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Up The next generation of gaming software must be reliable and stable. The market and the high cost of player acquisition demand no less. Technology exists that provides the same kind of robustness and scalability found in numerous fail-safe platforms like mission-critical financial systems and air traffic control systems. Developing such platforms requires careful Stefano Sturaro Jersey , rigorous design, implementation and testing, and takes years to complete, but what gaming company can settle for less?

Early online gaming software was PC-based, single-user games downloaded or on CD. Developers extended these games to support multiple players online. The popularity of online poker caught those developers by surprise. The underlying architecture was not designed to support thousands of simultaneous users, playing frequent large tournaments. Compounding these challenges were poor internet connections including modems.

As online poker took off, leading sites attracted more players than the designers had anticipated. The early systems failed and crashed spectacularly sometimes taking down gaming sites for hours every day, interrupting tournaments and alienating players. Gaming software developers reacted by re-architecting with countless patches and fixes, forcing time-consuming client downloads.

Many do not realize that poker software is still not as stable as the industry requires and nowhere close to the stability of online stock trading applications. As recently as last year, two of the top five sites suffered damaging multi-day outages. Most networks crash or experience unacceptable lag every few days. MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is a measure of how often you can expect your online poker room to crash. Ask vendors to document in writing their historical MTBF.

Poker and Social Networking Gaming has always been about entertainment. Social networks like MySpace and Facebook have attracted tens of millions of users, and their growth continues. The popularity is based on the simple fact that people like to congregate Simone Zaza Jersey , share interests and play together.

Poker software developers have started to build social networking concepts into their platforms allowing players, for example, to congregate in private rooms. This functionality may be superseded, though, by a parallel trend. Spurred by Facebook opening up their platform to allow embedded applications, poker operators have created versions of their games that can be played right inside Facebook pages. CyberArts recently created such an application for its licensee PurePlay, which operates highly successful online poker tournaments in a U.S-legal subscription model.

The PurePlay Facebook client is downloadable from within any users Facebook page, and users can invite friends and acquaintances to play. A Flash-based version of the client will allow game play within a Facebook page.

A page can be an individual Facebook profile, or can be a special page created for a group or organization. This capability will give rise to informal groups and teams. Players can organize tournaments around schools, football clubs, brands Sami Khedira Jersey , hobbies the possibilities are limitless, and such groups can come together quickly and with little or no investment in software development.

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