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BringIt.com Allows Players to Bet On Console Game Matches 112

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i'm-sure-it-wont-get-abused dept.
eldavojohn writes to tell us of a new service, "BringIt.com," that allows gamers to put their money where their mouth is with respect to their console gaming skill. "BringIt supports the PlayStation 2, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Players challenge each other on the site, but play on their consoles. BringIt holds players' entry fees until the game is finished. After the game is done, it verifies the results and credits the winner, minus the service fee. To attract players of a broad range of skill sets, BringIt has separate tournaments meant for novice players and expert gamers. Levin compared it to the handicap system in golf or the weight-class system in wrestling.
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BringIt.com Allows Players to Bet On Console Game Matches

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  • rigged (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blackomegax (807080)
    whats to stop you from betting against your own gamer ID and intentionally losing?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The service fee.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Do you get to bet on some arbitrary player winning or losing, or just on yourself-winning?
    • Well, you would be paying yourself to beat yourself. You would also be paying the bringit service fee, of course. I guess if that sounds like fun, go for it.
      Reminds me of Super Troopers:

      Farva: What's this?
      Rabbit: A chamois cloth.
      Farva: Ha. Lucky guess. I just lost a buck. To myself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Megane (129182)

      Nothing, really. But it sounds like this is only bets between the competitors, not side bets. So you would come out even, minus the service fee.

      On the other hand, if you played it right, you could shill one of your sockpuppets into appearing worse than it really was. Go up against an appropriately and properly rated opponent, and you might be able to win more matches than your rating says you should... at least until your ratings float high enough that you need to start again with new dupe accounts.

      • by fractoid (1076465)
        So basically 'smurfing', like Warcraft 3 online play had a lot of. Mid-level players would get to the upper reaches and start losing as many games as they won, and instead of manning up and trying to improve they'd make a new account and go stomp the noobs again. Great fun if you're a noob... >.> Except this time there's money riding on it, yay.
  • by Illender (888481) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:02PM (#28932343) Journal
    This is perfect! I can just quit my job, and bet on myself. And my mom said playing games would do nothing for me.
    • by immakiku (777365)
      Looks like you have to find someone to support your habit (bet on the other end). Plus the net would be negative as there's the service fee.
    • This is just a simple way for geeks to get back their lunch money.
      • by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:15PM (#28932531)

        This is just a simple way for geeks to get back their lunch money.

        No, this is a way for Korea to become the economic powerhouse of the world.

      • This is just a simple way for geeks to get back their lunch money.

        It would be if the kind of person who took your lunch money were actually into willy waving about their score in a console game.

        Don't get me wrong. I'm a gamer. I like games a lot.

        But the chances you'd compete against the kind of person who ostracized you for being a computer nerd are slim to nil. They were against you because they weren't like you, and didn't understand that obsession with computers. It's a pipe dream that some day they'll s

      • by genner (694963)

        This is just a simple way for geeks to get back their lunch money.

        Hey that's great now give me it back or you'll spend tomorrows lunch in your locker.

  • Cheating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:03PM (#28932365) Homepage Journal
    Maybe technology has advanced since last I played console games.. But wouldn't cheating be a huge issue? Cheaters were annoying when you just played fps games for fun, annoying but tolerable. Now if you are betting money and you suspect that your opponents cheat, then you would be pissed.
    • I would say its easier to cheat in a video game, but don't forget that pro sports/racing are just as tainted by cheating. If this got bigger, individuals betting on team matches, I'm sure we would be more likely to see point shaving than flagrant hacks. Then again, if the technology existed... Im sure we would see some sort of android golfer botting up the links at least once.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209)
        And business dealings, taxation, and the stock market are all even more full of cheating, so they'll never catch on.
    • Just like in the real world, if you really think someone's cheating, you either bring it the attention of a referee, or you just don't play against them next time.

      If a game itself is known to have many exploits, then it'd be pretty dumb to wager money on it at all, right?

    • I'd challenge somebody to a game of L4D - except that, cheating is so rampant, there's no way to guarantee the results are legitimate.

      Some are easy to spot, like aim hax, or fast movement. Others are harder, like somebody always knowing where the special infected are, even when they aren't making noise. It could be a skilled player, or something else.

      And sometimes cheating is indistinguishable from bugs. One time a hunter pounced me on that board in Dead Air one, and the pounce didn't register. He was sitti

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The Moof (859402)
        Hell, I would never do L4D, since the randomness of the level between teams can easily make or break your game. Location of tanks/witches can vary enough to screw one team pretty good, random placement of the tier 2 weapons, the number of pills/med kits, placements of items (very obscure rooms to the most obvious places).
        • You obviously haven't played in a loooooong time. Valve "fixed" all of that stuff in VS mode.

          If you ask me, the randomness should have been offset with a Difficulty Multiplier that was less than 1 for maps that turned out to be especially easy for a set of Survivors.

          • by The Moof (859402)
            Depends. I play somewhat regularly on the Xbox (I know the PC has one more patch than we do). While they did fix alot of stuff, they still have randomness to a degree (ie, tank/witch placement based on health and percent through level). The best example is NM3. Sometimes, one team will get the tank in the warehouse (set fire, run backwards, no damage), while the other team will get just in the sewer (no fire, no back pedaling back up the ladder). And the health and weapons are still random.

            Then you h
          • You obviously haven't played in a loooooong time. Valve "fixed" all of that stuff in VS mode.

            I see why you quoted that. ;)

            Randomness puts them pretty close together, but "pretty close" can be in the middle of a hallway, vs in a room with a closed door. Or spawning a tank before a crescendo, spawning it right after, or spawning it ontop of a flame barrel. Or maybe just not giving control fast enough, and letting the AI charge forward into a molotov.

            I'm still waiting for all the bugs relating to smoker pulling to be resolved.

            The other day on Dead Air two, a friend of mine got pulled out a window, and

    • by aafiske (243836)

      "... you suspect that your opponents cheat ... "

      In other words, they won.

      Go on, try to find an online game where when you win, you aren't accused of cheating.

      This site will never work without owning nearly everything about the game experience. And even then it's tricky.

    • by elloGov (1217998)
      Exactly what I was thinking! Here is an idea. When it comes to sport or any other competition, an neutral third party (referee) seems to do the trick. Of course the referee's integrity has got to be evaluated. If you can fit referees into the picture and reward them accordingly, you might have something.
    • Not only that, but xbox live (XBL) rarely provides a level playing field, in part due to its reliance on host-client networking rather than dedicated servers. Anyone who plays a decent amount of console FPS games such as Halo 3 and Gears 2 over XBL will tell you that host conveys a significant advantage. It can easily be the decisive factor when the individuals or teams are closely matched in skill. This becomes an even bigger issue in a game like Halo 3 where you can't manually choose host - it is selec
  • by Itninja (937614) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:10PM (#28932447) Homepage
    What could possibly go wrong? From the BringIt.com rules page: "When the game is completed, both you and your opponent must report and verify the results." If my experience with the gamers on XBox Live is any indication, maybe 1 in 5 of the losers will report it. And 4 of 5 of losers will 'dispute' the results.

    Usually the way it works is like this: I am playing a ranked match against somebody named some variant of '420niggah' (classy I know) and as soon as I am about to drop a coup de grace, they just quit. YOu what would make that even more fun? Losing real money each time it happens. No thanks.
    • by Drakin020 (980931)

      On top of that, what would they do if a network connection was dropped or something? I'd assume that if they refunded the money, people could just cut their system and say "Oh well it was a network problem"

      The internet is full of sore losers, and I could see this being a big problem like you stated.

      • pfft, not to mention the fact that folks are trusting their money to this company. I'm sure they wouldn't lose money on bad investments and be perfect holders of this money, right? Nothing bad with money holding corporations has ever happened, especially recently...
      • by innerweb (721995)

        That would the least of concerns. With so much cheating going on with simple games, imagine the level of cheating with games for profit. The invisible hand of the market place would definitely be pumping some lag switches.

        Now, on the other hand, could there be a legal precedent in the making where someone can prove and sue someone else for online cheating? I believe this idea is doomed still (again) as there has never been a reliable way to prevent cheaters from ruining the experience.

        InnerWeb

    • Well, if there was an ebay-type system which allowed you to give feedback on your opponents, you could reduce the likelihood of that happening a bit.

    • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:21PM (#28932617)
      The only way I see this working is if they have a system like eBay does with positive/negative comments. If someone bails on matches on a regular basis, then nobody would play them. If you are a respectable citizen of the site, then people will trust that you will honor the bet.

      It might be a bit harder to get started but once you're established, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.

      Also, I'd like to see a ranking system be implemented. Kind of like with Go. KGS uses a pretty decent ranking system with their online software. Basing your rank off the people you've played against. Have a separate rank for each game you play. Allow "rank" games with no wager and those with a wager so that someone new can work up their rank so people would play them. Require 20-30 ranked games before they can start betting and it would probably be a very robust system. Limiting the bets based on how many total games you have would also help people get their credibility up as more people would play you if they don't have to bet $20+ on someone with no reputation on the site.
      • In other words, the only respectable citizens would be the really good ones who stand to win because there's no incentive for the bad ones to lose money honorably for the privilege of losing even more money honorably.

        Anyone you play will be better than you, and the winners would know better than to play each other.
      • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:44PM (#28932933) Journal
        I ran a league with some friends 10 years back. We had 300 - 400 players. Everything was done on trust.

        The majority of cheaters were stupid. Registering new accounts and posting 40 wins within an hour was a classic. Registering multiple accounts was another - we tracked IP numbers. Poorly edited screen grabs were easy to spot - lossy jpegs show changes easily.

        In the end reputation was king. With a small number of people, everyone knew each other. We also took part in our own leagues.

        The caught cheaters used to go to great lengths to get even with us for banning them. Forum exploits, DOS attacks, and general annoyances. Funny because we offered no prizes except a name on a 'winners' page.

        Good luck to these people. They'll need it.
        • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:58PM (#28933109)
          I don't know. Considering the lengths to which people went to when money wasn't involved, I would bet that this system would tempt the even more clever cheaters to get involved. When money is involved, you could justify spending more time developing methods of gaming the system. Just look at the systems brokers setup to do stock trading: clusters which could do trading on micro-second transactions. I just hope bringit.com has reasonable security experts.
          • by hoggoth (414195)

            Not just clever cheaters. If money is involved you can be sure there will be legions of third world players being PAID to play, bet, and cheat.

        • The majority, who are essentially griefers, although most of them aren't actually smart enough to know this. The second type is the well respected 'pros' who probably do a lot of the discovery or development themselves, or know someone who does and provides unreleased cheats.

          Probably the exact same situation as hacking where 99% of the kids involved can barely turn on a computer, much less run a compiler or low level debugger.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)

        The reason eBay's system works is that both parties stand to benefit from the transaction. A buyer wants the product and a seller wants to get rid of it to a paying customer. If the transaction goes smoothly on both ends, both parties get a positive rating. Gaming is different. Everyone wants to win, but even moreso than that everyone HATES losing. If you're really good at any online game, you're automatically labeled a cheater even if you've spent hundreds of hours mastering the craft and the other person

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I could see this potentially working with a game like Call of Duty where they give you a weblink at the end of each match that contains the match results (which could potentially allow you to supply it to bringit.com to process for verification of winning).

      but honor system? lol.. color me apathetic to this non-service.

    • by rm999 (775449)

      I'm guessing Live records the results of matches somewhere, so they can be verified by a third party. They could always charge a higher service fee for false disputes.

    • by Fyzzle (1603701)
      Since you guys crashed the site that TFA is from: -_-

      Usually the way it works is like this: I am playing a ranked match against somebody named some variant of '420niggah' (classy I know) and as soon as I am about to drop a coup de grace, they just quit. YOu what would make that even more fun? Losing real money each time it happens. No thanks.

      I would imagine that a disconnect would mean loss.

      What could possibly go wrong? From the BringIt.com rules page: "When the game is completed, both you and your opponent must report and verify the results." If my experience with the gamers on XBox Live is any indication, maybe 1 in 5 of the losers will report it. And 4 of 5 of losers will 'dispute' the results.

      I would hope that contested games get verified by a neutral third party, and that frequent false verifications would flag an account for banning.

      I know I would put myself in the "novice" category to give myself a better selection of gamers to play increasing my payout. I'm not saying I'm primed to compete against fatal1ty or anything, but I do like easy money.

    • by FrostDust (1009075) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:04PM (#28933181)

      I am playing a ranked match against somebody named some variant of '420niggah' (classy I know) and as soon as I am about to drop a coup de grace, they just quit. YOu what would make that even more fun? Losing real money each time it happens. No thanks.

      Starcraft (and that's more than a decade old) recorded "Disconnects." Having a record like "15-12-37" would lead people to not play against you, either cause you're a sore loser or because you have a really terrible connection. I haven't used any of the current gen systems' online multiplayer services, but I think they'd be able to implement counting disconnects for each user easily.

      Also, I didn't check out Bringit's rules but it makes sense that they'd put into terms that disconnecting counts as a loss.

    • by bitt3n (941736)

      I am playing a ranked match against somebody named some variant of '420niggah' (classy I know) and as soon as I am about to drop a coup de grace, they just quit. YOu what would make that even more fun? Losing real money each time it happens. No thanks.

      so don't start your match against them at 4:19.

  • Rankings (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nitsew (991812) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:12PM (#28932487)
    How do they rank players? Couldn't an expert player just pose as a novice, and win easily?
    • Re:Rankings (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:50PM (#28933011) Homepage

      How do they rank players? Couldn't an expert player just pose as a novice, and win easily?

      Yeah I was chuckling thinking about that, and hearing their CEO comparing it to wrestling weight classes.

      On the one hand, that makes no sense, because weight classes have nothing to do with separating people based on skill, but rather simple physical attributes and the unfair advantage that stems from them. Even the most skilled 110 pounder on earth is going to get smushed into the mat by a competent 275 pounder.

      On the other hand, it makes perfect sense, because wrestlers are all about gaming the weight class system as much as possible. That's why they starve themselves, and run five miles wearing a dozen sweatshirts and/or plastic bags the day before weigh-in to lose water weight, all so that when they walk onto the mat in the "150lb" weight class they're sporting the body of a 170 pounder. In practice this just means everyone is really a couple weight classes heavier than what they wrestle at. But that's because you can't easily change your weight, and your weight class is defined by what you weigh at weigh-in. You can't wrestle at 130 a couple weeks then gain some weight but stay at 130. If you could? Yeah you'd see people cutting so much weight they couldn't stand up right just so that later at a more important match they'd have an advantage.

      Anyway, I'm assuming/hoping it's a sort of ladder system and that the size of wagers is capped at each level. It's one thing to have someone sandbagging and pool shark you out of $10, yet another when Mr. Franklin gets involved.

      • by IdahoEv (195056)

        Anyway, I'm assuming/hoping it's a sort of ladder system and that the size of wagers is capped at each level.

        Their FAQ page [bringit.com] makes it clear that it's a ladder system. Win enough times, and you automatically go up a rank.

        Doesn't say anything about wager sizes, however (that I could see in an admittedly shallow read-through).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by IdahoEv (195056)

          Found it. Wager size caps are based only on how many games you have completed, historically. They start at $50/game, and go up in steps to $500/game once you have completed 30+ ranked games.

          http://www.bringit.com/rules/

    • The practice is called Sandbagging. Lose games on purpose to keep your ranking low, and occasionally when you get to play a much weaker player, go full throttle and humiliate the poor guy who thinks he's playing someone of equal skill. There are sandbaggers pretty much on any free gaming service on the net. Apparently sandbaggers enjoy their trade. In a gambling situation, the sandbagger would lose games on purpose when the bet is small, and play for real when the bet is large. Possibly making some money a
  • BringIt has separate tournaments meant for novice players and expert gamers. Levin compared it to the handicap system in golf or the weight-class system in wrestling

    or the operating system in geek world
    • BringIt has separate tournaments meant for novice players and expert gamers. Levin compared it to the handicap system in golf or the weight-class system in wrestling or the operating system in geek world

      I don't think you need to 'speak sports lingo' to know the difference between 'novice' and 'expert'...

    • by bridgeco (1385677)
      or... clock multiplier!
  • by loafula (1080631)
    Now, I didn't RTFA, but how are they supposed to verify these results? I can see maybe somehow on the PS3 or 360 doing it online, but on the PS2 and Wii? Are they relying on screenshots or something? The word of the players? I am willing to bet (pun intended) that this flops before it ever gets off the ground.
  • Even if you win. I will admit I did not read TFA, but I'm pretty sure the US government would put the kibosh on this pretty quick. I would even venture to say there are criminal statutes that could come into play.
    • Why? Gambling of this kind is a state issue, not federal.

    • by kelnos (564113)
      Many states allow sports betting, and even more (all of them?) allow you to participate in contests where you effectively only "bet" on yourself. So there's really no issue; the US federal gov't doesn't have much to say about it at all.

      There's also a big legal distinction between "gambling" on games of skill and games of chance.
  • What is the difference between this and the various poker sites that have been outlawed in the US ?
    • by Xuranova (160813)

      The difference is (and I've seen this argument made before because I've seen another site aimed more at pc gaming do this) is with poker and other casino games, there is some 'chance' involved.

      Removing the cheating factor from a console game, the amount of 'chance' is about zero. i.e with most FPS, players remember where weapons spawn and when, so map control isn't a luck game. In RTS, he who knows the correct build order will win most of the time, etc.

      This is under the assumption that its only the players

    • by Anonymusing (1450747) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:39PM (#28932859)
      Just to save you the time, the headline of TFA [gamepolitics.com] ends with the words "Legal in 39 States". And that article links to this [google.com] which says you can't play video games for cash in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Tennessee and Vermont.
    • by thygate (1590197)
      From TFA: "As reported by the Associated Press, the site, which is apparently legal in 39 states, will end its beta phase any day now." Arizona for example won't allow it. Also : "Gamers can bet up up to $100,000, says another media report." Makes me wonder what their fee is, but their webserver seems to be down already.
  • for Junior to get Dad's debit card number and put the family jewels on the line.
  • But I hope it's well implemented.

    So-called network issues? Jokes on you, that's a loss.

    Oops, my controller died? Here's another L for you, loser.

    Mom unplugged the tv in the middle of a match? Take your loss like a man!

    See where I'm going with this? Any kind of disconnect equals a loss, pretty much no exceptions.

    This is in addition to a good feedback system to protect against griefers.

    In fact, there needs to be a decent cash-based system like this to clear up a lot of the noise found in online gaming. Folks

  • If there was some way to make it work with Crash Team Racing I would use this to become financially independent, because I'm the best Crash Team Racing player in the world. I once had a standing bet with an entire dorm room that nobody could beat me. I couldn't lose, even against sober people when I was too drunk to walk.
    • Perhaps, but once you get online it changes entirely. I could beat everyone in my dorm at Starcraft even in 2v1s and sometimes 3v1s, but online I'm just an average player.
      • by nitio (825314)
        Everything changes when you get online. You might be good in bed sorcing 5 chicks a week but online you're just regular porn.
        • +1 You'll meet some superhuman freaks online. Metroid Prime: Hunters (feels very similar to Quake 3 Arena) comes to mind. It was just incredible to think that the 5-star players were people. There's extreme skill, and then there's scoring a perfect headshot across the field (aiming with your thumb on a touchscreen) while both players are in midair...and a body shot would have done the job. Things got crazy really fast.

          One of my favorite memories was from a level with a double-helix set of paths leading t
  • no pc games? and how do you keep house Shills for taking your cash and just giving it to the house?

  • The fee is 10% with a minimum of 0.50 on each individual players wager.
    With a rake of 10% you'd have to win about 70% of all games to make a profit.

  • Does this story remind anyone else of that really bad 80s film, The Wizard [wikipedia.org]?

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