Can Virtual Reality Save Poker


Virtual reality has been in the market for decades. If you can remember the 80's - you may know the Virtua Boy from Nintendo. A bulky, red and black graphical headset that made you look like something out of a Daft Punk video. More of a gimmick back then, with terrible game play and little support from consumers - it faded into oblivion.

Virtual reality is becoming a real player in the technology world, not just a gimmick. From the Samsung VR goggles, to the pricier Oculus - virtual reality may finally have reached the point where it's ready to stay.

VR has mainly served its purpose in the gaming and entertainment world, with more of an emphasis on gaming - which is why the transition to using it in poker makes perfect sense. Or does it?

Big wigs in the poker world like Alex Dreyfus claim that poker needs to stay fresh and going so far as to call poker - 'A has been game of the 2000's.' His argument is strong enough, citing that the average online poker is 40 years old.

In a sense, poker is slipping back to what it once was before the big boom in the early 2000's. I doubt it will ever slip back to the days where cowboy hat wearing men in their 60's traded chips and cigarette smoke; but the reality of poker losing its grasp on the younger generation is real.

So where does virtual reality come in to play with helping poker reach the youth? Simply put, it's a technological step that that does have a younger market. I can appreciate the angle; but see many downsides to this becoming the 'norm' in poker.

I can see a realistic application combining VR, with online poker. It makes sense to give the player a more social feeling. Part of the charm poker has, is that is a social experience. Trying to get that online is difficult.

We've seen the live dealer casinos have success by offering real people deal the games. It gives it a - human approach that comes close to being in a real casino.

However, we need to be careful when using a tool that applies to one crowd. The early adopters would surely be the gamers, and recreational players. Which would be great for the eco-system as a whole. But, you will be alienating the regulars and older players that make up a large percentage of the player base.

I see virtual reality as not really saving poker; but more like adding another niche to the game. I doubt within the next 10 years we will see any real boost in those using virtual reality goggles while playing poker. Online poker attempted to use webcams, but none of those sites are around anymore. Clearly, a proof of concept that did not go well.

Just like Bitcoins have yet to catch fire in the poker world, virtual reality will have a tough time as well.

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