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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    soooooo... basically you're spending heaps of resources to make slot machines more addictive and more appealing....

    Do we really need that?

      If your business model relies on getting people addicted to losing money, yes.

    Bally should have stuck to PINBALLS! WHAT A WASTE OF TECHNOLOGY!

    we joke about what we would do to get our hands on a gadget but it mostly never breaks up a marriage sends you broke and on the streets.... this is more like an intelligent drug dealer putting on a party just for you to buy more crack...

      +1 Mate. Pokies machines are poisoning the general low to medium educated population of Australia. I'm no stranger to putting 20-50 bucks in the Pokies on a night out to Crown or out for a big dinner with family and friends but I have to say that at times you can feel very pressured by your own subconscious to put another 50 in. It's quite troubling that some people that are not strong willed or reasonably educated are unable to turn their back on that subconscious feeling to continue playing.

      It's the same feeling a lot of the Gaming community call the "1 more level" sensation. Where they are enticed by a subconscious urge to continue playing a game even though they are fully aware that they need to sleep/eat/work/socialise. It's a large issue in the gaming environment but is so much worse when you add potentially 100's and 1000's of dollars into the mix and therefore people's livelihoods.

    Having worked in the industry for several years, I would say if there were no poker machines, many (not all) would find another outlet to waste their money.

    Most of the people who play excessively are escapists or people looking for quick money. That doesn't mean they aren't being exploited. Some of these people are just a little too on board with being exploited.

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