What app developers learn from casinos

From Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesdays | May 23, 2017

I just returned from Hong Kong, where I presented Screenagers at schools, churches, and associations. One of the most interesting screenings was at a conference for addiction professionals. Did you know that about 1% of the U.S. population has a gambling disorder? It is almost double that in Hong Kong.

For this TTT I talk about how app and game developers design their products using tricks that the gambling industry has been using for years to hook players in and keep them playing.

Near misses and short-term rewards that lead to promises of a bigger win are some of the tricks app and game developers have taken from electronic slot machine designers to keep players playing. In an article in The Economist writer Ian Leslie explains:

“The machines are programmed to create near misses: winning symbols appear just above or below the ‘payline’ far more often than chance alone would dictate. The player’s losses are thus reframed as potential wins, motivating her to try again. Mathematicians design payout schedules to ensure that people keep playing while they steadily lose money.”

Click here to read the full article.