CS Table 2/14: On Technology, Slots, and Whales

This week in CS Table, we’ll be examining the use of technology in the gambling industry to create games that everyone can enjoy (perhaps a little bit too much…)! Modern-day slot machines are a beautiful combination of technology, psychology, and data science that power a $150 billion industry. And more recently, the video game industry is looking towards them to understand how to power experiences that are not “gambling” at first glance, but are heavily inspired by it. We’ll discuss what goes into a modern-day gambling experience as well as its ethics.
  1. Brendan I. Koerner. How one man hacked his way into the slot-machine industry. Wired.com. July 15, 2011.
  2. Andrew Thompson. Engineerings of addiction: slot machines perfected addictive gambling. Now, tech wants their tricks. Theverge.com.
  3. Robert Rath. Why cops are raiding arcades over a fishing game. Vice.com. November 23, 2016.
  4. Mike Rose. Chasing the whale: examining the ethics of free-to-play. Gamesutra.com. 2013.
  5. Finally, here’s an extra fun “reading” video: an example of a modern day Japanese pachinko machine (warning, NSFW Aussie language).
Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm in JRC 224B. Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.