Is There Such a Thing As a Truly Free Addicting Slot Game?

a truly free addicting slot game

Americans lost $3.5 Billion playing “free-to-play” games that use addictive game play mechanics in 2019. Nir Eyal conducted interviews with addiction counselors and people who spent extensive amounts of time playing slots games to determine what distinguishes these from gambling.

No one has discovered the ideal slot machine yet, yet many games possess certain common elements: vague aesthetic uniformity; franchise tie-ins and loud soundtracks in major keys. Most importantly, they rely on an effective psychological principle known as Skinner box; this experiment allowed pigeons to get rewards without directly receiving financial reinforcement if they kept pressing a lever until it stopped, providing reward through stimulation without financial compensation being offered in return.

Video poker and slot machines, which account for up to 85 percent of casino profits, follow a similar pattern. Natasha Schull, an MIT cultural anthropologist and author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gaming in Las Vegas has closely monitored this industry over 15 years. I spoke to her about why slots have become so successful and how casinos use behavioral insights to make them even more addictive; she suggested they both prey upon people who like feeling powerless by telling tales of luck or other random occurrences that make them feel outside themselves by telling tales that involve luck or events outside their control – like what video poker does!

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