Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Put up or shut up

Not a great photo, admittedly, but my cameraphone can't deal with the curvature of the Tube. I spent a long time on the London Underground today, and these ads are everywhere, for online gaming site PartyPoker.com. In case you can't make it out, it reads, "Got a bad poker face? Doesn't matter, play online." Message: it's an anonymous, non-social activity.

I've written on this before, but I think this is exactly the wrong message to be sending. Beyond the monetary aspect, the "glamor" of the casino (at least as portrayed in myriad films) is in styling and profiling, and engaging in the drama around the table (even though this seldom seems to be the case in reality). But anyway, we're talking about online gambling and fantasy, so why not feed the delusions of the players, with audio/video, or visual/voice avatars? Why this industry isn't taking note of what's happening in the real online gaming phenomenon is beyond me.

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