The Role of Auditory Features Within Slot-Themed Social Casino Games and Online Slot Machine Games
Over the last few years playing social casino games has become a popular entertainment activity. Social casino games are offered via social media platforms and mobile apps and resemble gambling activities. However, social casino games are not classified as gambling as they can be played for free, outcomes may not be determined by chance, and players receive no monetary payouts. Social casino games appear to be somewhat similar to online gambling activities in terms of their visual and auditory features, but to date little research has investigated the cross over between these games. This study examines the auditory features of slot-themed social casino games and online slot machine games using a case study design. An example of each game type was played on three separate occasions during which, the auditory features (i.e., music, speech, sound effects, and the absence of sound) within the games were logged. The online slot-themed game was played in demo mode. This is the first study to provide a qualitative account of the role of auditory features within a slot-themed social casino game and an online slot machine game. Our results found many similarities between how sound is utilised within the two games. Therefore the sounds within these games may serve functions including: setting the scene for gaming, creating an image, demarcating space, interacting with visual features, prompting players to act, communicating achievements to players, providing reinforcement, heightening player emotions and the gaming experience. As a result this may reduce the ability of players to make a clear distinction between these two activities, which may facilitate migration between games.
KeywordsInternet gambling Online social casino games Auditory features Music Sound Online slot machine
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