Bored During the Ballgame? This New Tech Can Help

GameSlam lets you bet one what's going to happen next during the ballgame you're watching. Opening day just got a lot more interesting.

It's opening day for Major League Baseball today, and that means one thing: distraction. Baseball games, you see, can be boring. And this is the year 2011, when technology officially declared that it's a human right not to be bored.

That's where GameSlam, a new online social game, comes in. GamesBeat has a story today about the Illinois-based company Game Time Live Sports Services and its new virtual game, which lets fans bet on what's going to happen during the real one.

The game works online, through Facebook or other sites--and soon on iPhone and Android. You can play against a select group of friends (for money), or with a random group of 100 others (for free). Each player starts with 10,000 points to bet during the broadcast of a game. You can make micro-level bets like: will the next pitch be a ball or a strike? Or macro-level bets: who will win the game? Or will the White Sox score this inning? (Probably not--go Cubs! Or something.) For now, it appears that the only prize for coming out on top is the satisfaction of having bested others; in the future, there are plans to have tournaments with prizes for winning the most points.

The game has several social features, like chat and check-ins. And by channeling stats in real-time from Stats LLC, the game is able to render a simple 3-D animation of the action more or less concurrently with what's happening on the TV or field (the game isn't smart enough to know what each player looks like, though, so don't be alarmed if Ryan Howard looks a little, well, different). Now--play ball! So we can bet on it!

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Email David Zax, the author of this post.

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  • Stuart Bogue

    Baseball is hardly boring. It is rife with possibilities and completely unpredictable in it's duration and outcome and all that happens in between. It is the ultimate game of relativity and relationship of time and space It is unchanging in it's tableau and requires patience and understanding and an actual attention span.It is played daily,not weekly and relies on the skill of the players and intricacies of the game,not dancing girls and once a week involvement.A 162 game regular season offers an ebb and flow that fans of the game come to live by.
    Unfortunately,television coverage has never been worse,offering a steady stream of unrelated closeups of fielders fielding,runners running,batters swinging and missing completely the importance of the wide view relationship of multiple occurrrences at multiple locations and their relationship to the other ,which obscures the beauty of this wonderful game and can bore even the most devoted fan.