Here’s Why You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone
July 2nd, 2017

Did you know that slot machines make more money than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined?

According to NYU professor Natasha Dow Shull, those one-armed bandits also lead to addictive gambling behavior at 3-4 times the rate of other games of chance.


That’s because they’re designed that way — specifically to provide intermittent variable rewards. According to Tristan Harris, the former Design Ethicist & Product Philosopher at Google, it works like this:

You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward (a match, a prize!) or nothing. Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable.


Tons of anime fans have a different form of slot machine that they carry around constantly — their phone. That’s why if you’re like most of the billions of smartphone users, you check your device countless times a day.

Now, is that much monitoring really necessary? Or are you being compelled by intermittent variable rewards? You know, the nagging impulse that you might be missing something vitally important if you don’t check right now. Here’s Harris again:

  • When we pull our phone out of our pocket, we’re playing a slot machine to see what notifications we got.
  • When we pull to refresh our email, we’re playing a slot machine to see what new email we got.
  • When we swipe down our finger to scroll Facebook, Twitter or Instagram we’re playing a slot machine to see what photo or update comes next.
  • When we swipe faces left/right on dating apps like Tinder, we’re playing a slot machine to see if we got a match.
  • When we tap the # of red notifications, we’re playing a slot machine to what’s underneath.

While social media was not designed to be addictive (that’s just its nature), most of the time this is no accident … product designers intentionally build features that provide intermittent variable rewards to get you hooked. There’s an entire shelf of books with titles like Hooked: How to Design Habit-Forming Products and Seductive Interaction Design that break down how to create addictive technology.

I’ll admit, I’m as bad about checking my phone as any anime fan is since I like to keep in touch with people’s reactions and just the general on-goings of the community (especially considering we just started a new season). But honestly it’s really just another exercise in mindfulness — are you making a conscious choice to check your phone for a reason, or are you habitually playing the slot machine?

Reading this issue of  Clarity on your phone? Don’t worry … this is certainly a conscious choice and a worthwhile task 😉

Go Further Clearer-

Seasonal Prattle

clarity: resources

Strong From Start To Finish

To say Tsuki ga Kirei has strongly captured Japanese school life would be an understatement. The strengths and dynamics of studio feel’s latest original have been thoroughly stated through the community, and rightfully so. However, with the series coming to a fine conclusion, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at one of its more prominent strengths one last time:

Tsukigakirei Is the Best Representation of Japanese School Life I Have Seen in Anime

WorldEnd With An Impactful End

It’s rare to find a piece of content that eloquently puts a show’s selling points in clear perspective. Despite its hit or miss nature for much of its run, WorldEnd’s finale was beautiful, showing competent direction from Junichi Wada in all phases and true emotive touch. Let this blog post that we stumbled across fill you in on more:

Let’s Talk SukaSuka (Finale)

Sakura Quest Stepping Up

Sakura Quest has really need some sort of kick to its delivery and lucky for us viewers, it certainly got it here. The piece below is reasonably constructed, but more importantly hits each high note on why episode 13 was a success worth celebrating:

Sakura Quest Episode 13

Berserk Is Unadaptable

There’s no fancy sell here. No gimmick or angle to overreach for attention. That subhead you see above there, yeah “Berserk is unadaptable” that’s exactly what you get. This piece is a bit longer clocking in at nearly 15 minutes, but if you have a little bit of free time on your hands to watch it, it’s well worth your time:

Berserk is Unadaptable

Kado: The Wrong Answer

It’s pretty safe to say that Kado this week had one of the most cumbersome, unsatisfying and overall disappointing conclusions to any anime that came out this Spring – and possibly the year. If you aren’t aware exactly why it came up so short, this piece from Passerby should be an ample enough read to let you know all about it:  

Seikai Suru Kado – 12 (END)

New Season, New Beginning

“First impressions, previews, what I’ll be watching.” Whenever a new season starts there’s bound to be a ton of content carrying titles like this both in text and video format. Well Summer 2017 certainly isn’t breaking this trend. Let’s get you ready for what this new season has in store for you from a production standpoint with this handy write up right here:


Summer 2017 Anime Preview

And Let The Hype Unfold

I love content that’s time efficient yet effective. As readers, listeners or viewers  it’s important that our time is valued when we click that link to an article, podcast or video. The content below definitely does value our time, only eating away five minutes for a pretty sturdy Summer anticipation list. While we don’t agree with all the choices here, the explanations of the choices are rather reasonable and honestly worth lending eyes and ears too:

5 Hypest Upcoming Summer 2017 Anime

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Impressions

And here’s out first, first impression to appear on Clarity for the Summer. There’s not a ton of content out for Katsugeki Touken Ranbu yet, given how young the season is – however out of the small pile that we have this piece still stands tall. The blog post below does a good job of introducing you to the series while providing a bedding as to why you should care about it:

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Episode 1

Time For A Bit Of Gambling

Would it be wrong to say that Kakeguri is on most seasonal watchers’ radar? It’s for sure on ours. Much like Katsugeki above, there’s little content to be had on this gambling heavy work given its not even 24 hours old yet, but that doesn’t stop us. We still managed to dredge up a pretty piece that gives you decent value for your time by covering not one, but two episodes of Kakeguri in easy to digest fashion:

Gambling, Slavery, and High School Meet in the First Two Episodes of Kakegurui

Enmusubi no Youko-chan — Popularity At Its Finest

One billion views. That’s literally the amount of views this anime has in China. Oh and if that wasn’t  enough it has 7 billion more when you turn your attention to the manga. So its audience has to be onto something right? Well not exactly. The article below is ridiculously to the point and quick, perfectly capturing our and many others feelings on the first episode:

Enmusubi no Youko-chan — First Impressions

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2 thoughts to “Clarity: Choice Resources Of The Season (June 25 – July 1)

  • Izanaginookami

    Wait. Enmusubi no Youko-chan’s Manga has been seen by almost all the World? I mean, we’re at 7.5 billion if I remember right.

    By the way, I totally agree on it being just silly, or at least in the beginning. I quite disliked the first season of the Chinese version, but it’s only towards the end of it that start getting good, the second one was amazing for me (I suppose it would be around episodes 5-6 of the Japanese one perhaps?)

    • Prattle

      It just has that amount of views rather than viewers so I’m assuming the stats count for an individual watching it multiple times. The number is still impressive though given how unimpressive the first episode was.

      That’s interesting hear. I was wondering why it’s so popular and what people see in it. I guess I’ll be sticking this one out to see how it goes then.


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