Game physics and psychology are being used in online casinos and the crossover is impressive

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“Half-Life 2 Episode 1” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Tom Francis

Online casinos have never been so popular and their games have never been so immersive. This can arguably be attributed to two major factors, both forming a fascinating crossover between mainstream gaming and online casino gaming.

One is the more sophisticated use of gaming physics and graphics systems to generate a realistic casino experience, this is most notably seen in online roulette. The second factor is psychology and how gaming now taps into our brain’s ‘reward system’, which makes the brain emit feelings of pleasure and motivation when certain conditions are met, such as levelling up, bagging an achievement or winning a prize.

Innovation in the iGaming space

The cross over begins here. This is the first (and perhaps most general) area in which these two factors have been a driving force, generating a diverse range of different types of games for the discerning bettor to enjoy. Many of these can be found at review sites such as New Casinos UK, from which the reader will see the range not only of games themselves but also of attractive bonuses, such as bonus spins – an additional psychological draw for players.

The rise of gaming physics

Although there have been many games and engines that have driven forward the use of physics in video games over the years, none have contributed as much as Valve’s Half Life 2 and its Source engine. Not only did Source introduce advanced facial animations and impressive visuals for its time it also added physics as a tangible element of gameplay. This can be seen most viscerally through its innovative ‘gravity gun’, allowing players to use objects as weapons.

Physics and roulette

If we apply the use of physics to the online casino, more specifically roulette, we need to consider five things such as the ball release point, initial speed of the ball, gravity, speed of the wheel and the bounce coefficient.

Ha?kan Dahlstro?m Photography

Roulette wheel” (CC BY 2.0) by Håkan Dahlström  

The velocity of the ball release and these five points are used, along with complex algorithms, to create an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience which is popular with online casino goers. This helps to mimic the behaviour of the roulette gameplay in a real-life casino, ensuring that players at a number of different online casinos get a more authentic experience.

Psychology: From levelling up to winning prizes

Adding psychology which has been applied in mainstream gaming for years into the online casino compliments the addition of physics to create an immersive experience for the bettor. In its most simple form, psychology in gaming runs with the ‘risk and reward’ method, and the way in which your brain functions to obtain the reward element.

Let’s take World of Warcraft as an example. Every time you level up your character a familiar sound and animation triggers, signalling the reward aspect. Game design therefore considers the aspect of ‘repeat play’ essential, to allow the brain to know exactly how and when it can expect its ‘reward’, making it easy for the player to engage and trigger that reward.

This in turn makes the player feel pleasure, interacting directly with the brain’s release of dopamine. Online casinos tap into this by offering simple, yet visually engaging game experiences such as slots.

Future innovation

Without a doubt, the crossover from gaming psychology and physics to online casino games is very much worth exploring. In the future, we can expect much more of mainstream gaming’s new innovations to make the crossover to the casino-sphere, thanks to the all-important and rapidly increasing prowess of technology in the AAA gaming industry.

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