Years ago, the video gaming industry was nothing more than a group of garage innovators. Today, it’s turned into a multi-billion pound industry that is influencing the lives of people worldwide. Additionally, gaming is no longer seen as a children’s activity. People of all ages spend thousands of pounds a year on updated consoles, brand new games, and bonus content. Though gaming can be an enjoyable pastime, modern gaming is easy to become addicted to. Just like suffering from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, gaming addicts experience a range of physical and emotional symptoms when they are unable to play. But why is it so easy to become addicted to gaming? Research suggests that gaming companies are now hiring psychologists, scientists, and marketing specialists to turn players into addicts. Using the same techniques as casinos, companies are taking steps to ensure their customers keep coming back for more. In this article, we explore casino games’ influence on video games in more detail.
When gaming first became popular, most games worked on a ‘premium’ basis. Basically, this meant that you paid for the game once and were able to access it for life. Today, most video games work on a ‘free to play’ model, instead. This idea has been taken from ‘free to play’ casino games, where players can ini-tially play for free but have to pay money to access new levels. With free to play video games, the basic game is free but money can be spent on bonus content. As no money is being spent on the initial game, it’s easy to justify the money spent on bonus features. Whether you’re hoping to access new levels or purchase more coins, you can spend money to make it happen. While most players stop once they’ve run out of money, others become addicted and keep purchasing in-game content. As most games include the option to save your bank details, new content can be purchased at the click of a button.
Another similarity between casino games and modern video games is the use of fake currency. By using chips, coins, or gems, gaming companies create a disassociation effect in the player. As the currency they’re using isn’t standard, they quickly lose track of how much they’re really spending. Typically, cus-tomers can purchase a pack of coins, chips, or gems for a set price. The coins are then used to purchase any in-game content, instead of customers using their usual money.
Modern video games often use ‘progress gates’. Taken from casino games, progress gates are usually used in free to play games. When using a slot machine, you can normally keep playing as soon as you lose – for a price. This technique is known as a ‘hard progress gate’. Other games use something known as a ‘soft progress gate’. On games with this option, players have to wait a period of time before progressing. If they want to continue the game immediately, they need to pay to do so. Progress gates are often used in free to play games but are sometimes used in regular games, too. When progress gates are used in regular video games, the company are essentially charging customers to play a game they already own. With soft progress gates, many players choose to wait for the duration instead of wasting money. Video gaming addicts, however, splash their cash to get their fix immediately.
Most modern video games have an in-game shop. Here, players can spend their money on bonus con-tent and virtual accessories. As the shop is in-game, players spend their money without having time to think rationally outside of the game. This technique is taken from casinos that place shops and cash points inside their doors. If a cash point is easily accessible, gamblers have no time to cool off outside the casino and think about whether they can afford to keep spending. According to research, video games use this technique to entice customers to keep playing.
Though video games can become addictive, they can provide a much-needed escape from the world and are totally harmless when played sensibly. Today, there are video games for people of all sorts. Whether you’re interested in adventure, sports, action, or puzzles, your local video-game store will have some-thing suitable. If you’re passionate about gambling, casino-themed video games can now be played. With the option to gamble for real money, casino-themed video games provide an alternative to land-based casinos. With some games available on a range of devices, you can even gamble via a smart-phone or tab-let whilst on the go. Better still, they offer a level of flexibility that physical casinos do not. If you’re strapped for time, you can play for just half an hour. If you’ve got a little more time, you can enjoy an en-tire evening of in-game gambling.
While video games can provide hours of entertainment, it is important to play sensibly. Think carefully before saving your card details to a game, and before spending large amounts of cash on fake currency. When using free to play games, try to keep track of money spent on progress gates and bonus content – after all, everything does add up. If you believe you’re suffering from an addiction, voice your concerns with someone you trust. If needed, consider seeking the help of a medical professional.