I have spent the last four days in casinos allowing my emotions to be manipulated. Modern video games are cleverly designed to pay on emotional needs/desires for wish fulfillment.  The promise is not money or credits, but the excitement of free spins or other game features. These game features may be simple point-and-win rewards, or they may be eye-grabbing videos to build up your anticipation of the free spins.

The promise of excitement is powerful and perhaps stronger than the allure of money. It allows us to be duped into believing we are entertained by the random spinning images. It creates and reinforces an illusion that there is a pattern to the game plays.  If we just hold on long enough,  we will finally get the big win.

It’s all very seductive.  It’s also very much like current political campaigns. The difference is that the slot machines try to excite and relax you simultaneously by raising your adrenaline and holding it at a level that keeps you susceptible to a promise of winning. You are lulled into a sense of anticipatory boredom waiting the big win.

Most people leave with less money than they enter with and leave vaguely happy expecting to win another time

Here’s a pro-tip: casinos exist to make money.  That only happens if customers lose more money than they win. Slot machines are designed and built to support this model.

Now,  about that comparison to politics….

(Do I really need to spell it out? )