The Productive Economy of Player-Centric Design
WHILE SOPHISTICATED ARCHITECTURAL and ambient qualities of casino environments work to draw patrons to gambling devices, the devices themselves work to keep patrons playing, and to keep the zone state going. Instead of moving people though space, the aim is to anchor them in one spot and manage their play through time. Machines “harness technology for continuous gaming productivity,” as casino management consultant Leslie Cummings puts it. She explains:
While the term productivity often refers to measures such as output per
worker … gaming productivity refers to wagering action (play) per patron
per interval. Expediting refers to advancing and facilitating gaming action
so that players can be more productive because their play is faster, extends
for a longer interval, and/or involves more dollars placed at risk (wagered)
per period than otherwise would be expected.1
The task of expediting “continuous gaming productivity,” as Cummings breaks it down, involves three interlinked operations, each of which this chapter will examine in turn: accelerating play, extending its duration, and increasing the total amount spent.
The idea that gambling could be a “productive,” mainstream enterprise arose in the twentieth century with the growth of mass leisure and the rising importance of consumption to capitalist economies. As gambling
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Publication information: Book title: Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas. Contributors: Natasha Dow Schüll - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 2012. Page number: 52.
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