In 1970s-era America, there seemed to be few things everyone could agree upon. It was no one group’s fault, it was more a symptom of the times; the younger generation did not trust the older generation and vice-versa. I know this generational divide doesn’t make sense to modern Americans, where almost everything seems fractured along political/class lines these days, but I can attest to it as an eyewitness, albeit a very young one at that time. If one group said “A” was the answer, the other would immediately respond no, it has to be “B”; if someone older said this is the way it has to be, someone younger would inevitably say not so fast. This dynamic would apply across all subjects-sports, cultural icons, music, food; essentially argument for the sake of argument.
There was, however, one item almost everyone saw eye-to-eye on and was equally excited about, and that was the space program. During the late 1960s, early 1970s NASA could do little wrong. I can remember generations of my extended family-a contentious lot at that time-gathered in a room all quietly watching Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the moon. The only other event that gathered such rapt and silent devotion was the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox.
Suffice to say that adoration rubbed off on me, and during my pre-teen years my heroes were Armstrong and his fellow astronauts. When I dreamed of the future, it was centered on the promise of space exploration, space stations and man traveling to Mars and beyond. It’s a little sad that such a future will not happened as quickly as it once appeared it would, and like most everyone else, I’m more or less firmly anchored to the Earth for the time being, watching my old icons pass and fade into memory. Godspeed indeed, Neil Armstrong.
Still, I like to think the spirit of the Space Age still pulses inside me; maybe it is what makes me so anti-reactionary when it comes to almost any subject-I don’t want to wait for the future, I want it to happen now. This has also influenced my view of the gaming world. Each month I read and learn about new technologies that could transform the industry, and I want to see them happen now. Why haven’t server-based games become universally adopted? Why aren’t mobile gaming applications in place across all casino floors? Why haven’t land-based casinos become bigger players in the online realm? Let’s pick up the pace, people.
Of course, such impatience would make me a lousy businessman or casino operator for that matter. Indeed, in doing research for our Silver Anniversary Special Section, which starts on page 27, one thing that struck me was how gaming innovators, whether they be operators or manufacturers, are able to make their visions become reality while exercising patience. They realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s a lesson I should take a little more to heart.
Still, it won’t come easy for me. In less than a month’s time, I will be strolling the trade show floor of the Global Gaming Expo, which will take place October 1-4 at the Sands Convention & Expo center in Las Vegas. I’ve already seen some of the bumper crop of new devices and systems that will be showcased at various vendor booths. Already part of me is saying why can’t I play these games at a casino now?