Miami Vices

We all know the old vices. Smoking, gambling and women, it’s the kind of thing that has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. In today’s society though, we’re moving towards healthier alternatives. Instead of smoking, people vape which allows them to fulfil the same need and habit but without all that tar streaking down their lungs to clog up everything in sight and cause extremely high levels of cancer. Instead of just getting women for money, people have turned to apps to find women in the same position that they are: just wanting some casual fun. And instead of drinking, many of them are turning to using more moderate substances, especially with legalisation happening so quickly in America.

 

When it comes to gambling though, the situation has become much worse. In fact, the core elements of gambling are now part of our everyday lives. You spin the wheel every time you post a photo on instagram, or wait for that text. You’re going through the same process of unknowns, waiting for someone to come to you and give you something new or special, to reward you with that little rush of endorphins.

 

Worst still are the games that offer you random chances at getting something. There are ones that have collectible parts: new powers or characters and then you open “lootboxes” for a chance to unlock them. You might have a 5% chance to get something good, 1% to get something amazing and 0.0001% chance to get something mindblowingly good. With the viral power of the internet, we often see those truly amazing chances happening and think: “why not me?” That could easily be you, you think, so you go for it, and suddenly you’re in the trap. You’re gambling. It might not seem like a big issue but it’s got governments around the world furious, wondering how to regulate this insidious practice. China has decided that the best way is to force people to show their actual winrates and percentages, as if it were really full gambling.

 

In other countries though, particularly in the West, you’ll find children playing these games. Gambling and being encouraged to by a system that many parents would be shocked to find is playing a part in their children’s lives. The idea that they could be slowly encouraged to spend real money in the chance of getting something is one that will horrify most, because it is basically an online casino, wrapped up in kid friendly messages and characterisations. There was a reason why having cartoon camels selling cigarettes was considered immoral after all.

 

So it’s interesting to see that the vice that prevails most of all in the modern world, is perhaps the most theoretical. No matter how good VR goggles get, they’re unlikely to ever replace the touch of a real woman, or the sensation of experiencing the world whilst inebriated. Yet for the world of gambling, the rise of technology has not merelt augmented existing habits but replaced them, augmented them, surpassed them. For many, this is a terrifying thought, and the addiction and worry that comes from such habits is sure to effect this new generation in ways that we could never imagine. Having it be ok for children to be socially gambling is going to leave us in a mighty mess, and we have to act now to clean up this practices or it will be too late. A whole generation will have been infected with the high risk, high reward ideology and the last thing you want is for the world to one day end up in the hands of people that love the thrill of spinning the wheel.  


January 8, 2018

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