The Art in Online Slot Machines

Art is a defining part of life. From paintings to music, art surrounds us and enhances the world. Every new medium offers a unique opportunity for artistic creation. Even online slot machines. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the art in online slot machines.

The Original Reels

We’re all familiar with the classic image of the spinning reels on a casino slot machine. These cylindrical devices were the basis of the original machines, in either five or three-reel configurations. Manufacturers hand-painted symbols onto these reels, which would spin into random positions with a pull of the lever.

The art of the time in the reels was quite iconic, laying the foundation for much of gambling’s visual imagery. Poker cards, sweet fruits, and gems were among the most common themes for reel symbols. Cherries, limes, Kings and Queens, rubies, and sapphires graced the reels of countless machines.

As time went on, manufacturers got increasingly ambitious in their artistic endeavors. There was a wider variety of slot machine symbols, with many unique machines in this period. However, the physical limitations of machines based on reels were starting to show. There are only so many symbols you can fit on a reel, after all.

The First Video Slots

In the 1980s, video slots began to transition to virtual machines. The reasons for the shift were manifold. On the one hand, electronic technology advanced to the point where it was a real possibility. In addition, virtual slot machines had no physical reel limitations. That proved a boon for art in slot machines.

Manufacturers could now incorporate endless amounts of symbols and creative new play configurations, like multi-line betting. With millions of combinations now possible, jackpots could increase substantially. These jackpots often carried their own distinctive art styling, flashy and attention-grabbing. Slot machine art started to become more intricate as well.

Machines would often display complex themes and even attempt to tell stories. Some incorporated narratives into their play structure. Players might progress through the story by completing a progressive bonus or jackpot, encouraging sustained play. Art became central to the mechanics of the machines.

Modern Online Slot Machines

The modern version of the video slot machine has gone online. Internet-based casinos have been quickly outpacing the growth of brick-and-mortar casinos in recent years. Online slots are clearly here to stay. That’s a great thing, and not just because of the convenience of online gambling. Online slot machines also offer unprecedented artistic freedom.

Powered by technologies like Flash or HTML5, online slots integrate a range of multimedia content. Polished high-resolution graphics, seamless animation, full soundtracks and even CGI video clips are the norm now. The stories that online slot machines can tell have accordingly gained depth and breadth.

Art styles today range from realistic to pixel art, from vintage and retro graphics to stylized cartoons. Themes today can cover anything, from politics and memes to Ancient Egypt and the Amazon. Nowadays, some online slots have really impressive artistic direction, such as Yggdrasil, ELK Studio and Blueprint Gaming.

30 Sep 2020