By Ron VandenBoom
While it's nice to think of the Internet as primarily an educational tool, it is foolish to ignore the fact that many sites exist purely for entertainment.
This is the case with what I call "game sites."
There are many different kinds of game sites on the World Wide Web with perhaps the Casinos being the best known. The casino sites of course require money from the surfer and pay just like the gambling machines you find in Nevada's casinos.
If you're into casino sites, more power to you and let me know when you win enough to retire. I'm always looking for rich friends. But in the mean time I'll continue to believe they are a waste of time that can seriously drive up your credit card debt.
This however does not stop me from visiting sites that are just for fun, but also give you a chance to maybe win money.
Pogo.com is one site that offers board games such as chess and checkers and also classic arcade games like Tank Hunter and Tube Runner. They also offer word games, card games, trivia games, and my personal favorite, bingo games.
None of the games cost the visitor anything to play and a few of the games do offer cash prizes in some cases fairly large cash prizes.
The reason the games can afford to offer cash prizes is advertising.
While all of the games offer some advertising the money games keep a constant barrage of ads for other .com sites that have something to sell.
The games are computer generated surprise surprise and so it goes without saying that your chance of winning is also computer generated.
Despite the fact that your probably not going to win any money, it can still be fun to try.
Another aspect of game sites like Pogo.com at the occasional chat rooms you can visit while playing a game.
Because the games are frequently slow to refresh themselves, the player has plenty of time to visit with other visitors to the site.
Names like "cybertwin, dayglow, bingobob," are just a few of the chat-line people I've met while playing and although I really have no idea who they are, but they generally seem nice and help break the monotony between games.
Gamesville.com is another site that offers a generally casino like menu of free games.
This site like Pogo.com costs nothing to play and offers the surfer cash and other prizes for winning.
The site also offers a sports section where you can get on a board for games played during the month and a showbusiness section that features a pop quiz and trivia game for cash.
Other sites you may want to look into are uproar.com, linkopedia.com, and gamebay.com. They all offer surfers a choice of games and something to win.
I don't want to leave the impression that this could be the path to fame and riches quite the contrary. I have yet to meet anyone who has ever actually won anything at these sites. Although winners names are posted, I have no way of knowing if the names are real or fake. Nor can I be sure the prizes can be won.
While I can be fairly sure the game sites are making money off the ad revenues, I cannot be sure any players are.
I think it's important that the surfer approach these sites with the understanding that they are strictly for fun and not set themselves up for a great disappointment if they don't win.