinos, struck an agreement with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the most famous and honest accounting firms in the world. PWC agreed to start auditing the online casinos’ payout percentages, to prove that they did indeed payout large sums of money- in many cases, more than Las Vegas casinos.Because of all of these developments, the new millennium started the Golden Age for online casinos. The first IPO for online casino stock became available, more jurisdictions came online and the first Progressive Jackpots awarded millions to lucky customers. Business was booming.Soon after, Poker started to dominate the airwaves, and Poker Rooms, many affiliated with online casinos, became all the rage. With the boom in online Poker Room technology, the online casino industry took in billions in 2004, with profits expected to triple and maybe even quadruple by 2010.Unfortunately, there will continue to be much more to write about online casino history later. This is because the industry continues to have opposition in many camps, which shows no sign of stopping. People like Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona introduce bill after bill trying to shut down online casinos, make it illegal for US citizens to play at them, or at least ban US credit cards from being used to fund online casino gambling.Though none of these measures has ever passed, they continue to be introduced. With the surge in popularity lately, though, it does not seem like they will make much headway. Hopefully, this means that the next chapter of online casino history has more bright spots than legal ones.
Trust is one of mans key decision making criteria when meeting new people for the first time. I mean think about it. If you want to buy a house, select a new computer or even decide where to take your partner for dinner for that special occasion, what do you do? You ask someone for their advice. In the case of house you’ll ask lots of people from a range or agents or realtors to friends and family. And of course you are right to. It’s a big outlay. It also affects your life experience. If you select the wrong house you’ll be reminded every time you walk up to the front door.What about those more personal experiences like dinner with your partner? Get the wrong advice and consequently pick the wrong type of restaurant for a birthday or anniversary and you’ll have just wasted your money. No romantic end to the evening for you.Casino Genie, independent online casino aggregator, recently published a survey which had some quite surprising results. The bottom line is that online casinos are losing thousands of customers every day.Jon Hingston, Customer Satisfaction Manager at Casino Genie, says, “Our survey of 2,500 online gamblers from over 100 online casinos shows that players want a more personal service. And one the key criteria of that personalized service is trust. Players want honesty and integrity. Sure this will cost the casinos more to manage but the upside will out weigh those costs. The survey figures show that players stay with a casino 5 times longer when customer service meets their expectation. So given this information what we now need to understand is how we can help casinos deliver this and fun experience too.”.So why does trust matter so much. We talking about hardened gamblers who just want to win money right? No. Hingston tell us, “The bulk of players are new to gambling. And there is huge community of people who are put off by the complexity of the games, the language that we use is confusing and they feel out of their depth. If online casinos want to win advocates for life they need to be ‘your friend’. Behave like the friend at school who taught you the rules of baseball or English cricket without laughing at you. Then you can both enjoy the game more.”Of the 2,500 online casino players that Casino Genie surveyed just over 1,400 had been playing less than 12 months. Only 24% were loyal to one casino. Over 62% played at four or more casinos.Interestingly of those players who had been gambling for more than 12 months, there was still a huge amount of players playing at four casinos or more, 48%. Alarmingly for online casinos 78% of these cited poor customer service as a reason for their fickleness. Only 4% of players had found site which they were entirely loyal too. But here is the killer fact. Every one of those 100 people said that the reason they stuck with their casino was because of ‘superb customer service’. Makes you think doesn’t it. Why isn’t my casino like that?Not one of those 100 gamblers played at a ‘Top 20’ casino. The small casinos are acting smarter, reacting quicker and playing the boutique game to try and compete in this sector. And its starting to have an effect.So let’s get back to the trust issue. Another figure that came out of the survey. 82% of people asked said they would try a new online casino if recommended by a friend. 68% of people said that they would try a new online casino if it was ‘highly recommended’ by other players.So in summary, customer service and trust is what players want. The question is will the big casinos listen?