Many gamers have long lived in a parallel world where getting away from reality has been every much as part of the video game experience as the plot, graphics and strategy. Although the World of Warcraft and Second Life experience has pretty much reached its peak, gaming in an online casino is growing exponentially with the rise in popularity of poker, blackjack and roulette. Ironically, gamers who often prefer the solitude of playing online appear to want the online gambling games to be as real as they can get in terms of playing with mates and getting into tournaments worldwide. While some will argue online casinos will never replace the glitz and atmosphere of Vegas, Atlantic City, Monaco (or even Blackpool), the swift advance of high-quality technology in video and mobile gaming means online casinos are replicating the real casino with startling accuracy and authenticity. The entire gaming experience can now be had online without the hassle and cost of expensive travel and accommodation. Players may not get the complimentary drinks, snacks and shows, instead they have the ability to dip in and out of games without leaving their room as well as the chance to play at home in comfort. The widespread appeal and convenience of online casinos is pulling in hard-line gamers along with those looking to dabble for a few quid and others who genuinely believe they can make their fortune. Playing online gives the player complete control over how much to play for, or how many games to be involved in, while the variation in games available allows anyone to enjoy online casinos at the most basic of levels or get involved in high stakes tournaments with players from around the world. Some casinos use their online games to host the early rounds of tournaments, with the winners being invited to real-life matches with poker experts, celebrities and other online gamers. A virtual roulette table or poker game involves all the attributes gamers have come to expect online over the years, only without the virtual bloodshed and violence. The appeal now is to beat your opponents financially as well as mentally and with instant access, available 24 hours a day, to a huge range of casino games; the opportunities are endless. Just as gamers would spend hours building profiles and reputations while playing games such as Dragon Age, which can go on for up to 100 hours, online gamers can spend as long, or as little as they like playing virtual casino games with a seemingly never-ending supply of drama and challenges. The strategies involved in online gaming share similarities with gamers who, as individuals or as groups, are inexplicably drawn to each other and a desire to overcome the house is every bit as huge as taking on individual battles and enemies in the array of games they have been a part of before. It is the feeling of being involved in the customisation of the surroundings to make them exactly as you feel a casino should be, contributing to elements of the virtual world which fuels players' desires to play online games. This could be on almost any game, a poker tournament or a casino taking on a dealer in blackjack. It is about being involved in an enjoyable experience that can be repeated indefinitely. The feeling of togetherness gamers engender, such as in World of Warcraft, will boost tournament play as more join in creating new identities and avatars. This collectiveness can challenge game creators; online casinos will look to utilise their customers' wishes and in turn, while the classic games will remain at the core, spin-offs incorporating new, more complex games will surface and the appeal will spread further.