Friday, December 25, 2009

A Quaker View

My ideas for philanthropic gaming, making casinos a funding source for worthy causes, is not so far off in the case of native American casinos, which have been committing receipts to youth programs, salmon habitat restoration, scholarships for tribal members. Given my Quaker affiliations and this sect's historical alliance with original Americans, I'm more of a regional casino booster than some of my Christian peers.

However, the CSN design is rather different from the traditional gambling casino's. It lets players exercise choice when committing funds through these computer systems and uses a portion of vendor profits (donated back to charity) as a funding source.

The traditional gambler is directing winnings to himself or herself, with losings going to the house (as house winnings). The socially responsible gamer is committing a vendor-provided payload to a worthy program and building a track record. The vendor receives various metrics regarding giving patterns, sharing glory with the players.

Well designed games have the potential to build brand loyalty and repeat patronage.

The Oregon Lottery is another example of funding going from bars and taverns across the land into state coffers. Players have no control over what happens to those funds, as they're considered "lost" (no longer under patron control).

As of 2009, many misanthropic gaming systems still serve as recruiting tools for purveyors of anti-social, violent lifestyles. The idea of using games as recruiting tools is worth keeping, even if we switch focus to philanthropic engineering.