Writing about gambling

Based on a discussion in my Gambling and the Media class, I wrote a little essay about how gambling’s depicted in film and literature. Now it’s a Las Vegas Business Press column:

Looking at how gambling is depicted in books, films, and television says a lot about how people perceive the pastime, but it often says more about the author’;s mood or his or her plot needs.

The general rule is that the more important gambling to the plot of the story, the less positive the portrayal of gambling. Take, for example, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic, The Gambler. In it, the title character loses his soul to roulette. And the casino itself is decidedly unglamorous. “There is no splendor whatsoever in those sordid rooms,”; Dostoyevsky writes, “and as to gold, not only is it not piled on the tables, but one scarcely ever catches sight of it.”

via Las Vegas Business Press :: David G. Schwartz : When writers feel desperate, gaming depictions turn dour.

So if you’re looking for a positive, or even neutral, view of gambling, search out a movie or book where gambling isn’t the focus. The one exception is books about how to win at gambling, curiously enough.

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