For this Critical Play, I played a free slots game on vegasslotsonline.com called White Orchid, created by IGT in July 2010. The game seemed targeted towards adults with its jungle theme and revealing graphics. White Orchid is based on Slots, and I did not have to interact with anyone to play the game when I played on Mac.
Identity and Luck
I’ve always been cynical about luck in casino games, so I personally do not think of luck as any part of my identity. However, I think it’s important to note that the game seemed to have a ton of rules. The game includes free spins, wild symbols, and scatter symbols, and the House Return of the game is 6.04%. The game has 4 rows and 5 reels, totaling a maximum 1064 different winning combinations. Many different combos will win the player something at the least. From a designer perspective, I thought one advantage of having more rules for a completely luck-based game was to mislead players into thinking they could trick the system using skill. I found a user review of the game, who said that they had only played the game once but it seemed “pretty good”. It was unclear what exactly the game was good at, but I assume that good for slots games means easy to win money. Players like this might see their winning results as a combination of both luck and skill. I think if someone were to play this game enough times, they would begin to attribute the winning to skill even if they knew the game was all luck-based.
Mechanics and Elements
Mechanics-wise, the game is quite simple. The player is allowed to auto spin the slot machine, and can get money depending on patterns in the outcome. I played the free version, but a player would have to insert actual currency to spin the machine. This makes playing so easy and repetitive — the player can keep spinning, spinning, and spinning until they’re out of money., leading to addiction.
Type of Fun
White Orchid seems to appeal most to the Sensation type fun. When the spins results in a winning combo, the player probably feels dopamine or some type of rush at seeing their money pile up, perhaps to the point where they don’t think about the money going down to play the game again. It’s a type of mindless activity which keeps players busy and enticed with its bright lights, fast spins, and the occasional success rush.
Games like Slots are obviously very successful. With addiction in mind, I don’t want to share any suggestions that might make the game more addictive, so I’ll suggest adding some element of actual skill into the game, like with those rainbow lights that travel in a circle in arcades where you have to press the button at the right time to get a prize.