With a history dating back to the late 1800s, slot machines have truly stood the test of time as a mainstream entertainment activity.
The limitations of technology meant that slots were extremely simplistic in their early years, with the games featuring just three reels and no additional features.
Charles Fey’s Liberty Bell was the first slot machine to enjoy commercial success, despite paying out a jackpot of just fifty cents to players who lined up three bells.
Fast forward to today and modern slots are multi-level games that have the power to keep players engaged for hours on end.
Read on as we take a closer look at how the strategic use of gamification has helped to transform the gameplay in slots during the 21st century.
An Introduction to Gamification
The gamification of slots can actually be traced back to the 1980s, when they started to include features such as nudges and bonus levels on top of the base game.
This created a scenario where slots games became less about winning the jackpot and more about the journey that took the players there.
The term ‘gamification’ was first used in the context of computer software in 2008, but did not gain widespread use until a couple of years later.
It was used to describe the incorporation of reward or social aspects into games, which subsequently became the go-to technique for developers across the slots industry.
Gamification in Action
Modern slots bear little resemblance to their early counterparts, with the gameplay experience now much more closely aligned to traditional video games.
Advancements in graphics and animation technology have helped slots become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world.
Gamification has undoubtedly played a huge role in this, with the inclusion of mini-games, leveling up and visual rewards transforming how slots are played.
Slots are now all about reaching additional gaming levels, where the player has the opportunity to win life-changing sums of money based on their in-game decisions.
The Psychology Behind Gamification
Gamification elements within slots creates a feeling of immersion and additional value, thus fuelling a player’s natural competitive desires.
Achieving specific goals to secure financial rewards plays an integral role in gamified casinos, creating a sense of achievement that keeps players coming back for more.
Players become immersed in exciting storylines that require them to complete missions, overcome challenges, answer questions correctly, and more.
The visual representation of your progress within these additional game levels is the key psychological factor that gamification expertly taps into in modern slots.