So this happened, apparently.
I got the link from the most recent Seanbaby article on Cracked. If you can’t be bothered to click on it, it’s basically a service whereby you bet real money on competitive internet gaming.
This is not an arena with which I have any experience. I don’t know if this kind of thing is brand new, or if it’s been around for ages. I do know that real-money transaction have become more and more common, with free-to-play/freemium games and Diablo III’s infamous real-money auction house.
I guess betting is a logical progression, but I’m not thrilled about any of it. Along with the ever-present issue of DLC, all of these developments represent a weird expansion of game capitalism into the experience of playing itself (as opposed to the acquisition of the game, and all the shiny external shit nerds like me obsess over). It’s not enough to buy the product anymore: companies are looking to squeeze more and more cash out of titles even after the consumers buy them, which is of course brilliant from their perspective. From mine, it’s a bullshit tactic that I nevertheless fall for with my favorite titles pretty much every time. Mass Effect DLC? Hell yeah I’ll pay $10 for that.
Such a luxury to have complaints like these. We live in the future.