How good a FIFA player are you? Would you bet money on it?

Part of what makes losing a game acceptable to me is that I haven’t lost any money losing. The only thing to lose is my pride, and even then, most games have an element of chance to blame losses on. But for some people, a game is only exciting if the stakes are high. With Virgin gaming’s multiplayer service for FIFA 13 and other titles, you too can have the pleasure of knowing ten dollars are riding on whether or not you win your next match. 

The game is rated E, though losing real money on a game might have you spouting M-rated language. Daniel Golding at Game On writes how gambling on FIFA made his sister’s boyfriend hate playing virtual soccer:

Jeremy settled on a player from the Netherlands, a player whose Virgin Gaming profile showed a win-loss history of 25-12. The bet was four dollars. The match would be the regulation six-minute FIFA halves. The winner’s jackpot, minus Virgin Gaming’s twelve per cent fee, was to be seven dollars and four cents.

The game was electric. Both players were cautious, happy to defend rather than push for opportunity, but the atmosphere was tense. At half-time, the score was nil all, with few chances made by either player. There was more than pride on the line.

A few days later I received a text message from Jeremy. He’d played some more FIFA games through Virgin Gaming, betting once again.

“I lost and got really angry and hated myself and the game. It’s fucking toxic.”

Adding gambling’s allure of “winning back” the money you’ve lost makes entertainment more than “just a game.” Golding found that the game retains its E rating because the actual money exchange goes through Virgin gaming. And it ends up being a lot of money:

Australian players can now gamble on FIFA 13 matcheson Madden 13 matches, and on others without much fear of regulation or interference. According to Virgin Gaming, twenty-three million dollars has been won by players through the service. That also means twenty-three million dollars has been lost by players.