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Exploring the Virtual Worlds of Online Gaming 

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Paso Robles is undoubtedly a wonderful place to live and work, blessed with hot springs and the warm climate, surrounded by vineyards and wineries. Highly regarded for the production of olive oil and almonds, this city is also home to the California Mid-State Fair, which attracts visitors from far and wide.

But no matter how great our location and lifestyle may be, we sometimes crave the opportunity to discover new realms and embark upon other adventures, which is entirely what makes online gaming so popular these days. They are one of the most captivating forms of escapism, allowing us to assume explore fantastical worlds of the imagination, assuming different personalities while removing the shackles of everyday life.

The Fantasy Realms of the MMORPG

Back when video gaming first became popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s, whether at amusement arcades or at home with early consoles and home computers, little could we have imagined how the world would change in just a couple more decades. By the 1990’s the internet had arrived and with it, a whole new multitude of possibilities for gaming.

Tabletop or pen and paper roleplaying games were already popular, while they were also quite easy to translate into some of the earliest online video games. Instead of a human gamemaster, we now had software that could guide us through our adventures. Then came the internet and all of a sudden, fantasy roleplaying games went mainstream, especially with the launch of Ultima Online back in 1997.

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Remarkably, there are still people playing Ultima Online to this very day, while the game itself was inspirational towards launching countless other Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, commonly known by the MMORPG acronym. Since being launched in 2004, the most popular online fantasy game remains World of Warcraft, estimated have around 90 million players in 2020, more than 15 years after the game was originally released.

These and other fantasy games laid the foundations, paving the way for a whole generation of online gaming via desktop and mobile devices, while the current trend amongst developers and publishers is cross-platform gaming. For example, the huge open world within Fortnite can be played on smartphones and consoles, along with desktop PC’s and tablets. Never before has there been a greater choice of games to play and online realms to explore.

Online Casino Gaming Boom

In tandem with the mainstream video games industry, casinos have kept pace with the latest developments in online gaming, alongside taking on the role of creative innovators. There are now software companies entirely focused on creating products for online casinos, ranging from the software that runs websites to security suites, leading to thousands of websites around the world and millions of gaming options.

Current projections estimate that by 2023, the global online gambling market will be worth more than $95 billion, which isn’t far of being double the $59 billion valuation from 2019. Partly accounting for this growth, more states around the USA are embracing new online gambling legislature, permitting wider access to online sports betting and casino gaming.

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Boasting one of the largest economies within the United States, some forms of gambling such as lotteries and card rooms are permitted in California, although the state itself has yet to pass new online gambling legislature. There are currently no online casinos in California in the physical sense, as that remains prohibited, yet there are also no laws to prevent Californians from playing at online casinos located elsewhere.

For that reason, Californians are widely accepted at online casinos based elsewhere in the United States, along with those based overseas. Gamers can enjoy popular card games like poker and blackjack, classic table games including baccarat and roulette, along with video slots of practically every theme and style. The casino experience is now available via desktop and mobile devices, while the choice of games is growing all the time.

Huge Choice of Games & Places to Play

These days, online gaming can embrace anything from quick and casual games that can be played in minutes, to epic experiences that can involve campaigns lasting years. Fancy a quick game of blackjack or poker, there are plenty of online casinos to try. Keen to explore a galaxy far, far away? No problem, you can jump into the action and take your fantasy persona on wild adventures that would make even George Lucas proud.

The key element about online gaming is that within reason, you can practically do anything you want within the limits of modern technology. But one thing to keep in mind is the real world we live in, as this will always be there when we return from our online adventures. Moderate your gaming time and keep it sensible, as we all have real world lives that can be just as exciting.

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.