The Science Behind Online Casino Game Music

11/15/2017

Whether you enjoy music or not, it surrounds us almost constantly. Everything from a jingle on a radio advert to a pop song at a concert has been carefully crafted to fit its purpose, and it can have a huge effect on us in ways that we might not even notice. It's no different when it comes to music for online casino games, of course, but just how much difference does the music make to your gaming experience as a whole? Here's a brief look into the science and relationship behind music and gambling!

How Music Affects Us

It doesn't matter where you go in the world, music normally plays an important part in the culture. It could be the tribal rhythms and low rasping of the Aborigines’ traditional music, or the intricate soaring of a classical concert in Paris; there's no denying the importance music plays in motivating, relaxing or inspiring us. Science has long studied the effects of music on our brains, too – it can make you work better, feel happier and reduce stress.

Thanks to this information, everyone from advertisers to TV program and video game makers have harnessed this power to help sell their products, create atmosphere and enhance immersion. Studies have found that when it comes to advertising, for example, the kind of music that's played during an advert can have a definite effect on whether we might choose to buy a product or not.

Music can alter how we see an environment too, and that can also affect how long we might want to stay there. Most coffee shops tend to play fairly relaxing music, for example, which makes us more likely to be able to relax and enjoy our drink. If the same coffee shop started playing very loud dance music or rock, it would completely change the atmosphere in a counterproductive way. Depending on your music taste, of course.

Music and Gambling

This knowledge has also been applied to casino gaming music. Any casino or online operator wants punters to play for as long as possible, and that means making the music and sound engaging, but also palatable. While we might be able to argue that some online slot music is actually the opposite of something you would want to listen to for a long time, it still works. Even jaunty and catchy high-energy music, which you might not want to listen to normally, can have a quantifiable effect – it can encourage us to keep playing, thanks to its uplifting nature.

Things have moved beyond this though, as technology’s developed and online slots and casinos have become more popular. Now, we have slots and games featuring well-known musical acts, cultural icons and movie franchises. Music plays an important part in helping our association with these icons, as well as being a sign of authenticity and quality. If there was an online slot with a Batman theme, for example, we would expect to hear the familiar sounds of the modern (or classic) Batman theme and sound effects.

Without these, the game itself seems less authentic, and also perhaps lacking in quality. Interestingly, this is exactly what a study by Mark Griffiths and Jonathan Parker, psychologists at Nottingham Trent University, found. Their observational research found that there were four key points with regards to the music of a slot machine, and how it related to both the gaming experience, and perception of the player.

The Sound of Winning

While the game's distinctiveness, familiarity and quality were all important factors in players’ overall impressions, perhaps the most interesting (and crucial for software developers and casino providers) was the ‘sound of winning’. As the paper says:

"A particular piece of music (i.e., a rock anthem) can send out a signal that a person has won on the machine, both to the player and to others in the vicinity. It also helps raise the self-esteem and standing of the person playing."

This, in turn, encourages us to play again. It's also why there’s no music generally associated with losing when playing online casino games. Much like the hook in a pop song, distinctive riffs or melodies are often used to reinforce the positive feelings of winning. This means every time players hear these melodies or riffs, they instantly think of playing, and winning, the game in question.

While the music of a game is only one element, it's certainly an important one. We all might have a favourite song or soundtrack of an important or happy time in our life, and these pieces of music instantly make us feel a certain way. That's exactly what music for online casinos and games aims to do – create the sound of winning.