Betting On Arcade Games: 7 Things To Know About The Sick New Gaming App
Just about everybody in the tech world is looking for a way to monetize our obsession with our smart phones, and GSN Games just made a very big play for the dorky, bored gamer in all of us. Sparcade is the company's new app available on iOS for iPads and iPhones, and it features a bunch of Gen X's favorite traditional arcade skill-games.
Now before I tell you more, let me be clear that we're not getting paid to promote this. It's just a bad ass new app, and we happen to know that many of you are always looking for new ways to bet and generally lose money in fun and convenient ways!
THAT'S RIGHT, BITCHES. With this app, you can bet real money playing Pac-Man. The only gripe to be had here is that this wasn't invented sooner. The app licenses games that are already perfect for playing on our phones - like Tetris, Scrabble and Pac-Man - while adding the perk of allowing players to win real money; thereby attracting fantasy sports nuts like ourselves.
It's clear that America will not stop until everything is a competition with money at stake. It's just how we roll. So here are 7 things you absolutely must know about the newest avenue for gambling your money away without having to go to Las Vegas:
1. It's free-to-play & free-to-download.
This is personally the most important aspect of any app. I thoroughly despise having to pay for apps, particularly when I have no idea whether it will be worth my time or not. With this app, you can go ahead and try it out and then decide whether or not you have what it takes to bet your paycheck on virtual Wheel of Fortune.
2. The free-play runs on a simple token system.
This is pretty self-explanatory and is similar to just about every other smartphone game out there. New users automatically get 10,000 free tokens when they sign up, and from there on there are three ways to accumulate more tokes: volume of play, winning token matches against opponents and achieving any one of various in-app performance goals. Again, this will sound familiar to anyone who has played other free games on their phone.
Obviously the free games with the token system are separate from the real-money games, and there are limits to how many times you can play. I'm quick to make this distinction from the gambling portion of the game because I personally prefer to waste my time without the possibility of monetary benefit. Because I'm a lame ass.
3. This app accounts for some users being far cooler than others.
If you were never the popular kid in high school, well then here's ya chance to re-live ya glory days kid! Something called "Fan Mail" can be acquired by playing more and therefore earning more "Fans." Fan Mail can earn you tokens and increase your "Fame" rating.
Fame rating is graded on a scale of 1-100, and a higher Fame rating earns a higher payout of complimentary tokens. So yes, you could be a Tetris celebrity...which I'm pretty sure is actually a celebrity grade above whatever Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna are. So that's pretty cool!
4. The real-money entry fees are super cheap and low-stakes.
The app offers a whole slew of entry formats based on account balance and skill level, and they vary from game to game. ESports Betting Report offers an example of the entry formats and fees for Pac-Man, describing how players can enter $1 tournaments with two other players, $3 dollar tournaments with one other player or $5 tournaments if a user challenges a friend to a game.
According to the same article, Sparcade takes a 15 percent cut of every total prize pool across all game formats in all titles.
5. There are 36 states that allow users to play Sparcade real-money games.
As you probably suspected, there are state-by-state restrictions as to who can challenge their Grandma to a $1 game of Scrabble via iPhone. Rude. Luckily a majority of U.S. States will allow it, but the residents of these 12 states are shit out of luck:
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
It's tokens or bust for mah homies in these states. Sorry, suckers.
Oh and if you live in Indiana or Maine, you can play all real-money games except Solitaire due to their legal decision that there is too much chance and not enough skill in winning a game of Solitaire. And since I've won approximately two games of Solitaire in my entire life, I choose to believe that is true.
6. Your Canadian friends can play too! As long as they don't live in Quebec!
I tried to deliver that news as cheerfully as possible because, you know, a large portion of the Canadian population lies in Quebec. But hey, at least they still have the local lottery.
7. The distinction between real-money games and token games is very on-purpose and incredibly important.
According to eSports Betting Report, Sparcade’s tokens have absolutely no real monetary value and cannot be sold for $USD. Plus, unlike many other games’ use of virtual currencies, Sparcade tokens cannot be bought for real-world money. In-app purchases are can only be made with real-money deposits themselves, and the only thing you can do with the real-money is buy bets. There is nothing virtual that can be purchased with real-money.
This system eliminates all connection between tokens and $USD, which helps immensely in shielding Sparcade from encountering the kind of legal issues that many other online gaming companies have recently faced.
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