Ask any bridge player in the world which is their preferred brand of playing card and most will answer KEM – that’s because KEM is universally regarded and the premier playing card in the world – the Rolls Royce of cards.The KEM brand has been around for over 70 years, starting production during the Great Depression. The proprietary manufacturing techniques developed by the company to make such a quality product meant KEM was the world’s first mass-produced all plastic playing card. Other companies have tried to match KEM’s standard of excellence over the years, but none have stood the test of time to effectively compete.KEM developed a card made of cellulose acetate – and that meant the cards were not only bendable and washable but they would retain their shape long after more traditional paper based cards had had long since become worn, old and unusable. The particular polymer used in the KEM plastic gives their cards a distinctive texture, snap, and feel. And being plastic and washable, KEM Playing Cards were made to sustain even the roughest handling or accidents like a spilt beer from poker players or a glass of wine from bridge players.But the sharpest increase in the popularity occurred during the Second World War. The company sent thousands of its decks to American soldiers in barracks across Europe to play whatever card game took their fancy. KEM cards set the standard for bridge design with the release of the KEM Bridge Grand Slam series. Some of KEM’s designs have become iconic (Maple Leaf, Arrow, Florence) and these have become symbols for bridge players the world over. Although the company changes it designs every few years some patterns like Maple Leaf and Arrow have been in the KEM catalogue for 70 years.In 1964, KEM was selected to be the official playing card of the World Bridge Federation, further enhancing its reputation – and has been the card of choice at every world bridge championship since. KEM is also the most widely used playing card in the poker scene and in 1970 the company extended its range to include Poker Width cards for use in the World Series of Poker. Nowadays, KEM is a major sponsor on the American and European Professional Poker circuit.Established 70 years ago, the KEM brand is atop the world of card games and will remain the card players’ playing card of choice for many years to come.
When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.