Posts tagged with "card games"

By Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE

Vintage Colors – Outfit Your Website in Modern Retro

The phrase ‘modern retro’ might sound like an oxymoron but it’s just an easy way of describing something that has crept its way back into fashion, even if it died in ignominy many decades ago. It’s the kind of trend that causes coffee shops to blend pop art with vintage furnishings or hospital green appliances with white subway tiles. It’s a collision, in other words, often of two or more disparate design decades.

While it’s easy to expect this kind of trend to crop up in interior design circles, websites began experimenting with modern retro around the same time that millennials started to forget about the days they spent living in the 80s and 90s; that is, about five years ago. The difficulty inherent in this style of work is melding classic colors and imagery without compromising the usability of the website.

70s, 80s, and 90s

But what did these decades look like? The 90s were bright, chaotic, and kitschy, encapsulated by the ‘jazz’ cup design created by Gina Ekiss. The previous decade, the 80s, was more about neons, burnished metals, and pinks and blues. Lastly, the 70s liked its oranges and browns and large repeating patterns. Oddly enough, our experiments with decade-spanning trends seemed to end around the turn of the millennium.

However, one of the design fascinations that never seems to go away involves space, futurism, and technology. For instance, the website of AI-based energy company Nesh has domed habitats flanking its namesake smart assistant, while Genesis Casino features astronauts, planets, and satellites. The latter is one of the more technology-forward sites too; it’s a paysafecard online casino and accepts Apple Pay. This shows the broad adoption of this style.

Contributors to website awards site Awwwards point to the Soviet Design page as a good example of 90s stylings. One of the best places to look for website inspiration with 80s leanings, though, is not a website at all. Artistic movements like vaporwave and future funk have the Blade Runner decade pinned down to its most basic elements. Large and loud typefaces are the key to creating a site with a convincing 70s vibe.

Simplicity

An important point to remember is that the further back in time you plan to go, the less complicated your design needs to be. Marketing materials made in the 70s, for instance, are unlikely to have been in a digital format, which restricts their complexity to whatever a printing press could handle at the time. The reverse, an overabundance of options, is perhaps why the 90s were so chaotic.

Ironically, one of the few design schemes to hit the mainstream in the 2010s was simple almost to a fault. Flat design, which was arguably pioneered by Microsoft in its Windows 8 operating system, stripped the outlines and details away and replaced them with ‘flat’ colors. This style often makes use of long shadows and has been central to the design philosophy of Google and Apple too.

Modern retro allows companies to leverage nostalgia and a love for all things vintage to capture customers’ collective hearts.

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Are Online Casinos Dominating the Gambling Industry in 2021?

Having the opportunity to do multiple tasks “on the go” is considered a groundbreaking technological advancement as well as one of our generation’s greatest privileges. From making video calls while traveling on the train to online wagering and earning a massive fortune, the virtual reality has already conquered our world. Speaking of massive fortune, by the way, Wildz Casino NZ can get you in a winning streak in no time. By grabbing the generous bonuses that they offer in addition to the 200 free spins on the table, even luck itself wouldn’t bet against you.

But why should you take advantage of iGaming when you can walk right into your familiar casino on the corner?! Sure, you can save yourself the trip, but is that reason enough? No doubt your doctor recommends a little bit of daily walking and exercise, but online betting offers some great benefits and you shouldn’t rule it out just yet.

In this article, we will examine how the increasing popularity of online casinos has changed the gambling industry, how it all started, and what are the pro and cons of virtual betting.

The Beginning of Online Gambling

Betting from the comfort of your sofa has improved quite a lot since the launch of the first online gambling website back in the 90s. This innovative industry took its first steps in Antigua and Barbuda where the Free Trade and Processing Act allowed for up-and-coming businesses to get the necessary licenses thus marking the beginning of virtual wagering in all history books.

Microgaming, the most prominent software provider at the time, is known for completely transforming the way we gamble and serving as the founding father of internet betting. Moreover, Microgaming has kept their esteemed place within the ever-changing industry and has managed to remain more than relevant by constantly improving their software so that all types of online gambling games are supported.

By the year 1997 the internet was crawling with more than 200 online betting websites, including internet poker games and sports wagering. All seemed to be going great for the industry until the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act was enacted which threw all online casinos into frenzy. Depositing and withdrawing funds was now illegal and the USA was no longer a welcoming territory for developing iGaming activities so most gambling companies took their business elsewhere.

Things were put on hold for the gambling industry for quite a while. However, America wasn’t the only country affected by the new regulations. In 2021 most European countries like Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland as well as China in Asia prohibit all forms of gambling.

Google’s New Policy for Online Betting Apps

A black cloud was hanging over the industry’s head but things took a turn when Google’s Play Store made a shift in restrictions back in March 2020. Up until now digital betting apps were available only in Brazil, France, Ireland and the UK, but thanks to this new policy 15 more countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States) will get the chance to wager on their mobile phone 24/7.

Naturally, all current laws in the respective countries must be taken into account when attempting to do some online gambling but nevertheless, internet betting seems to be on the rise. So what’s all the fuss about?

Online Gambling vs Land-based Casinos


There is no denying that dressing up, spraying the most expensive perfume you own all over yourself, and walking into a flashy casino in all small hours with a James Bond kind of confidence, is a thrilling experience. However, dominating a mobile betting game in your pajamas while eating Doritos, has its own perks, so hear me out:

IGambling Offers a Wide Variety of Games


A land-based venue, no matter how glamorous, is restricted by the laws of physics – you simply can’t cram all betting games that should be explored, into so few square meters. The Internet world, on the other hand, is limitless. A gambling fanatic can grab his/her mobile phone and dive right into an endless ocean of exciting games – from card and roulette games to sportsbooks and slots. In our constantly evolving online reality, it’s a daunting task to keep the user’s attention for more than 5 minutes, so infinite game supply sounds like a jackpot for the iGambling industry.


Online Casinos Provide Tutorials for Beginners

Taking up gambling can be quite challenging, especially for total newbies. There are so many different games to choose from, not to mention the overwhelming rules each game abides by. Luckily, the online betting platforms are packed with tutorials that are super easy to access by anyone interested in mastering some gambling skills. By contrast, in traditional casinos no one would rush in to teach you the ropes. On the contrary, people might get mad if you try to pull them out of their betting mind zone, and ask them questions.


Bonuses Are a Given When Wagering Online

Land-based establishments don’t provide the same luxurious experience to customers as they once did. Regardless of the posh atmosphere in traditional casinos, the player would rarely get more than one free drink in contrast to the high paying bill at the end of the night. Online casinos, however, have a great marketing strategy that attracts new gamers by showering them with sweet welcoming bonuses and promotions in the form of free spins. This way, the better gets hooked on more playtime for a smaller initial investment.

Are Online Casinos Worth Your Time?

So what’s the final verdict? Should you join a betting app immediately or should you stick to the old dress up routine? To say that online gambling is more convenient than taking a drive in fancy attire, is stating the obvious. It all boils down to your personal preference as well as the time and money you are ready to spent in your pursuit of the big scores.

If you’re looking to explore new games, hone your betting skills, enjoy more bonuses or just kill some time, web gambling is definitely the way to go!

If your desire is to make a fun night out of it – call some friends, head to the casino and squander your inheritance. Just kidding! Always gamble responsibly and don’t forget to have a great time!

Rita azar illustration for 360 magazine

House of Dragon: A Sneak Peek into the Upcoming GOT Spinoff

Even after eight full seasons of Game of Thrones, fans have hardly had enough of the show. George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” is a long story full of unanswered questions. Anyone who’s read the books will agree that the TV series only scraped the surface. Not to mention, the ending left us with debates and was full of plot holes. It’s likely that they rushed to wrap things up. We are hoping the same will not happen in the upcoming spinoffs.

The GOT team is currently working on about 5 spinoffs. Among them is the much-awaited House of the Dragon, 10,000 Ships, The Tale of Dunk and Egg, Flea Bottom, and 9 Voyage. House of the Dragon is set to follow hot on the heels of GOT’s season 8. Besides some leaked stills from the set, here’s the information we have so far:

The Plot

As the name suggests, House of the Dragon revolves around the Targaryen family and is based on George R. R. Martin’s book, “Fire and Blood.” It tells the story of Westeros 300 years before the events in GOT, when the Targaryens were in power. According to the book’s description, we expect the show to answer questions such as:

  • What happened during the dance of the dragons (the Targaryen civil war that impacted all of the seven kingdoms)?
  • Why Valyria was dreaded after the doom?
  • The life in Westeros when dragons dominated the skies
  • The worst actions of Meagor the Cruel

Airing Timeline

According to Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, House of the Dragon is likely to start airing in 2022. Although, the precise premiere date is yet to be determined. On April 26, HBO disclosed that production had already begun, sharing a photo of the cast doing a table read in a social-distanced gathering with the caption “fire will reign” on Twitter.

A few other disclosed pictures from the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel suggest that filming is being done in the southwest coast of England. The photos show casts and crew on Holywell Bay Beach, Cornwall. If the only Game of Thrones action you have been getting so far is playing GOT video games or a GOT slots game in online casinos, you’ll be glad to know that we are soon getting hauled back to Westeros and beyond.

Who’s Involved?

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes are Martin and screenwriter Ryan Condal (Hercules and Colony) as co-creators. Condal will also serve as showrunner in collaboration with Miguel Sapochnik, who directed six episodes of GOT and won Emmy and DGA for “Battle of the Bastards”. He will also be writing the script alongside Sara Lee Hess, who will be working with Vince Gerardis, Martin, and Sapochnik as executive producers.

Also expected to direct are Greeta V. Patel (The Witcher and Meet the Patels), Clare Kilner (director of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness), and Greg Yaitanes (House, Banshee). The Emmy-winning Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi (Westworld) will score the series.

Cast

From the official casting announcement that we got in October 2020, we know that the following actors will be involved:

  • Paddy Considine (The Outsider, Peaky Blinders) is set to play King Viserys Targaryen, a warm, kind, and decent man chosen to succeed King Jahaerys Targaryen as ruler of Westeros. However, it is said that “good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”
  • Matt Smith (Netflix’s Juggernaut as Prince Philip) will be taking the role of Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys’ younger brother and heir to the throne. He is described as an unrivaled warrior and a dragon rider with the true blood of the dragons.
  • Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers, Wanderlust) will be Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the King’s first-born child and a pure Valyrian born. She also is a dragon rider. You could say she came into the world with everything – except she wasn’t a man.
  • Steve Toussaint (Doctor Who, It’s a Sin) takes the role of Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka The Sea Snake. He is the lord of House Velaryon, an ancient Valyrian bloodline much like House Targaryen. Lord Corlys is the most reputable nautical adventurer in the Seven Kingdoms, claims the largest navy in the world, and his house is wealthier than the Lannisters.
  • Rhys Ifans: (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) will appear as Otto Hightower, The Hand of the King. Ser Otto is a faithful servant to both his king and the realm.
  • Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel, Vanity Fair) plays the role of Alicent Hightower, the most comely woman in Westeros, who was raised in the Red Keep. She has a keen judgment for politics, as well as a courtly grace.
  • Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) will be taking the major role of Ser Criston Cole, a Dornish common-born with no claim to lands or titles, but is an honorable swordsman.
  • Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina, Beauty and the Beast) will play Mysaria, who came to Westeros empty-handed and has been sold more than she can remember. Despite all these challenges, she rises to become an unlikely, trusted ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen.

How About the Other Game of Thrones Spinoffs?

The GOT team is currently working on several other spinoffs, although their production and airing timelines are not as clear. Among them is 9 Voyages, which is expected to tell the story of Corlys Velaryo (The Sea Snake) and will be starring Steve Toussant.

10,000 Ships is set 1,000 years before the events in GOT, revolving around Nymeria of House Martel, the founder of Dorne. You may recall Arya’s direwolf in GOT was called Nymeria. So was one of the sand snakes.

Another spinoff, The Tale of Dunk and Egg, tells the story of the iconic knight Ser Duncan the Tall, aka Dunk, (who later becomes king Aegon V Targaryen) and his squire Egg. It is based on Martin’s novel, “Tales of Dunk and Egg,” and is set only 90 years before the events of GOT.

Flea Bottom is another prequel reportedly under development. It is set in Flea Bottom, the slum of King’s Landing. This is where the poorest residents in the Capital of Westeros live. Davos Seaworth and Gendry are some of the GOT characters who started their lives here.

Conclusion

One thing is for sure–Game of Thrones has grown in our hearts to become a culture, touching aspects of life we never before imagined. For all dragon lovers out there, we can’t wait to get immersed in the heroics, politics, cunning, and plot twists involved in Martin’s stories of the Seven Kingdoms. We hope House of the Dragon will fill the air with the same hype as GOT.

Cards and Dice illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Global Card Game Market

Global Card Game Market to Hit $6.8B Value by 2025

Over the years, the global card game market has witnessed steady growth and acceptance among players, despite huge competition from digital entertainment sources. However, as millions of people started spending more time indoors amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, the entire sector surged in 2020, with revenues rising by 16% YoY to $5.6bn.

According to data presented by 123scommesse.it, after a slight drop in 2021, the global card game market is expected to continue growing and hit a $6.8bn value by 2025.

Revenues to Jump by 23% in Four Years

The main product in the card game market is a card deck that comes in many varieties. Besides standard decks, the segment includes individual decks for games like Uno, Tarot, or Lexicon and collectible and trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering.

Between 2012 and 2017, the revenues of the global card game market jumped by 50% to over $4.1bn, revealed the Statista Consumer Market Outlook. The steady growth continued in the following years, with revenues rising to $4.8bn in 2019, a 17% increase in two years.

However, as lockdowns forced people across the globe to spend more time indoors, revenues jumped by 16% YoY to $5.6bn in 2020, the most significant annual increase so far.

The Statista data indicate the global card game market is set to witness a slight contraction this year, with revenues slipping to just under $5.6bn. However, this figure is expected to jump by 23% in the next four years, with the entire market reaching over $6.8bn value.

China and US to Generate One Third of Total Card Game Revenues in 2021

Analyzed by geography, China represents the world’s largest card game market, expected to generate $1.2bn in revenue, a slight increase compared to last year. However, statistics show that the Chinese market grew by 18% since the pandemic stroke. By 2025, Chinese card game revenues are expected to jump to $1.5bn.

The Indian market, as the second largest globally, is forecast to hit $706 million in revenue in 2021, up from $694 million in 2020. In the next four years, this figure is set to reach almost $980 million.

The US card game market, as the third largest globally, is forecast to generate $623 million in revenue this year, down from $637 million a year ago. However, the US market is expected to continue rising in the following years and hit $682 million in value by 2025.

Read the full story here.

The Benefits of Using Online Casinos 

Are you new to online casinos and have no idea if they are actually worth playing at? Have you ever wondered why online casinos have become so incredibly popular when people still have access to good, old traditional casinos?

The benefits of using online casinos have been discussed at length by many people over the years. With hundreds of options to choose form, its easy to get lost in all the choices and feel quite over whelmed. It’s important to know why you should use an online casino, and what are the biggest benefits associated with them. 

In recent years, the online casino industry has grown massively and it is all down to the fact that we are now living in a digital age where people are constantly online on their phones or laptops. People are not going to physical casinos as often as they used to anymore. If you want to start playing at an online casino but are not sure what the benefits might be, here are a few reasons. 

A Lot of Games

One of the biggest perks of playing at an online casino is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of games available for you to play. When it comes to traditional, physical casinos, there are a limited to the number of games available due to limited space. This is not the case when it comes to online casinos. There is no constraint when it comes to space, meaning that online casinos can have many more games available to players.

Online casinos offer all the regular games that traditional casinos have, and more. An average online casino has around 400-600 games, but most of the casinos that Japan-101 recommends here have much more than that. Not only do they have many games, but also have a bunch of different themes to suite anyone. There are even casino games, similar to video games, in which you have to go on missions and complete levels. There is no chance that players will get bored with this variety. 

Many Bonuses to Choose From

One of the most innovative marketing techniques to come from online casinos is the bonuses. Bonuses are essentially free gameplay that encourages players to start or continue playing at a casino. The most popular bonus at the various different casinos is the welcome bonus. This is how casinos attract masses of new players–by offering them free gameplay. Everyone loves getting things for free. 

Welcome bonuses can come in the form of free spins on the slots, free rounds at tables games, free money to bet on a game of your choice, or even a combination of these. Other bonuses are available for people who are part of a more exclusive of VIP package as a way to encourage them to keep playing; or as incentive for those who are considering upgrading their casino account. These bonuses are a great way for players to play for free and discover the games they like, without having to waste their own money. 

Convenience

One of the best parts about playing at an online casino is how convenient it is. Going to a regular physical casino can take a lot out of your day. You have to dress up fancy, travel to the destination, wait in lines to play, and end up spending a lot of time waiting around for a few minutes of fun.

Online casinos make it so much more convenient to play all the casino games you love with just the click of a button. You can play anywhere, anytime you want because these casinos are available 24/7. All you need is to have a decent internet connection. You can play on your commute to work or even while in bed, if you are trying to pass the time.  

Easy to Get Started

For those new to gambling or casino games, it can be a bit daunting trying to figure out how all of the different games work. At online casinos, all of this worry disappears as there are tutorials on how to play the different games. Online casinos sometimes even offer different tips and tricks to help you win. 

If you need more help, you can easily search for solutions to any problems you may have or look up tutorials for further clarity. 

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Know Your Slots: The Different Machine Types Explained

By: Claire Ward

Slot machines have been around for well over a century. Today, they have enjoyed a renewed attention thanks to the popularity of online casino sites.

There is definitely a lot of variety in the slot marketplace. So, knowing which kinds of machines are available and understanding how they work before you dive in is a good idea.

To that end, here is a quick overview of the different slot machine types and what benefits they bring to the table for players.

Progressive Jackpot Slot Machines

The concept behind progressive jackpot slots is simple enough; all players are effectively contributing to a central prize pool. The biggest jackpot pays out whenever a given combination of symbols are hit.

The longer that the main prize remains intact, the larger it will grow. Progressive jackpot slot machines are found both at land-based casinos and at online gambling sites, often with multiple machines contributing to the total jackpot. It is no surprise that this has led to record-breaking wins in recent years.

Bingo Slot Machines

As outlined in this comprehensive guide on electronic bingo machines, slots which aim to emulate the experience of playing bingo dont pit you directly against ‘the house’, but rather require two or more players to compete against one another.

This creates a more communal, social experience as compared to standard slot games. While there are still spinning reels and different symbols, the bingo-based inspiration for these games is an interesting twist. In general you can expect to find bingo slot machines at brick and mortar casinos more commonly than online. There are plenty of bingo-based gambling sites that have this market cornered in the digital sphere.

Multi-payline slot machines

In a classic slot setup, you will find a set of three reels which, once set spinning, will land in a random order. If the middle line of symbols match a paying combination, you will receive a prize. For multi-payline slots, this concept is expanded upon even further. Rather than one horizontal line from left to right being eligible for symbol-matching purposes, many of them are.

Multi-payline slots can have anywhere from three or four paylines to over 50 available. Another consideration to note here is that the more paylines you want to play, the more money you will need to bet on a given spin.

It is also worth checking to see whether multi-payline machines have particular requirements for jackpot eligibility tied to the number of paylines played. You may need to bet across all potential paylines if you want to walk away with the top prize.

Bonus Game Slot Machines

In the era of video slots and online slots, it has become common for machines to offer bonus games built in alongside the standard reel-spinning aspects of play.

These bonus games can take all sorts of forms. One form is simply allowing you to match playing cards and other symbols in a pair-finding exercise. Other games give you control of a playable character in a small-scale equivalent of a skill-based video game.

There will typically be conditions which need to be met in order to unlock bonus games, such as matching a certain number of wild symbols.

Aside from being a nice change of pace and an entertaining distraction in their own right, bonus games in slot machines can also provide you with a means to multiply your winnings even further. These bonus games are potentially lucrative, so long as the reels fall favorably for you.

Themed Slot Machines

While plenty of slots use symbols such as playing card suits and juicy fruits, others are centered around other themes and points of inspiration. Some slots are now fully licensed spin-offs from major motion pictures.

While you might think that these themed slots are different to their “by-the-numbers” slot counterparts, the truth is that they rely on the same principles for play. If you understand how one machine works, then you should have an easy time getting into the others that are available.

It is this accessibility and ease of use which makes slot machines so attractive compared with other types of gambling. Whether you play at a casino or online, you should be able to quickly get the hang of the different games that are offered.

Gaming Controllers illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Piepacker Launching on Kickstarter

New Social Gaming Platform with online multiplayer and video chat, Piepacker, Launching on Kickstarter

Over 100,000 users have already tested the platform, helping developers create something never seen before.

Piepacker, the new free social gaming platform that allows users to play officially licensed retro games with friends online, will launch on Kickstarter on April 6th.

At the crossroads of online multiplayer gaming and video chatting, Piepacker is a free and legal platform that provides instant access to officially licensed retro video games from a web browser, without any download.

Through its Kickstarter campaign, Piepacker is offering early access to its platform along with an exclusive piece of technology developed for nostalgic retro gaming: the PieReader. This new retro gaming dock is equipped with adapters to import one’s own retro game cartridges to the multiplayer world of Piepacker and play with their friends online, with only one cartridge.

Piepacker’s video chat features video game-themed 3D masks and filters as a fun way for players to (re)discover the greatest titles of retro gaming among friends as well as new indie and exclusive games.

Currently, most retro video games are acquired on pirate websites with direct downloads. Piepacker brings to the world of video games what Spotify brought to the world of music, making retro gaming accessible to all, for free and legally while guaranteeing a high quality of service.

“While many are limiting their face-to-face interactions due to the ongoing pandemic, connecting with others and remaining socially active has never been more important,” said Benjamin Devienne, co-founder of Piepacker. “Piepacker provides a fun way to interact. This innovation is at the forefront of transgenerational pop-culture, mixing gaming, video chat, 3D filters, and masks in augmented reality. It’s exciting for everyone.”

Under development since March 2020, Piepacker opened its beta version to the public in late December. Before the beta closed, 100,000 people had taken the opportunity to try out the platform and contribute to its development.

Piepacker provides access to games that have been featured on a variety of platforms: arcade machines, NES, Super NES, Saturn, Mega Drive, NeoGeo, and PlayStation with more to come. Piepacker has partnerships with publishers Codemaster, Team 17, and Interplay and indies like Bitmap Bureau or Morphcat. The catalog continues to grow with plans to add modern indie as well as original exclusive cards and board games.

For German indie studio Morphcat, Piepacker is currently “the easiest way to enjoy multiplayer games with your friends over the internet”. British studio Bitmap Bureau is “extremely impressed with the range of features that Pie Packer has to offer, most noticeably the ability to play Xeno Crisis with another player remotely, and believe that retro gamers around the globe will be especially interested in this new technology, with many classic games making their way to the platform.”

There are currently over 60 games including 2 cloud gaming exclusives available for free on Piepacker. Among the available titles are the iconic Worms World Party, Earthworm Jim 1 & 2, Xeno Crisis, and Micro Mages.

The Kickstarter campaign will close May 7, 2021, and the platform itself will be accessible to the public later this year.

About Piepacker

Piepacker was created by two friends, Benjamin Devienne and Jules Testard, two Frenchmen who expatriated long ago and share a decade-long friendship. Benjamin, the face of Piepacker, has an outstanding track record. Before graduating, he was at the head of an academic research project that led him to participate in a major TEDx in Canada, along with many celebrities. Benjamin was also a distinguished guest lecturer in several universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies (MIT). He founded the data science department of Gameloft, a French mobile game giant, and became a leader in that field. Facebook convinced him to step outside the video game industry to manage key teams of their data science department as Head of Analytics. The giant of video game streaming, Twitch, a company belonging to Amazon, was next in recruiting him as Head of Research Strategy on machine learning-oriented projects. Benjamin was not yet 30 years old.

When starting Piepacker, the pair recruited some of the world’s most talented experts in the field. They assembled a team of former employees of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, EA, Blizzard-Activision, and Twitter.

After just a few weeks of development, Piepacker got noticed and backed by Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that has engineered the birth of Airbnb, Twitch, Dropbox, and even Reddit. Thanks to their key support, Piepacker’s development has been accelerated and also helped the two founders gather an elite group of advisors from the industry.

On the list of video game veterans advising them, one finds Kenji Matsubara, former president of SEGA, Justin Waldron and Tom Bollich, co-founders of mobile gaming gem Zynga, Kun Gao, co-founder of Crunchyroll, the platform dedicated to Japanese anime and Jeffrey Rosen, co-founder of video game distributor Humble Bundle.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for on-line games article for 360 MAGAZINE

How the gambling houses have shaped the popular taste

The casino industry has evolved a lot over the last few centuries. In Europe during the 18th century, the underground gambling halls morphed into the first legal casinos. Eventually, the same thing happened in the United States, with Nevada’s fledgling Las Vegas providing entertainment for the workers of the nearby Hoover Dam.

From those sawdust-covered floors, modern casinos developed with names like the Golden Nugget in the 1940s. The giant integrated resorts we know today began springing up in the 1980s, and online casinos came into existence in the late 1990s.

Today, most of Europe and a growing number of US states have legalized online casinos, though New Jersey continues to lead the way on this side of the pond, with more than 23 online casinos to choose from in NJ.

At every stage along the way, these casinos have influenced pop culture, changing what we watch, what we read, and what we listen to.

Casino’s Influence on Language

You may be surprised at just how many casino-related words and phrases you use in your everyday conversations. Casino and card games have been around for the best part of a millennium, with blackjack being the descendent of several card games that go back as far as the 13th century AD. 

Having been around for such a long time, words and phrases while playing these games have worked their way into the common vernacular. 

For example, “hedging one’s bets” is a phrase we use regularly to explain when we’re not committing to one particular option to protect ourselves from a negative outcome. In betting, you may hedge your bets by wagering on two opposing outcomes, while in life you might take a job interview while staying at your old job until you see which is the better option. 

All commonly used phrases include “all bets are off,” which can mean no one is sure about the outcome of an event; and “poker face,” which describes someone who is not displaying any emotion.

Casino’s Influence on Music

Speaking of poker faces, Lady Gaga’s hit song is one of the most recent examples of the influence of casino games in music. But there are plenty of others

The country and western singer Garth Brooks had a hit with Two of a Kind Working on a Full House back in 1990. The song leaned heavily on references to poker hands to discuss his relationship with his wife (two of a kind) and the fact that they planned to build a life together (a full house). The song contained betting references all the way through, with links like “I’m her wild card man” and “a real hot hand.”

Other popular songs that have been created by the influence of casinos and casino games include The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, House of Cards by Tyler Shaw, and Ace of Spades by Motörhead.

Casino’s Influence on Movies

Perhaps the most obvious influence that casinos have had on popular culture is in movies. Hollywood loves to set a movie in Las Vegas and its casinos, with at least 92 movies set in the city since 1941. 

Popular examples include Ocean’s Eleven (and its 21’st century remake), Viva Las Vegas, Diamond Are Forever, The Godfather, Casino, The Hangover, and 21. 

Writers often find the excitement and mystery that casinos offer are a great setting for their stories, with films like Ocean’s Eleven and Casino entirely based around the inner workings of the gaming business. 

Others, including many James Bond movies, use casinos in certain scenes as they offer a great way to show the characters outwitting their rivals. A casino setting is also one of the few places where a protagonist and villain could sit in the same room and talk without being forced to attack or fight each other. 

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for gaming article inside 360 MAGAZINE

Classic casino games – why they’ve stood the test of time

One of the largest and most successful industries in the world is the casino industry, both brick and mortar and online. The physical and online casino industry is currently worth an estimated $227 billion, with online casinos alone bringing in $46 billion of that number. If a person were to compare the casino landscape from 20 years ago to today, it is vastly different as the industry continues to move online. 

Even the iconic physical slot machines have been replaced with digitalized slot machines with algorithms predicting a win or loss. Although, in spite of all the technological advancements and the fact that every casino game has now moved online, they’re all practically still the same. It might not be easy to tell they’re the same with the graphics and game modes now offered on popular casinos like Vera & John, according to Manekineko Casino Vera & John offer over 350 slot games. So, it’s clear that slots have stood the test of time no matter the type of casino you play at now, whether in person or at home from your mobile. It is obviously to some degree due to the popularity of the classic casino games, and that they were designed in such a way to withstand the test of time, although there could be other factors that we’re going to look at. 

Familiarity 

When someone brings up the image of a casino in their mind, many people would think of rows of slot machines, table games such as blackjack, poker and the iconic roulette wheel, even without having visited a casino before or played any of the games. This is because these games have become imprinted on people’s memory, whether it be through books, stories, movies or television series; there is an expectation of what a casino should look like, and as a result, these are the games that are provided. In addition to these games becoming iconic, the online casino industry needs them to maintain their initial success. 

This is because the games are familiar to those new to playing casino games, and also for the experienced gamblers moving online, which is critical for online casinos since they are relatively new, and new games might not gain the same traction as the classics. 

Some don’t require skill and are fun 

Some casino games are designed in such a way to be fun and not require skill, such as slots, which is something that every new gambler needs; a simple game to introduce them to gambling. Games like slots, baccarat and bingo are all engaging yet simple, and offer fast gameplay that doesn’t require much in the way of strategy. These games are perfect for someone just looking to pass the time, or to test their luck. 

Although even slot games have changed dramatically over the years to maintain their relevance, whether it be by the added animations or the many themes, such as celebrities, sports or superheroes. Some slot games are even adopting video game themes to appeal to a younger audience, and bingo is vastly different too. 

The odds are better

In terms of people wanting to win money, the classic table games give the best odds, even online. Games like blackjack have an average house edge of 0.5%, video poker has a house edge of 0.46% and roulette is 5.26%. To give an example, a person could play blackjack with a $200 bankroll and bet $2 per hand, and be able to play for over 4 hours if they use basic strategy. 

This kind of low house edge is extremely appealing for many gamblers, especially those who don’t have a lot of experience. In addition to the house edge, all of the games listed above include a social factor, which is extremely important for the entertainment value of the game. 

Things might be changing

With all of that being said, things might be changing though, as the more experienced gamblers become less. Millennials are slowly becoming the main customer base for the casino industry, and because of that, a few games are slowly becoming less popular. Studies show that millennials are interested in games with strategy and skill, and find games like blackjack and slot unfair and uninteresting. 

Even Las Vegas is not really a gambling destination anymore, but a party destination, with room revenue from hotels being almost the same as the revenue from casinos, indicating that millennials are more interested in partying than gambling. Online gambling however shows an increase in the popularity of poker and sports betting, virtual and real, amongst millennials. However, traditional, classic casino games are not going anywhere, any time soon.   

Be sure to check out gclub for more information about the aforementioned.

360 MAGAZINE , Vaughn Lowery

What to Do in the Cold Winter Months

The winter months bring with them many other things, such as the Christmas season, hot chocolate, cozy sweaters, and warm fires. They also bring with them the winter holidays, giving everyone some time to unwind and relax.

You can take a break from life by winning some Australian online casino real money, or finishing that book you’ve been trying to do for months. But, it can be easy to get bored during this time too. If online slots or book reading doesn’t seem to be your forte, then try these ten ways to keep yourself occupied during the winter months.

  1. Cozy up to the Fireplace
    The best thing to do in the winter is to start a warm fire in the comfort of your home. Snuggle up with a blanket and a book to enjoy the warmth of the fire.
  2. Take a Hot Bath
    A hot bath just feels better in the winters. There’s nothing like sinking into warm bubble-filled water after a day out in the freezing cold.
  3. Bake Some Cookies
    What better way to get into the holiday season than baking cookies with your friends and family? This is a great activity to do in the winter months.
  4. Drink Hot Chocolate
    Get yourself a nice mug of hot cocoa with some marshmallows and savor the delicious taste.
  5. Go Skiing
    If you live somewhere, it snows or can travel to somewhere snowy, and then skiing is a great activity to try out!
  6. Have a Movie Marathon
    But not just any movie marathon, holiday movies! Elf, Home Alone, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, there’s so many to choose from.
  7. Enjoy Some Fireworks
    A great thing to do in the winter months is to light up some fireworks. It’s the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.
  8. Take Part in Snow Filled Activities
    You can build a snowman, make a snow angel, or even a snow fort. There’s so much fun you can have with snow in the comfort of your own garden.
  9. Go Shopping!
    One thing that the winter months have, and others do not is holiday sales. Take advantage of the mega sales that happen and get yourself a new wardrobe!
  10. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
    The winter months are also a great time to give back to society. Use this time to volunteer at a local soup kitchen and help those in need.

There’s a lot of different things you can do in the winter months. Don’t let this time go to waste and use it to do something productive.