Gambling has been an incredibly popular hobby for decades, and it seems that the hobby has proven to be popular across most science fiction too whether that’s in media based in our time and those based in faraway futures. Gambling actually has a very close relationship with science fiction across all forms of media, so let’s take a closer look.
Gambling In Sci-Fi
Television and Film
Gambling has been present in most forms of science-fiction across all media. For example, we’ve seen Star Trek characters enjoy playing poker games along with plenty of other activities such as Dabo, Chula, T’Sang, and so many more. It’s also appeared in the Star Wars franchise too with games such as Sabacc being incredibly popular. There’s also the gambling city of Canto Bight on Cantonica which was home to numerous casino venues and racetracks too.
Outside of long-running established franchises, gambling has also appeared in various films including The Hunger Games where spectators gambled on who would win each competition, as well as in the Mad Max films in which spectators would bet on the outcome of Thunderdome Fights.
Sci-fi film Time also featured unique poker games in which players gambled time, popular sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica featured Triad Cards which seems to be a unique take on poker, and there are so many other examples of gambling in television and film.
Comic Books and Video Games
Gambling is also prevalent in comics too as many supervillains enjoy gambling, including Spider-Man villain Chance who runs an undetectable flying casino known as The Palace. While this doesn’t compare to the proper casinos and their sister sites on the Internet, The Palace offers traditional casino games as well as a sportsbook that allows villains to bet on the outcomes of fights between heroes and other villains.
Also in the comics is X-Man Gambit who enjoys gambling and is shown to be skilled in playing cards and famous Batman villain Two-Face who makes decisions by flipping coins. There are numerous other instances where gambling appears in comics, but these are the most common and most unique instances.
Gambling has also made appearances in video games too such as in Fallout: New Vegas. In the game, which is set around 200 years after a nuclear war, players can visit any of the six casinos on the Vegas strip and play various games.
Why Is Gambling So Prevalent In Sci-Fi?
Sci-Fi is a genre which takes the core of human life and combines it with something new and strange, whether that’s giving humans superpowers, jumping thousands of years into the future where alien life has been discovered or something else entirely. Studies have shown that playing games, including those that involve gambling, are a part of human instinct which provides a form of entertainment and socialisation.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find games and gambling in science fiction media. While the game, book, television show, comic, or film may be set in an unfamiliar location or time, games and gambling are familiar to us and provide us with a way to connect the characters and setting.
Gambling is huge and will continue to be so for many years, so expect to continue seeing it in science fiction media.