Gamification isn’t a new term, but it has started to gain a lot of traction in recent years. According to many, the term came from computer games designer Nick Pelling in 2002. Since then, it has been interpreted and incorporated in different ways. The main function of gamification now is to build up engagement and motivation from the users.
As gamers, we all know that gamification has always been incorporated into “generic” games. It allows us to hone our skills and have a much more immersive experience. From strategy and first-person shooter to the latest sports sim, every game genre will have gamification elements built-in. It really comes as no surprise that the gambling industry, itself a technical innovator, has also taken on the term. As a result, many online casinos invest in slot game releases that incorporate interesting gamification features.
What is Gamification?
Whether it’s an RPG or MMO, to gamify something means you add a layer of competitiveness that keeps players involved. It allows for the users to progress, and this is now possible even with online slots.
A simple, real-life example of “gamification” happened in 2016 when millions jumped on the Pokémon Go hype. Pretty much everyone was running around trying to collect the rare Pokémon; walking to areas we wouldn’t usually go. Pokémon Go gave the users a much more immersive experience by making them work (or should we say walk) to gain the prizes. In sum, we feel that gamification has the ability to transform even the most tedious and mundane tasks.
iGaming and Gamification
At first glance, you might not think that online gambling and video slots are challenging. After all, most people believe you just click the start button, and the reels spin around according to pre-determined algorithms. The slots are designed to give a certain “return to player” payout, so you might reason that you cannot influence the result in any way. But online casinos have begun to see how players can become invested in certain games when there is a gamification element that helps them to feel engaged.
Gamification can revolutionize online casinos by giving players more substance to slot games than just spinning the reels. Innovative slot games are being continuously developed in what is a highly competitive market. Now, casino owners don’t just want you to spin away your hard-earned money. Instead, they will encourage you to embark on a journey with the ability to progress and level up. For example, you might come across slots that have been inspired by games like Runescape and Minecraft. Take Rabcat’s Castle Builder II, for example. This game screams Minecraft because you can design and build your fantasy home amidst the fun and interactive slot reels.
Gordon Ramsay’s hot slot
Some of the recent big slot releases take gamification seriously. One such example is the new Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen slot, developed by NetEnt, the leading slots software house, and based on the celebrity chef’s hit TV show. This fun game has several bonus round features. First, if you spark the bonus game by landing the bonus symbols, you get the chance to choose a culinary team and see if it wins a cook-off, narrated by Gordon Ramsay. Watch the results come in, and hope you guessed correctly. If you did, you then get to play another game, picking Hell’s Kitchen menus to reveal the prizes hidden behind. It sounds simple because it is, but this sort of gamification adds multiple new layers to the traditional slot game experience.
The concept has been around in older slot games, too, like the ever-popular Sphinx from IGT. In Sphinx, which is set in Ancient Egypt, the bonus round invites you to choose a casket in the pyramid burial chamber, which will reveal a bonus prize. Other slots use more familiar gamification strategies, like Wheel of Fortune, the slot based on the hit TV show, where you can spin the famous wheel to win prizes.
Gamification – Is It Here to Stay?
Gaming nowadays has demonstrated that everything can always be improved. Now that online casinos have made themselves more mainstream, in the sense players actually have levels and achievements to reach. Gamification is arguably one of the best things to happen to the gambling industry.
Additionally, new releases are made to capture the attention of the millennial demographic. Even if you are the biggest gamer, devouring every walkthrough guide, you might not like gambling with your cash. The good thing is that most casino sites offer you a demo version to try out first, so you can play risk-free. But, to answer the question, is gamification here to stay? Yes, and it seems that gamified casinos are here to stay, too, and are only going to improve.