Playing and competing is something we humans have been doing at all times. The competitive instinct sets in when we play, and the will to win is often intense. However, it is stronger in some individuals than in others, which is because we are different. Is there anything more that drives us to play than to take home the big win? Of course, there are many other reasons, including we think it’s a lot of fun, and many more. Did you know that some players can even get an adrenaline rush from losing? While others play more games in a bid to recover their losses. The latter is highly uncalled for and prohibited. This guide article goes in-depth into why we play and the psychology that underlies our behavior.
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What makes us want to play?
In the beginning, we discussed and agreed that it has a lot to do with our competitive instinct. It is exciting to play and to compete, with the opportunity to win something. Man has always liked different gambling forms, even if we go as far back as the Iron Age. Through excavations, reliable signs have been found out that man played even back then. They have found game pieces in different materials such as bones and glass and boards that they played on. Maybe it was not ludo as such, but more in the table games direction.
The factor that is perhaps most driving is the opportunity to win; we all have in our minds a dream of bagging that big win. Another strong reason as to why we play is the fact that playing pokies is full of fun. We must also not forget the social factor we can see in games such as Bingo and Poker.
Research shows that many people play because it’s fun
There is a lot of psychology in why we play, whether it is online, at a land-based casino, or by buying a ticket. There are so many interesting facts regarding this topic and a lot of ongoing research in the field. We read an article from the BBC that deals with the reasons why we play. Psychologist Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University has conducted a study on why we play. Griffiths is a specialist in behavioral issues when it comes to players and also addicts. A survey was sent out to 5,500 players, and they were asked what drives them to play. You can see the study results in the table below, where most people with the same answer ended up at the top and then in descending order.
- The opportunity to win a lot of money.
- Because it’s fun to play.
- It’s a moment of excitement with the game.
Psychologist Mark Griffiths believes that playing is a way to “buy exciting entertainment.” Even if you play and lose on the game round, the body will continue to pump out adrenaline and endorphins in the blood. This makes you still find it fun to play, even if you do not win.
More studies show similar behavioral patterns
Let’s go back to 2009 and Stanford University in California. Here, too, the researchers were interested in the subject and conducted a similar study. They came to a fascinating result when it comes to the loss limit. 92% of those who set a loss limit when they played never fell below the limit. This shows that players are aware of the casino’s advantage over those who play. Even if the respondents lost, it does not necessarily mean that it was a negative game round.
The research team made another perhaps surprising discovery. The players who had no unique expectations of winning big were surprised and happy even with a small win. This could be ascertained via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, where you could see how different parts of the brain reacted. This is also a natural way to protect ourselves from the “I do not win” syndrome. However, the chance and opportunity to hit a winning combination are always there each time you play.
The Social Aspect of Gambling
There is also a social approach that makes us excited to play and compete. Spending our leisure time playing games is a great way to meet old and new friends, perhaps especially at a land-based casino or gaming hall. Many of us are social and want to do something together; it is more satisfying to play with a friend. This relationship also applies to online games, but how can it be social? Maybe not just play slot machines, but other gaming opportunities have a more social significance.
- Live Casino is a good example where you play with a live dealer at the table that you can chat to. At some tables, it is also possible to chat with other players.
- Poker is another online game that has a more social character. Especially in the downloadable clients, where there are several players at the same table. There is a chat function where you can talk a bit with your opponents.
- Bingo is often called the most social game of them all. Bingo Online is also social through the joint live chat. In the chat room, players can interact and talk to each other, and the chat hosts arrange fun competitions alongside bingo.
This Influences us to Choose Games Online
So what exactly makes us choose a particular online casino or a specific game? Now we do not think so much about the welcome offer and a design that attracts. We have already concluded that it is fun to play even if we do not always win. The appearance and design of a particular casino can make you feel like you want to play there. This has a lot to do with colors, and red shades are often associated with luck at casinos.
For game developers, however, there are more ways to make games more attractive. We then think of what we call game features. Through innovative features, the game becomes more exciting, and you have a better opportunity to take home a win. Some standard features that make a slot attractive are free spins and other types of bonus slots. Specific symbols and a particular combination of selected reels are required to activate the feature. This makes the game more exciting, even if you just almost got into the jackpot game. This “almost” feeling makes you experience the game round as both exciting and fun, even if you did not win anything.
The games at a casino are what bring the site to life. That is why we visit the site – to enjoy pokies. The slot machines are designed in such a way that they will attract us as players. Theme and appearance are an essential part and the first thing you see when choosing a game. We are looking for entertainment with a moment of excitement when we play. Game developers are well aware of this and create themes that we can relate to adventure. Egypt-themed slots are among the most favorite pokies in New Zealand, but even a jungle adventure and classic slots with fruits always gather a considerable following.
There are always new types of features that make it fun for you to play. Today, there are many games equipped with unique features that give you more winning ways. Slots with Megaways can give you more than 117,000 different ways to win. You can agree that it is a bit tempting to try such a game. This feature makes you feel that something fun is happening all the time during the game. Adding jackpot features to regular slot machines is another popular way to make them more attractive. Red Tiger is the game maker that has taken the lead in offering daily jackpots that payout every day.
Playing Responsibly makes it more fun
Responsible gambling is something that each player is supposed to be thoughtful about before starting each gaming session. After all gambling with real money can also involve an absolute risk when we play a little too much. Because the excitement is so high and the entertainment so immersive, it’s easy to lose track of time and space. By planning and being prepared, you can avoid playing with more than you intended. All New Zealand casinos today have a program that can help you play responsibly, which we highly recommend. The sites are transparent, and it is easy for players to access the information. You are always one click away from taking a break from your gaming account. When you become a member of a New Zealand casino, you can always set gaming limits in your account from the start or between your gaming time. The limits are not mandatory since there is no law that restricts you from playing as much as you want, but you will find that some physical casinos in New Zealand will kick out and wear down players who seem to be playing irresponsibly. Playing limits are there to protect you as a player. It’s also equally important to regulate the time limits to limit how long you can play each time. There are also more limits that are important to set including loss limits but again, none are mandatory. Note that the law in New Zealand does not protect you against irresponsible playing and may change in the near future to enforce mandatory gambling limits.
A summary of what makes us want to play
We have now gone through the most common reasons why we play. It’s even simpler that we enjoy it. Our brain is affected by adrenaline, and the body excretes endorphins that make us feel good. When we play, it gives us a “satisfied” feeling, even though we may have lost. Research has been done on the subject, and it has been proven that it is quite beneficial not to have such high expectations of a big win. We are all still somewhere aware that the house or casino has the advantage on its side. If we have lower expectations, we will be happy even when the small wins appear. The gaming features can also have the same effect, so it is unnecessary to win to have a fun game time online.