Sponsored – Are pokies video games? That’s a question I’ve been seeking an answer to for a long time. Pokies certainly fit the definition: “a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display”. But they are a completely different breed, with no story, no goal, and no way to win them. At the end of the day, they are a simply generator of random strings of numbers (if we choose to represent their symbols this way), which people are feeding with coins. And not even for the money, no sir – most of them play pokies for entertainment.
Is it in the looks?
Pokies are perhaps the most versatile games ever invented, as they can sell the same mechanic in a myriad of different packagings. Just take a look at the list of Royal Vegas casino games – you’ll see hundreds of pokies, each with their own look, feel, and background music, but which are all basically the same. All Royal Vegas games share the same mechanic – spinning reels that stop at a random combination of symbols. The number of win lines changes, and so does the theme. But in the end, all of them are the same.
Side games? Yes, please!
What makes them different from each other is the selection of side games and the occasional bonuses they offer. But these side games are hardly ever skill-based. Most of the times they rely on luck alone, just like the games they are included into. The Dark Knight Rises, the Royal Vegas pokie inspired by the movie with the same title, offers such features to its players from time to time. But most of the time players are just as passive as during the rest of the game, with no chance to fight bad guys or drive the Batmobile.
Unwinnable, unbeatable – what makes pokies so popular then?
Although most people know that their chances to hit it rich are slim, and the games themselves often seem less than an ideal choice for entertainment, there are still millions of people playing them in real life, in Vegas casinos, or online, through social casinos or the Royal Vegas. But why?
The first answer that pops to mind tends to be “because they are stupid” – but this is not true. Pokies fans tend to be intelligent people, perfectly aware of the unwinnable nature of the game. According to a New York psychiatrist, it has more to do with anticipation, satisfaction, and brain chemistry. This is what makes pokies so popular, and even addictive for those prone to such disorders. And one of the most popular video games you can play online today.