What is gamification and how does it work?
Gamification is a term coined by Nick Pelling in 2002 and since then, the word has been interpreted differently. Essentially, gamification emphasises the equal importance of engagement and drives motivation. Gamification has been used in not a new concept and it has been adapted to various industries. It has changed and advanced new learning methods, and it has been used in various business, not excluding the casino industry.
A simple use of gamification which increased physical exercise in a phenomenal way, came in the summer of 2016 when practically every Pokemon fan was hooked on Pokemon Go. Players were given a reward of rare Pokemon for walking long distances. Gamification has the capacity to turn mundane tasks into more intriguing and entertaining challenges. With the growing trend of implementing gamification, it has added another layer of entertainment and engagement, especially in today’s society that is very active in the online realm and people having a fast-paced lifestyle.
Giving users the opportunity to earn rewards makes people more engaged with the product. It has become common to find online forums which give points to players who are active in the online community and prompts people’s deep seeded enjoyment of participating in a competition. So it should come as no surprise that gamification has found its way into the online gambling industry too.
Gamification and the PS Vita
We’ve seen various forms of this incorporated into PlayStation Vita titles as far back as the launch of the console. The social app Near encouraged interaction between PS Vita owners sharing gameplay experiences and challenges, but one underutilised feature allowed players to send in-game content to each other. One of the most notable was for Sony’s own shoot-em-up Super Stardust Delta. Near allowed players to send and receive bonus music tracks to each other that could be unlocked for use within the game.
Even the bizarre Wake Up Club got in on the act. Despite being little more than a glorified alarm clock, the ability to join in with other PS Vita owners and form social groups and the inclusion of trophies gave the app long term appeal beyond the initial gimmick factor that it should have offered.
What is gamification in online casinos?
Gamification has revolutionised the online casino industry. Rather than simply offering players loyalty and VIP points, they are offered different rewards. These could be coins, seeds, medals, badges or other items which players could essentially trade with other players and given the choice and freedom to do so. There are free rewards allocated at times and extra quests, challenges or games that are offered to players to win even bigger rewards.
By utilising this concept, it entices player participation in the same way as video games are extremely successful in holding people’s attention for long spans of time. In recent years, there has been great development and popularity in both online and mobile casinos, so it was a natural process for the industry to embrace the idea of casino gamification. Of course, as with all advances, some people agree with this implementation, others are not as keen which is why certain online casinos stick to the traditional VIP programmes and casino bonuses. However, the success of gamification in casinos makes the casinos and their games memorable and infinitely more interactive.
What are the different types of gamification used in online casino games?
The concept of gamification has been developed my some of the relatively new online casinos around. There are several types you can come across when playing. The most popular forms of gamification are the level-up progress bar and the experience points. The level-up bar is presented to players on their account and it fills up with experience the more that players wager on games like online slots. Once the bar is full, players level-up and receive rewards like free spins, money or even bonuses. The experience points awards players whenever they reach a particular milestone. Similar to experience points, some casinos have a shop and in-game currency where players are awarded casino currency which can be seeds or coins that players collect. These can in turn be exchanged for special bonuses like cash or even to boost statuses. Another fun and engaging gamification notion is the use of a map where players journey through the map and unlock different areas and locations. Progressing through is done by wagering on casino games or even completing designated missions. Other more competitive gamification features used are leader boards where players can revel in beating players at the top of the score board. Similarly, the latest gamification feature is Player vs Player functionality where players can challenge fellow players in battles in duels, races or even tournaments, like the highly popular slots tournaments found at many of these online casinos.
What are some gamification trends on online slots?
Online slot machines have gone through a huge transformation from the classic one-armed bandit with the cherries and sevens lined up. Modern online slots have great graphics and software and come in a variety of themes from superheroes, to fantasy and historical themes. The latest gamified slots have become infinitely more superior to these slots with the increased interaction involved.
Many of the high-end casino software developers have hopped on board the gamification trend with their newly developed slots games. Besides having innovative graphics and state-of-the-art animation, these online slots games are resembling video games rather than classic slots. The way the slots games are made more engaging is by including a narrative and featuring unique storylines and characters. Some examples of slots games that feature this are NetEnt’s Steamtower and Aliens, Play ‘N Go’s Viking Runecraft and Microgaming’s Tower Quest and Avalon.
What does the future hold for gamification in online slots?
The future is certainly exciting for the online gambling industry! There have been many technological advances in the industry. Virtual Reality casinos have also been developed recently as well as Live Casino games. But, gamification is definitely a gamechanger.
The results of implementing gamification in casino games, particularly online slots, is the increased player motivation, which in turn keeps casino members more loyal to the particular online casino. Since the concept started in around 2016, further developments are surely on the way, especially with the success rate gamified online casinos have brought. The development of online slots will not simply stop there, as gamification is sure to be used in other popular casino games such as table games.
Today, many online casinos are becoming very innovative in the way gamification has been creatively incorporated. This trend is certainly here to stay for keen online gamblers as well as gamers alike. There are several new established online casinos that have incorporated their casino platforms using gamification, and we will certainly see veteran casino sites as well as emerging ones join this wonderful trend.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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