In 2020, new research from Oxford University revealed that playing videos games can have a positive effect on mental well-being. This study is one of several that help to erase the stigma of video games as being detrimental to a person’s mental health. A similar shift is happening within the gambling industry.
In recent years, online casinos have updated the way they keep their consumers engaged. Traditional games like blackjack and roulette are still available, however, due to their smart phone compatibility, slot machine simulations have increased in popularity.
Online slot machines are popular for their colours, themes and ease of play. Rewards are an inherent draw for games of all kinds and slot games have a reward system at their core.
The Hungarian-American psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, recognised that players enter a ‘flow state’ when gaming. A person in a flow state is entirely ‘focused on – and energised by – the task at hand’.
So why does this suggest slot games can have a positive effect on our mental health?
Slot games encourage a flow state and the pleasurable effects of being in a flow are believed to be beneficial to mental health.
Online games can be a welcome distraction from daily stresses. When people play slot games and enter a flow state, it can help them unwind after a busy day.
Slot games and gaming in general also have positive cognitive impacts. Slot strategy games require a person lengthened attention span combined with problem solving, reasoning, memory and perception.
Skill-based slot games help with a player’s memory and problem-solving skills.
In contrast to many casino games, the level of entry to slots is low and can be enjoyed by players of all levels.
Slot game users can play casually and don’t need to formulate winning strategies; they can simply play for fun.
With advances in technology creating a realistic (or sometimes fantastic) experience and more people playing online than ever before, slot game players can experience the excitement of the casino from the comfort of their own home.
The choice of slot games on Google Play and the Apple App Store is vast. Customers can opt for traditional three-reel games, themed games or complex variations, all of which have immersive sounds and game play.
Some of the most popular slot games encourage a ‘feel good’ sensation. Slot game fans love to play fruit blast for its fast pace, puzzle-like nature and bright content; it gives off a good energy and is enjoyable to play.
The variety of choice
The variety of slot games available allows for increased user autonomy, letting players make an informed choice on where and when they play. It is an important factor in the mental well-being of players to feel in control of their game play.
The choice available to users means if they’re not satisfied with their current selection, they can simply join a different online casino and find something better suited for them. If players want to try a new casino, they can take advantage of new member promotional deals, some of which include free spin bonuses to a number of slot games.
Different casinos offer different odds allowing players to opt for the one with the highest odds for higher pay outs if they win. Many online slot games allow users to bet with a low limit to reduce their chances of losing big money.
The casino apps encourage responsible game play. There are games to suit all variance levels. When playing slot games, users should only deposit money when they can afford to do so and there are often tools to set your own limits.
The online counterpart of the casino experience means users can play at their discretion and at a time that suits them without needing to travel. This makes the excitement of the casino experience accessible to people who might otherwise not be able to enjoy it.
The impact of technology
As technology becomes more advanced, we are seeing an increase in augmented and virtual reality to further close the gap between online and real-life experiences.
In the past, slot machines and casinos were male-dominated environments. But the rise of online casinos has helped to redress the balance. Women can now enjoy slot games without feeling intimidated. With more women involved, developers are now creating a broader range of slot based games with a focus on the social aspect.
The rise of online and mobile casinos has encouraged more female players to play games such as online slots.
Developers are increasingly enhancing apps with a social element to encourage interaction between users. Players can now invite friends to play, share on their social media accounts and utilise in-game chat options to speak with players from across the world.
Using messaging apps to communicate with virtual or in real life friends about favourite games and opening discussions around gaming habits can help maintain a healthy mental well-being.
When used responsibly, slot machines can have a positive effect on a player’s mental health. Slot machine games offer an authentic experience, social features to keep players connected and a fun nature. A welcome interruption from the stresses of day to day life right in the palm of your hand.
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