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. July 15, 2011.
  2. Andrew Thompson. Engineerings of addiction: slot machines perfected addictive gambling. Now, tech wants their tricks.
  3. Robert Rath. Why cops are raiding arcades over a fishing game. November 23, 2016.
  4. Mike Rose. Chasing the whale: examining the ethics of free-to-play. 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.

Friday Extra: "274 students can't be wrong!"

At noon on Friday, April 9, in Noyce 3821, Dr. Dan Garcia of the University of California - Berkeley will describe the work of the GamesCrafters research group there:

The UC Berkeley GamesCrafters undergraduate research and development group was formed in 2001 as a watering hole to gather and engage top students as they explore the fertile area of computational game theory. At the core of the project is Gamesman, a system developed for strongly solving, playing and analyzing two-person, abstract strategy games (e.g., Tic-Tac-Toe or Connect 4) and puzzles (e.g., Rubik's Cube). Over the past nine years, more than seventy games and puzzles have been integrated into the system by over two hundred seventy-four undergraduates.

Pizza and soda will be served shortly before noon. Dr. Garcia's talk, 274 students can't be wrong!: GamesCrafters, a computational game theory undergraduate research and development group at UC Berkeley, will begin promptly thereafter. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "StatsGames"

On Thursday, March 4, Nathan Levin 2010, Andy Applebaum 2010, Alex Cohn 2011, and Jeffrey Thompson 2010 will describe their Summer 2009 Mentored Advanced Project, StatsGames.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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