Markus Wiemker

Markus Wiemker studied Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology with the focus on Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Technology RWTH Aachen in Germany. He has been teaching Game Design and Game Studies at various schools and universities in Germany, Austria and Singapore and also developed Game Design curricula for institutions in Europe, Southeast Asia and West Africa. He is currently working as a professor in Game Design at the Hochschule Fresenius, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany.

The Interconnection between Games & Gambling

FROG 2023 – Talk

This paper seeks to discuss the similarities between (playing) analog & digital games and games of chance (“gambling”). For some researchers, gaming started with pre-religious practices like the prediction of the future through using knuckle bones and developed later into the spheres of the religious ritual, the playing of analog games, and different kinds of gambling activities like playing dice, cards, betting on horse races, lotteries, casinos, etc. But when and why were these three kinds of activities separated, which groups were interested in this divide and what were their motives? It also seems interesting to have a look at the different attitudes of society to gaming and gambling (e.g., “games support learning”, “gambling leads to addiction”), at how the two industries are structured and regulated differently and at the areas in which there are still connections. Furthermore, it will be discussed which kinds of gambling elements (e.g., randomizer, loot boxes, F2P reward systems and betting mechanics) are currently used in the digital game industry and how the society reacts to that.

Methods: historical discourse analyses and a comparative ethnographical approach


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