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Solving the Biggest Question in Social Casino | Al Thomas

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Delivered at Casual Connect Europe 2017. In this lecture, industry veteran Al Thomas will discuss the ins and outs of social slots design and answer the biggest question often asked by social casino newcomers and veterans alike: “If the games don’t pay, then why do they play?”

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Solving the Biggest Question in Social Casino | Al Thomas

  1. 1. Secrets Revealed: Answering the biggest question in social Casino Al Thomas Managing Director, Product Consultation Eilers & Krejcik Gaming
  2. 2. Introduction My first conference as a game developer. 1983 CES Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. 3. Secrets Revealed: Four Big Myths and Misconceptions about Gamblers
  4. 4. Understanding the PSYCHOLOGY of GAMBLING is important…
  5. 5. …but the NEUROSCIENCE of GAMBLING helps us truly understand the motivation of gamblers
  6. 6. The casino gaming industry hates this word…
  7. 7. “Addiction” is a very specific, clinical term and should not be used lightly
  8. 8. Technology allows us to peer inside the gambler’s brain while they are playing a gambling game
  9. 9. The same regions of the brain of a gambling addict are activated during a reel spin as when a person with a chemical addiction is anticipating a “hit”
  10. 10. Just because we know how players become addicted doesn’t mean we should turn to the dark side
  11. 11. SLOT DESIGN SECRETS: How to turn players into mindless, money spending, gambling robots
  12. 12. Social casino game mechanics may inadvertently interfere with the spiral of addiction
  13. 13. Players want their money close… just not too close!
  14. 14. Having a gambling addict in your casino is NOT a good thing.
  15. 15. You want to create an experience that will “figuratively” scares people to death…
  16. 16. …not one that actually does!
  17. 17. Don’t Forget: Gamblers are a moving target Veteran players may out grow the thrills that first excited them
  18. 18. With careful player research you can really see what players like and don’t like
  19. 19. “Australians”
  20. 20. “SERIOUS” Gamblers
  21. 21. The “Serious” gambler regularly commits blocks of time and are not afraid to monetize. They’re not ADDICTS, they’re FANATICS
  22. 22. Four Myths and Misconceptions about SERIOUS Gamblers
  23. 23. Myth #1 They have FUN Gambling
  24. 24. Players don’t have fun GAMBLING They have fun WINNING
  25. 25. A fun, engaging experience can distract you from the potential negatives
  26. 26. Pleasure may not be the same thing as FUN, but it feels pretty good
  27. 27. Myth #2 Gambling is PLEASURABLE
  28. 28. Why have ENOUGH when you can have TOO MUCH
  29. 29. This is the face of PLEASURE
  30. 30. The PAIN of LOSS, the JOY of WINNING and the ANTICIPATION of an UNKNOWN OUTCOME all combine to create TENSION. And it’s the RELIEF from this TENSION that creates the PLEASURE of GAMBLING
  31. 31. Pleasure comes from the SCRATCH …not the ITCH!
  32. 32. Myth #3 RELEASE of TENSION is the most important part of a Casino Game
  33. 33. Just because players love the SCRATCH doesn’t mean they seek out the ITCH
  34. 34. OUR job is: To Provide a FUN and ENTERTAINING experience, driven by a mathematical cycle of TENSION and RELIEF, that ENGAGES players LONG ENOUGH for them to feel the COMPULSION to come back and play again and again. Until it’s a HABIT
  35. 35. If a movie is engaging enough then eating popcorn becomes automatic
  36. 36. •Hardwired for Pattern Recognition •BF Skinner’s Variable Ratio and Schedule of Rewards •Zeigarnik effect of Incomplete Tasks
  37. 37. Myth #4 If you can’t win MONEY, then it’s NOT GAMBLING
  38. 38. Gambling is not about WINNING money, and it’s not about LOSING money, it’s about RISKING something of VALUE.
  39. 39. “Cookie Jar Gamblers” don’t use winnings to pay bills or buy food… Gambling winnings are used for more gambling!
  40. 40. A SERIOUS GAMBLER who LOSES, will put more money in to “RECOVER” losses. But when they WIN, they often INCREASE their bets and take bigger RISKS to win some “SERIOUS MONEY”
  41. 41. There’s a reason why casinos prefer to use “tokenized” chips for wagering
  42. 42. There’s very little difference between money and “money” in the mind of a gambler
  43. 43. THANK YOU for your ATTENTION …and apologies to any Australians in the audience
  44. 44. For information on design, research or consulting services, please contact: D.J. Leary, Director of Business Development - dleary@ekgamingllc.com
  45. 45. Addiction can lead to cheating, negative press, criminal behavior and the potentially of strict, regulatory oversight

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