Stepping into a casino is like stepping into an alternate universe – a world of glittering lights, clinking slots, and the scent of excitement. There’s a certain magic to it all; if you’re lucky enough you can win some big money, but more importantly you’ll be transported into another realm of enjoyment and fun. But it’s not just the free drinks and awesome comps that keep people coming back to gamble – casinos use a host of psychological tricks to get you inside and keep you there!
The first is Friedman’s theory of gaming design. He believed that the best way to keep players in the casino was to eliminate all indicators of time. If a player had an idea of the passing of time then they’d realise that they’d been in the casino for too long and would leave. Friedman’s solution was to remove all clocks, even on the ceilings, and to create spaces that were smaller to encourage more exploration.
The second reason is the story Casino tells. Unlike Goodfellas, which focused on a single family’s mafia exploits, Scorsese’s film is an epic history lesson about Vegas and how it became the gambling capital of the world. It also explains how the mob lost control of a city they once owned and why they had to move on. It’s this broader scope that makes Casino more compelling than the more focused Goodfellas. It’s also why the film has more staying power than its illustrious predecessor.