In true pioneering fashion, the casino industry – an early adopter of new technology – is taking a closer look at the worlds of Virtual Reality and video gaming as it seeks to incorporate new gambling experiences into this multi-billion dollar sector. The result is the new genre of ‘gamified slots’. These new and impressive feats of video game technology integrate the mechanics, narratives, and experiences of video games into the traditional slot format, completely revolutionizing how players engage with casino games.

What are Gamified Slots?

Gamified slots represent a marked evolution from the classic one-armed bandits that have dominated casino floors for decades. Traditional slot machines were simple enough – players would pull a lever or push a button, and the reels would spin to line up symbols, the alignment determining whether the player won or lost. As the digital age introduced complex narratives and interactive gameplay, the casino industry recognized the need to evolve, and the result is the development of gamified online slots. Offering a kind of gambling/gaming hybrid, this new form of gaming appeals to the modern player’s desire to play for more than just chance.

How is Video Game Technology Being Used?

One of the major factors in the development of gamified slots was the influence of video game technology. State-of-the-art graphics, engaging story lines and interactive elements have all been garnered from the world of video games and integrated seamlessly into their casino game counterparts. The significance of this is twofold, however, as not only does it serve to vastly improve the aesthetic of slot machines, but it also allows for a level of interaction that was previously unprecedented. Now, a single spin could see you playing any number of little mini-games. It could see you unlock different achievements, or it might even allow you to level up, progressing through the story of your game as you do so — all while those reels are spinning. The end result is that slot gaming has moved from being a solitary, relaxing way to pass the time into a genuinely engaging and interactive experience.

How are they Enhancing the Player Experience?

However, the appearance of gamified slots on the casino floor raises some interesting ethical considerations and regulatory challenges. For example, the levels of psychological manipulation that are possible with fully realized gamification are a frequent topic of debate when it comes to traditional video games, and that same discussion will likely extend to gamified slot machines. It remains to be seen how these topics will be addressed or avoided by operators or what sort of long-term financial incentive the industry will have in self-regulation. Finding the answers to these questions will mark a key turning point for the future of casino gambling.

For instance, gamified slots are built on the idea that they will encourage longer play sessions and greater loyalty. The goal is to use those mini-games or interactive challenges to give players something to enjoy or think about, even when they’re not catching any breaks in the main game. However, casinos are ultimately businesses, and these kinds of games are only worth the effort if they can get players to stick around and continue to gamble. In other words, if a gamified slot is only successful when players completely ignore the gambling side of the experience, then it’s unlikely to take off in anything like the form that makes it attractive for casino operators.

There’s also the simple fact that the traditional casino gambling audience skews much older than the most sought-after demographics across any other industry. The move toward adding more skill elements to slot machines might be one way for casinos to go after a broader, younger audience rather than concentrating all of their fire on middle-aged and older players who have traditionally been perceived as the most likely customers. For people who have never been interested in traditional casino gambling, it’s possible that adding skill to the equation might be the ticket for them to make a first trip to the casino.

On the other hand, it’s not all sunshine for gamified slots. The ethical considerations and regulatory hurdles are nearly as profound as the opportunities. The merging of gaming and gambling raises the spectre of encouraging gambling behavior that’s less about older players and more about tempting younger audiences who might already be more vulnerable to video game addiction. Regulators and casino operators will have to tread very carefully. Gamified slot machines have a lot of promise in making the casino more tolerable for younger people, or just those who never warmed to slot machines in the first place, because it presented an experience that you simply couldn’t have at home when video games and online casinos didn’t exist. Since those days are long gone, you need to make sure that gamified slots are fun for the right people and don’t exploit the wrong people.

In a nutshell

Gamified slots represent a big shift in the casino market, blending entertainment and gambling in a way few (if any) have before. By attacking one of the major weak points of conventional slots, they change the casino experience enough that it could draw more people in without being overwhelming or alienating. The future, at least, looks rosy — it’s now mostly a question of what companies do with it. As technology historian Kelli A. Smith recently reminded Engadget, the gambling industry often spurs huge jumps in tech. If or when gamified slots catch on in a big way, we could hear about even more outside-the-box concepts in the field. Just make sure that thrill gets shared fairly.

Categories: Technology

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn everyday. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: [email protected].