what ‘freedom’ will mean in a gamified world

From Addiction By Design pg 83-84

Seeking to engender this same compelling sense of efficacy, secondary “bonus games” on video slots invite gamblers to perform actions over which they seem to have control (but do not). Anchor Gaming’s 2000 game Strike It Rich, for instance, presented players with a bonus game in which the object was to guide the trajectory of a bowling ball on a screen using a tracking device. Although the device enabled players to lift the bowling ball on the video screen, aim it, and roll it toward the virtual pins, the RNG determined where the ball would land long before its simulated roll came to an end. IGT’s race- car- themed bonus game similarly let players move a race car with a joystick, lending them a false sense of influence over the car’s movement. The point of such games is to give players “the feeling that they control the outcome of the event,” as a company product profile indicated in 2000. 36 Although one might assume that such a feeling would be disenchanting rather than enchanting, in fact it gives gamblers a sense that they are able to “animate” the gambling machine and thereby exert a sort of magical efficacy over its determinations of chance— which, at the same time, remain obscure and mysterious to them.

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