After finishing the first Red Dead Redemption I personally spent the week following standing with my hips cocked, and head slightly tilted, as if my eyes were mysteriously hidden by the rim of a hat. I didn’t actually own a cowboy hat, so the effect was somewhat lost, but the point is that the game offered the sort of immersion that really is somewhat lingering.
I got over my cowboy phase fairly quickly, in case you’re wondering, given that the general public began to cross to other side of the road to avoid me trying to stick them up and steal their valuables, bandit style. These attempt at banditry were extremely awkward on my part, given that I also don’t own a six-shooter.
But Red Dead Redemption 2 is on the horizon, and this time I might just go out and buy a hat. Perhaps an authentic six-shooter as well.
I’m unashamed to say that probably half of all my time playing Red Dead Redemption was spent in the saloons. Because I liked hanging around the suspiciously friendly ladies in the frilly dresses, who reaffirmed I was indeed cowboy at the end of every sentence? Yes, but also because the saloons were where you could play in-game poker.
Astonishingly, for me sitting down in a fully realised 3D Western world and engaging in a game of cards was some of the most fun I had in the game. Bizarre, when you stop to think about the fact that I could have just turned the game off and signed up at an actual online casino instead. But an equally intriguing notion that cowboy poker was somehow far more appealing to me. I had an obvious thought; why not have real money casino games integrated into video games?
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I’m fully aware that it’s not as easy as simply flipping a switch and making the proposed system work, and that there would be mountains of legal red tape to overcome, but the idea certainly is worth considering. A game like Red Dead Redemption is perfect for implementing a few casino games that payout real money. What legal wrangling would have to be done in order to make that a possibility is beyond me, but I know that I personally would land up spending more time playing online casino games than ever before.
Of course, given that the mere mention of loot boxes these days is enough to manifest a pitchfork and flaming torch wielding mob outside your front door, which is not at all a bad thing, given how loot boxes have been implemented, but cash based actual, functional casino games seem like a different thing entirely.
Plus, if smartly implemented, the player could even be given the option of gunning down opponents after losing a hand, and sauntering out of the saloon with head held high. That sounds like a slice of friend gold as far as I’m concerned, but then I also just ordered a cowboy hat online, in preparation for Red Dead Redemption 2. My bid on an authentic six-shooter is still pending.