Exploring the Possibilities of Interactive Slot Machines

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The slot machine has been around for a long time. It was invented towards the end of the 19th century and the very first one went by the name Liberty Bell.

Of course, it has undergone a lot of changes since then. The modern day slots that can be found online are a more sophisticated gaming experience in every possible way.

They feature superb graphics and themes that amount to genuine stories for players to follow from the start of the game to the finish. That has helped the popularity of slot games to endure in the competitive gaming environment of today.

Neither the companies that design the games nor the casino sites that host them are standing still though. Instead they are always looking for ways in which technological advances can improve the slot gaming experience.

An example of that would be an interactive slot machine. That is what this article will be taking a look at.

How Slot Machines Have Developed

First let us examine the route that slot games have taken from the original land-based fruit machines and one-arm bandits to the games of today. The physical machines that were usually found in games arcades had reels that the player spun by pulling a handle on the side of the machine.

For the most part the images featured on the reels of these machines were of different fruits – hence the nickname ‘fruit machines’. The other ‘one-arm bandit’ name was just a reference to the handle.

The 1990s brought the first online slots, which largely recreated the classic model in digital form. Then progressions in technology allowed slot games to adopt video graphics and led to games that have themes based on the latest big movies and television shows.

However, even these new game types did not provide players with much opportunity to interact with them. The handle was replaced with a digital button, but once a player pressed it, what happened next was mostly out of their control. 

What Interactive Slot Machines Mean

Essentially, making slot games more interactive will mean implementing some of the strategies that have worked with other kinds of games. This process is usually referred to by the term ‘gamification’.

Gamification is the act of applying many of the mechanisms and rules that make games work to things that are not games. By ‘mechanisms’ we mean ideas such as choosing characters and tailoring them to suit you, battling to overcome enemies or problems, moving from one level to another and scoring points. 

These are things that make video games engaging and many of them are now being adapted to other fields. Examples include apps such as Run that make exercising more enjoyable by employing gamification to make it feel like an adventure game.

The main reason why they make the games work so well is that they increase the amount of interaction the player has with the story. That makes playing it more exciting and fulfilling for the player, leaving them more likely to return and play again. It is these ideas that would help to produce interactive slot machines.

How They Can Be Applied to Slot Machines

The potentialities of gamification are already starting to be explored by slot game creators. One way in which they are doing so is by incorporating elements of problem solving into the themes of the games.

For example, newer slots often feature items that players can win after spinning the reels that the characters in the themed storyline need to progress the narrative. That means the slot player has a role in driving the action rather than just spinning the reels and waiting passively to see what happens next.

The process of making slot games more involving for the people who play them is being assisted by other tech advances too. Perhaps the most important of these are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

  • AR

AR creates gaming worlds that are a mix of the real and the digital. This has clear potential to increase the interactive qualities of slot games by putting players in the position of having to figure out what is real and what is not when playing them. AR slot games could be a blend of normal themed online slots and puzzle games.

  • VR

VR provides digital worlds that are seamless and as ‘real’ to the player as the physical world. It requires headsets and offers an experience of total immersion in an imaginary landscape. If VR slot games are the next stage in their evolution it is not difficult to see how this could make them more interactive. 

The possibilities that technology and gamification offer for interactive slot machines are exciting and they look likely to come to fruition.

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