A “chance game” or simply gambling, unpredictable luck and a sense of mutual commitment. Such playful connotations can help to explain why almost 80% of American adults play and gamble at online casino or actual ones at some point of their lives. If I ask my students in psychology why they think people play, the most popular answers are for fun, cash or thrill.
Although these may be reasons why people first gamble, psychologists certainly do not know why gambling stops being a pleasant fun and becomes compulsive gambling for some. Who keeps people playing even when they don’t have fun? Why do people stick with games so that they can lose? Are some people just more miserable than the others, or are the chances actually worse?
In the last 15 years, as an addiction researcher, I am looking to the brain to understand the mechanisms that make the play so interesting. I found many are deliberately hidden in the design of games. And these hooks work just as well as on casual casino players.
Incertitude as own brain reward
The uncertainty – whether it’s the size of the jakobs or the probability that they will win is one of the hallmarks of the game. In the attractiveness of the game, recompense uncertainty plays a key role.
Dopamine is also released when the reward is unknown, as the neurotransmitter stimulates the brain during enjoyable activities such as food, sex and drugs. Dopamine release actually increases especially during times of potential reward. This anticipation effect may explain why the release of dopamine matches the “high” level of play and the extent of the addiction to gambling. It also probably contributes to the worsening of gambling behavior.
Research had shown that the release of dopamine during gambling occurs in brain areas close to those triggered when taking drugs of violence. In reality, similar to drugs, prolonged exposure to gambling and confusion causes lasting changes in the human brain. Compared to those seen in people with drug abuse, these incentives are hypersensitive. Animal studies suggest that these changes in the brain can even increase players ‘ appetite for addictive as a result of confusion.
Repeated exposure to play and confusion can even change the way you respond. Against the backdrop, in individuals with a gaming addiction, the loss of money is almost to the same degree as winning dopamine. As a result, losing in problem players will elicit the urge to continue playing, rather than the deception that can lead to a loss-chasing phenomenon.
Sounds and lights on your egg
But gambling is not only a winning and losing experience. It can be an immersive setting with a range of flashing lights and sounds. This is especially true for a busy casino but there are also plenty of audio and visual frills to catch up with even the game or Gaming app on a smartphone.
But they’re only frills? Studies suggest that these lights and sounds are more attractive and can trigger urgencies if combined with uncertainty about their reward.. More specifically, winning signals–such as long and large jackpots that vary in size–both increase excitement and overestimate how often players win. They can also keep you playing longer and encourage you to play quicker. They are crucial.
You feel like a winner when you lose
Since lucky gambling is structured so that the house always has the advantage, a player seldom wins. You can seldom feel the lights and sounds that come with a true jackpot. The gaming industry may however have developed a way of overcoming this problem.
Casinos and game manufacturers have significantly improved slot machines in recent decades, withdrawing old mechanical arms and buckets to the advantage of electronical versions known as electronic game machines. These new computerized games and online slots feature more colorful lights and diverse sounds. They are available. We also have a new era with multiline video slot machines with more rollers.
For multiple lines players can make up to 20 or more bets per turn. Each single bet may be low, but many players place the maximum amount of bets per turn. This approach means that a player will win on some lines while losing on others and net less than the original bet. Even if we “win,” we don’t get ahead of the winning case, a phenomenon called “losses covered up as winners.” Every win, though, comes with triumph lights and sounds, despite the loss disguised as a win.
This results in more enjoyable and highly popular among actors with these multi-line slot machines. Essentially, they overestimate how often gamblers actually win. The dramatic increase in the frequency of successes, whether actual or invented, contributes to a more exciting and rewarding brain pathway activation, potentially speeding up the rate of brain shifts. The creation of’ dark flow,’ a trancelike state where players are completely absorbed into the game also seem to encourage multiline slots, sometimes for hours to finish.
Almost: the result is near and the losses are high
Increasing electronic gambling devices also means that possible outcomes are programmed on a number of virtual reels rather than being constrained by the physical arrangement of different possible outcomes on each reel. Therefore, gaming designers can stack the deck to make certain events more frequent than others.
It involves fails, in which one of the rolls stops just before a jackpot is ready. This nearly miss almost wins to recruit brain areas that usually respond to wins and increase one’s desire to play more, particularly in problem gamblers.
This is not just a slot machine or a casino. Near-misses play an integral part in smartphone games ‘ addictive potential like Candy Crush.
Close misses are more satisfying than defeats–even though they are more painful and much less fun than long-term missing. But most importantly, almost winning triggers a bigger push than winning. Close-misses seem highly motivational and improve player engagement with a game, which ensures that people spend more time than they want. In fact, the size of the dopamine response to a near-miss represents the magnitude of the gambling addiction of a person.
Games and Their Games
You not just play against odds when you play competitive games, but also battle an opponent who is skilled in the art of deception and subterfuge. Lucky matches have a strong desire to hook players longer and let them get away with the impression that they did better than luck, fostering a misunderstanding of skill.
These carefully designed results increase gambling content for many people. When chips are running out, they can simply stay away.
Gambling isn’t just a sweet promise of time and a future jackpot. Up to 2 percent of the US population are problem players, suffering from a recent gambling condition.
It is one of the few addictions not involving consumption of a substance like a drug. Gambling disorders are, like other forms of dependence, a solitary and isolating experience. It is linked to anxiety and the risk of suicide for problem gamers is increased.
The hooks of the game designers appear more sinister for these more susceptible people. A solution to the problems of life always feels a drift away.