How Casinos & Slot Machines Are Designed to Facilitate Gambling Addiction

Sideroad slot machine, photo by Skip the Filler / CC BY-NC-ND

Gamblers, and more specifically slot machine gamblers, get addicted because they crave to be in the “zone” – the feeling players describe when they’re completely absorbed in a game, claims this podcast’s guest – Natasha Dow Schüll, a cultural anthropologist at New York University. They don’t really care about winning; rather they want to escape the world and become subsumed in their game.
Casinos also facilitate this addiction by designing the most optimal gambling experience which keeps gamblers playing…and playing…and playing. This ranges from the perambulant layout of the casinos themselves to the ergonomic design of the slot machine chairs, to the games’ false wins that create an illusion of winning. And casinos are now taking advantage of big data systems which track users’ gambling preferences to incentivize players to stay in their chairs as long as possible.
Natasha Dow Schüll is the author of “Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas”.

Adam Ruins Everything

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Anne Curzan Talks Grammar and the Flexibility of Language

Anne Curzan, an English Professor at the University of Michigan, explains how grammar rules are not fixed in the English language. Language is constantly evolving and we should think of the dictionary as a field guide rather than the authority on language. So we can all stop correcting each other and just appreciate our different ways of speaking because when we criticize someone for their language we also criticize part of their community.

Adam Ruins Everything

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Matrimony Myths with Stephanie Coontz

matrimony-mythsYou’ve seen it – our society is obsessed with everyone finding their soulmate. But did you know the idea of ‘the one’ is a relatively new concept in our culture? In fact, marriage and love were completely separate entities for centuries, and this week’s podcast guest, Professor Stephanie Coontz, tells us all about it.
Her book, Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage traces the history of marriage from a union based on alliances and financial gain to today’s notion of finding our ‘other half’. On the podcast Adam Conover and Stephanie Coontz discuss how the Enlightenment altered our idea of marriage, how the media covers love, and how equality is erotic.

Adam Ruins Everything | 14th August 2016

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