It’s Your Nickel, Make it Last!


I recently visited a famous location where the domain of the “One Armed Bandits” prevailed. Walking amongst the rows of glistening and beeping money magnets, I studied the patrons noticing that I could distinguish three different types. In no specific order there were: The “I have all my other chores done, let’s play a while.” crowd. The “I really don’t have anything to do, might as well see if I can win a bunch of money.” pack, and the “This is it, the next one is paying my mortgage” group.

I saw a lot of money going in, a little coming out. But the main thing I noticed is there was very little interaction between the patron and the game. Push a button, and hope for the best seemed the norm. Now, I guess that this is an acquired “taste”, and I am sure many people love this type of entertainment. However, this is where I believe the increasingly popular “casual”, or “skill” games are destined to break the mould. There is excitement of the unknown involved, for instance in the solitaire games on some of the casual game sites, one is not sure what card comes up next for play, yet the player has power over the outcome. Whereas with pure luck games, the most control a player can hope for is inserting money and initiating the round.

Either way, we as players should bear in mind that at its most basic level, this is designed to be purely entertainment, a way to pass time, get a little adrenaline pumping, or earn some bragging rights. If we are of the mind, that this is a secondary source of income, we are undoubtedly bound for disappointment. And in the case of the pure luck games, by chance, we do acquire a substantial prize, the hopes of that next mortgage payment seem more attainable.


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