Science

How Slot Machines Use Psychology And Design To Keep You Coming Back


Anyone who has ever walked into a casino has felt the lure of the slot machine. The bright lights, inviting little stools, and the promise of hitting the elusive jackpot are ever-present. It’s hard to avoid, no matter what logic tells you about the terrible odds. This Cool Hunting video shows just how involved the development of those enticing machines can be.

It used to be that you’d pull a lever, watch some numbers and pictures spin, and wait for coins to pop out when you get lucky. But slot machines of the 21st century are of a whole different breed. Bally Technologies‘ Director of Game Development, Brett Jackson explains to Cool Hunting how much thought goes into studying what players react to when they sit down, and how they can be manipulated.

At first it seems quite devious — the level of complexity that goes into keeping customers glued to their chair as they shed dollar bills with only a slight chance of winning big. But this type of practice is inherent to most market ventures. Selling is often about appealing to people’s emotions and desires, whether they are at a slot machine, buying an Apple product or deciding what to drink. [Cool Hunting]

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