A report in the New York Times has pointed to a looming overlap of gaming and slot machine design. Rob Bone, marketing director for WMS Gaming had this to say about the future of slot machine gambling:
“We can’t just make a slot thinking about the 55-year-old lady who comes to the casino a few times a month. We need to appeal to new buckets of players, or we’ll die.”
Slot manufacturer Bally Technologies has signed a deal with Atari to produce Pong and Breakout style slot games to further pull in the masses. Many of the games will be mulitplayer to emulate the sense of community that people feel while playing games like poker. If you think you are going to go out there and clean up with your leet gamer skills think again, as skill will only get you so far - the machines are still designed to take more than they give.
I hope it is the 55-year-old ladies that embrace these machines. Maybe a move to a more interactive form of gambling could stave off at least some of the problems chronic slot junkies face. Even this level of mental stimulation might ward off Alzheimer’s in some cases.