Gamification mechanic monday: Casino’s
I have always found it fascinating to find out what attracts people to casino’s and what keeps them coming back. On a recent holiday we passed through a casino on our way to the restaurant a few times per day, each time there were people glued to slot machines, seemingly apathetic to the world around them. None of the players really wanted to talk and share why they played and why they kept coming back, so I went looking for some research on what motivates slot machine players, which sort of correlated with my observations on our cruise boat casino.
Apparently slot machines make up nearly 70% of casino income these days, mainly thanks to a larger variety of games being available and it’s access with a very low financial and technical threshold. If you have a few pounds and can operate buttons, effectively you can play. Research by the University of Oregon identified a few motivational factors for different kinds of players. Utilitarian players are in fact looking for something to do and they play to pass the time, winning is a secondary factor. Excitement seekers play to win and for them the reward is key, they also seek increasingly bigger payouts. Multi-purpose gamblers play for fun and winning, they often chose themed games and games they considered to be lucky. Relaxation players use the casino slot machines as a way of relaxing and typically only played for small amounts of cash, having fun and relaxing being the core motivator.
Personally I could totally see these types and characters play on our holiday and I would even add that a number of people were just opportunistically seeking their first experience in this type of environment, mainly because it is there and looks interesting to try out.
In an enterprise setting, some of these motivational factors may also apply, recognising the characters you are dealing with will be key to create engagement at the right level. In some of my training work, I have definitely encountered people who were motivated to just get out of the daily grind, others who were actively seeking more knowledge, some who were looking for some fun and social interaction, some who admitted to seeing training as a day out and then a minority who was told to come along. Engaging all these characters in the same way is not possible, hence I always used various techniques from time challenges, team quests, to creative drawing and more to keep the training day moving towards ultimately a set of learning objectives, which in this example I would equate to the win.
What have you seen in your enterprise gamification work, that could relate to the motivations of slot machine casino players?