Vice Squad
Friday, June 18, 2004
American Youth and Poker

Hmmm, I see my recent plea to my co-bloggers didn't really pan out. So...

Just read an article in the May 2004 edition of Washington Monthly about "Why the Internet generation loves to play poker," as the sub-title has it. The answer, in short: "Strategy-oriented, individualistic, and embedded in a nice masculine mythology, poker is the perfect game for the revenge-of-the-nerds generation looking to square their intelligence with their inner maleness."

I have been trying to think about various ways that the Internet influences vice control. One way is by providing a low-cost means to avoid some social forms of regulation that are built-in to bricks-and-mortar vice. On the Internet, you do not have to deal with a sales clerk when you purchase pornography, nor do you have to worry about running into your boss. But the Washington Monthly article mentioned another twist on this theme: "For many would-be players, the fear of looking like confused novices in front of a room full of old hands used to keep them from the tables. Now, the online poker rooms provide a convenient place to learn and refine the game at home with no one watching." And one other Internet-based gambling innovation: poker blogs (like here and here)!

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