Technology is an increasingly important part of our lives and is used across all aspects of society –from finance to communication, live events and breaking news. Audiences and consumers are used to receiving information quickly and easily, with live streaming and social media meaning that instantaneous communication is an expected part of our daily lives.
How technology is impacting our lives
An interesting way in which technology has impacted on our lives is through its application in the entertainment field, particularly in terms of online and casino gaming. Slot machines have been around since the late 1800s. The simplicity of the games has allowed them to become one of the most popular forms of casino games online. One way in which slot machines have been able to stand the testament of time is through innovations in technology. Increasingly complex modernizations of systems and programs have allowed game developers to explore whole new concepts and effects, which has revolutionized the gaming industry transforming slots from spinning reels, drums and visual displays all the way to colorful and feature-packed slots which tell stories and plots.
An increase in what technology can do has led to an increasingly sophisticated gaming experience. Many online casinos now come with HD graphics and almost cinematic sound effects, enhancing the experience and bringing the game to life. Given that a recent study found that 97% of online gamblers played at home, the ability of technology to bring the casino into the home should not be underestimated.
The enhanced communication aspect feeds into this, via the medium of virtual reality. While virtual reality has long existed as a concept, it is only in the last few years that consumers are able to use VR to experience something from the comfort of their own homes. Many online casinos offer the option of interacting with the croupier or other players via webcam and speakers, which gives the user the opportunity to play in casinos all over the world from the comfort of their own homes.
How technology has changed the way we play games
Technology has also changed the mediums with which we play online slots and casinos. As little as ten years ago, a PC or laptop – often with a wired internet connection – was the only way to get online. However, the increasing sophistication of smartphones and tablets, and their prevalence in our everyday lives has meant that people can get online quicker and easier than ever before. Wifi is also quicker and more powerful, meaning that games can be more complex and yet still load in half the time.
An interesting mix increasingly seen in the online gaming field is ‘old meets new’ – or the nostalgia effect. Studies have shown that people react positively to nostalgic situations and memories, experiencing enhanced self-esteem and in turn, greater optimism for the future.
Technology can also be used to draw a whole different audience. For example, while once upon a time a consumer had to physically go to a casino to play, now casinos can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This means that there are no longer geographical boundaries, and you can play along at a casino based anywhere in the world. In this sense, we can see how technology is bringing the online casino community closer together.
Better technology can also appeal to a younger generation, who have grown up with the tech and are familiar with it. Younger consumers are used to doing everything on their electronic devices, from shopping to interacting with friends. By using technology to appeal to this savvy area of the market, casinos can attract a new generation of players to keep the arena fresh.
According to research by Dr Mark Griffith, online slots or casinos can use this effect by taking popular, well-established brands and franchises, and mixing them with new technology to create an exciting new concept that seems simultaneously familiar. So we might see a game centered around a popular movie, TV franchise like the Game of Thrones or book series, or featuring popular music that the average user would be familiar with.
This effectively means that the game has almost been tested on the user before they begin playing it. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, for example, an online slot featuring Star Wars characters or themes will be instantly appealing to you – something psychologists call the psychology of familiarity. Similarly, if you’re already familiar with the concept being used in an online slot machine, through the use of watching them being played in films like Ocean’s Eleven, The Hangover or 21 you may be more likely to pick the rules up quickly or understand the game in a deeper way.
As technology keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and consumers get used to an ever-quicker exchange of information, it seems certain that the gaming industry will be adapting this technology to enhance the user experience. How they continue to change and innovate remains to be seen, but it seems certain that we’re set for some very interesting developments over the next few years.