If you were to speak to someone a mere 20 years ago and describe to them a day in your life, they would no doubt be perplexed by the reliance on all things digital. Indeed, slowly our lives have been adapted to rely more on our phones, computers, and even electronics out and about, and less on things that are more analogue. From payment methods on our phones to the ease at which we can order and track food delivered direct or even taxicabs – everything has been given the modern twist that those back in the 1960s relegated for flying cars and living on the moon. But there is something still shrouded in its analogue roots that is desperately in need of a digital update – and could be fairly lucrative for whoever decides to do it on a large scale: dominoes.
Who Invented Dominoes?
Dominoes date back to 1120 CE in China and have been played and enjoyed ever since. Some claim that they were presented to Emperor Hui Tsung – others state that this is just when they were standardized and sent around China. In Europe, dominoes can be traced back to the 18th Century, according to Michael Dummett, who documented the game’s history. Some claim that a domino was found in the wreckage of the 1545 Mary Rose, while others state that there was so much documentation at the time that the game wouldn’t have escaped public knowledge. Whatever their provenance, dominoes have existed for longer than the Aztec Empire, Oxford University, and sliced bread. The game has many variations, including Mexican Train Rules, Chickenfoot, and Concentration dominoes. The fact we still play them shows how popular they are, how universal they are, and how easy the game is to grasp.
What Else Have We Moved Online?
Moving table games online was a logical step. After all, arcade games moved online, and even traditional pen and paper games did too, with Hangman and Tic Tac Toe both available in digital format. Even board games such as Monopoly and Clue have been given modern remakes with a digital element that encourages more skill to play. The Monopoly Here and Now app adds a jet-setting theme to the game for playing on the move. Even the traditional physical games on offer at the casino have been digitally updated, as online casino providers continue to improve their offering, such as live gaming, offering immersive experience, example being Betway Live Casino. The idea even stretches to traditional strategy games where on websites such as chess.com even offer games of chess against a fictional opponent for players to hone their skills. Ultimately, this shows that there is no barrier to digitizing dominoes. The vast amount of table games available online gives credence to digital dominoes and also provides countless opportunities to adapt the game with the functionalities that digital offers. Social media, for example, provides a way of playing with others that standard table games don’t.
How Would Dominoes Be Digitized?
There are many ways in which dominoes can be digitized. A basic browser game could suffice, with points on offer for games won, which could then be traded amongst friends and others online. Video versions could give brands and franchises chances to cross-promote in order to attract more players. HD versions could be made, as well as ones that use revolutionary new technology. Virtual reality tech looks to be increasing and dominoes could be played on this platform. Developers could use dominoes in playtesting in order to test the functionality of VR before a full roll out.
But dominoes would be best if they were played for money. In much the same way that eSports are played – and bet on – dominoes could be monetized. Players could either input real money or they could harness the growth of cryptocurrency. Apps such as Sweatcoin, which allow players to gain money through walking in the form of money-off prizes and cryptocurrency have shown that there is a market for earning money doing enjoyable or necessary things in a very digital way.
What Would Differ For Digital Dominoes?
To bring a table game online would require some logistical changes in order to create the optimal functionality and to ensure the game resonates with fans of the original while being accessible to potential new audiences. In order to do so, dominoes would need to retain the basics of the game that people enjoy while giving it a modern twist that takes advantage of playing with the hardware of a laptop or smartphone. Touchscreen dominoes could work – tactile apps are more likely to intrigue players in order to break the barrier to them playing the game.
Ultimately a digitized version of dominoes would really have to focus on the gameplay. Another benefit of making a digital version of the game is the fact that dominoes also takes a fair amount of skill to play – including identifying opponents’ weaknesses, playing instinctively to get rid of higher valued dominoes and doubles, and keeping your own strategy hidden. Added elements of skill are more likely to encourage players to give a recommendation to their friends.
The game of dominoes represents the last bastion of the pre-digital generation. Adding to the pantheon of other games that have found their way into modern life, digitizing dominoes will be more symbolic in the succumbing of the general population to the inevitable modernization through digitization. Digital is here to stay – and when dominoes finds its place in the digital sphere, people will know that it is definitely there to stay.