Let’s play word association. We will say ‘casino’ and you think of… video slots! Frankly, any way you go, you will always slam right back into these ingeniously simplistic jolts of fun.
Slots are by far the largest and most popular category of casino games. They are the life force of countless casinos out there. Their population is almost innumerable, and new works are being developed and brought into this global market each day. But what is their magic?
The Humble Beginnings
Every great story has its humble beginning. To unravel the mystery of our favourite fruit machines, we might have to go a couple of decades back to the inception of these gems.
Before we start, it is important we make something clear: the original slots were nothing like the ones we know and love today.The road from shaggy bars to casino sites was long and, dare we say, eventful. The entire concept underwent significant changes for the better, upgrading and enhancing the elements bit by bit so that they could fit the needs of the audience.
The name is actually a shortened version of the ‘nickel-in-the-slot machine’ name, which gradually morphed into just slots. Fun fact: the name was actually used for several other machines, including the one that we today recognize as jukebox. The inception of pokies can be traced back to 1880s, and by 1888 a machine that paid out the winnings in coins was the standard version(before that a person who won was paid out in cigars, drinks, or similar items in a bar).
From that point on, the phenomenon transgressed into a rarity to a common notion, up until it solidified itself as a household item sought by enthusiasts around the world.
The Contemporary Society
Slot machines aren’t the only ones that experienced changes. The society is perhaps the most obvious example of development, and often the catalyst that incites development in general. In some way, we can freely say that society is responsible for the expansion of one-armed-bandits. As they garnered popularity with the audience, manufacturers aimed to nail exactly what the players desired – thus initiating the vicious circle of transformations of both entities involved.
Let’s have a look at the society that we live in right now. Again, the power of association – fast, easy, instant – those might be the first adjectives that spring to mind when we think of civilization in the 21st century. We’ve come far from the period of nickels and cigars in saloons, but we cannot say we invented something quite revolutionary that doesn’t have roots in that era.
We have changed in so many ways, but we managed to stay the same – at least in certain aspects – a feat not easily achieved. Whatever we invent, whatever we produce, we always come right back to the basics – the essence of entertainment perfectly encapsulated in the simple ideas.
Once we achieved perfection in the technological aspect, we were free to put our hearts and minds in aesthetics: design, themes, the accompanying soundtrack. And guess what served as the perfect platform for experimentation?
How Slots Fit into the Social Landscape of Today
The better question is, how do they not? These invigorating sizzles of entertainment are made for this era. Granted, they have existed for a very long time, but only with the introduction of online gambling did they reach their peak. Or started reaching it, at least.
And precisely this answers our question of slot population.
With the audience explicitly asking for more slot machines, and technological advancements that brought gaming right into our pockets, the union of slots and the internet jumpstarted a whole new era of casino gaming whose light will shine well into the years ahead of us. And we look forward to it.