What’s the role of gambling games within games? No, that’s not a typo: we’re talking about the fact that lots of video games also have mini-games contained within them. These games allow you to gamble to win additional money or items to help you elsewhere in the game, or sometimes do nothing but reward you with satisfaction. But what’s the point of them? And why are they so much fun? Let’s find out…
First, why do we play games at all?
Video games are something we do for pleasure. They help us to relax, they’re often a social experience, and they allow us to explore other worlds in the same way that films and books do, but with added interaction and immersion. Gaming makes us feel good, motivating us to do it for recreation.
What is the age of the average UK gamer?
It might surprise you to learn that the average gamer isn’t a teenager. In fact, the average UK gamer is 35 years old, and they tend to be married and enjoy playing games for more than 10 hours a week, every week. So, if you were thinking that ‘gambling’ games inside gaming is inappropriate, think again: most gamers are old enough to be rolling the dice, so to speak!
So, why put mini-games inside games?
Slotting in a mini gambling game within the narrative of a larger game is a gamification technique that’s designed to engage you, keep your attention and control your behaviour.
It adds intricate layers of activity, choice and reward, and overcomes the, well… boredom that you’ll inevitably face by being immersed only in the original game.
More than this, by giving gamers the opportunity to gamble and earn things like money, tokens and items, it helps to re-engage you in the bigger game. And, leader boards, tokens, badges and actions are highly motivational, even if they don’t translate into something tangible in real life. These are good tricks on the part of the game designers as it pre-emptively stops you from losing interest and playing someone else’s game!
But why put gambling games inside games?
Well, gambling is a particularly addictive kind of game, making it the perfect method for keeping players immersed in a larger video game. Gambling can be done safely, bringing about some great side effects. There are well known social benefits and health benefits (for which more information is available in this article by winkbingo) to gambling of all sorts. But the scientific bit? Well, gambling opportunities set within a wider game gives us a rush of adrenaline and endorphins. When we win, dopamine floods our nervous system and we end up feeling happy that we’re playing. Losing makes us want to play more in the hope of winning again. And that’s it: we’re hooked on the game!
However, gambling can be a risky business, causing a plethora of problems for people who gamble without controls and limitations, or suffer with addiction. Want to play games safely? Read up on guidelines for healthy gaming, and be aware about the risks and responsibilities of gambling.
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