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Keatah

Kids love redemtion machines.

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After spending a couple of days at a kids' resort I discovered that kids love redemption machines. Especially when the prize desk is made awesome.

 

Collecting tickets is like having a secondary goal, and going to the prize counter is yet another reward. All in addition to watching the game play carry itself out.

 

Seems most redemption games are games of chance and little skill is involved - and that's easy for kids to "play" them.

 

In any case, classic arcade games as we know them wouldn't stand a chance in place like this!

 

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Every time I see an "arcade" filled with redemption games, I die a little inside.

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Maybe. Unfortunately there is no denying it. Redemption machines provide a sense of 3D and mystery to a kid that is superior to any classic video game. They also encourage energetic socialization.

 

CVG are solitary, too difficult, and don't provide anything for a kid to take back into the real world once they leave the arcade. And if the genuine classics of years ago like asteroids or defender were hot-shit, kids would have them installed on their phones and be playing them instead.

 

Namco has managed to bring some CVG to redemptions like Galaga Assault. I played it. Other adults were playing it. But no little kids, despite it being a ticket-spitter!

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On my last trip to Dave & Busters where I finally got to spend a little time and money with Star Wars Battle Pod, I felt a little bad that I didn't have any tickets to add to my daughter's cash-out. It's a terrible return on "investment" to turn $20 into a 5 cent plastic frog from a place like this, but it's fun.

 

Arcade games as we enjoyed them just don't make much sense anymore. And even back then, they were more about making money than what we considered art, and fun. Flipping through arcade operators manuals and advertising that talks about high earnings from the latest arcade games of 1982 makes me die a little inside, too.

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Every time I see an "arcade" filled with redemption games, I die a little inside.

 

There are 2 distinct types of arcades in context of this thread.

 

1- Classic videogames where you go for a hi-score and all the action takes place on a CRT or LCD.

2- Ticket Spitters which are built around real world 3d object with motors and mechanicals. The lights and sounds and motion are all part of the experience. And getting cheap prizes after the game is one way of (to a kid) extending the enjoyment

 

Given a choice, a child will chose #2 every day of the week. Even grown-ups get in on the action. And it doesn't matter if its a good investment. It's about ambiance and camaraderie and carefree fun.

 

I, too, was rather dismayed when I first paged through advertisement flyers and the service manuals. It was like a bubble bursting - learning my video adventures were carefully orchestrated and planned out to carefully and methodically empty my wallet. It was then I came to understand it was all about money making. And shortly thereafter I started losing interest in the video arcades. No hard feelings, fighting games were becoming number one and I didn't care for those.

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Flipping through arcade operators manuals and advertising that talks about high earnings from the latest arcade games of 1982 makes me die a little inside, too.

 

 

I was the exact opposite. When I flipped through my first manual (Xybots, to be precise) and saw that, I found the idea behind the machines really fascinating. It's actually what made me more interested in them. Not less.

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I find manuals interesting as well, but it was a moment of awakening to realize that my attention was the monetized product. My obsession with video arcade games waned when fighters and side-scrolling beat em ups began to dominate -- and even more so when the quarter-sucking-to-continue genre began to dominate. The NES came along at the exact right moment to feel like a great deal in comparison.

 

Pinball lives on as something you can't replicate well at home. I wish places like Chuck E Cheese would install a few pinball machines for the parents like me.

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Arcade games as we enjoyed them just don't make much sense anymore. And even back then, they were more about making money than what we considered art, and fun. Flipping through arcade operators manuals and advertising that talks about high earnings from the latest arcade games of 1982 makes me die a little inside, too.

Of course they were about making money. Why else would they be in the arcade business? :P

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Of course they were about making money. Why else would they be in the arcade business? :P

For my own personal amusement, of course. :P

Also see the mini NES thread, in which several people express what the product should do to meet their individual requirements.

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I understand all about business and rewards and spoils that go along with it. But to a kid of 8 or 9 years old the evils of money making are still rather nebulous clouds of doom - shit parents talk about and get upset over. To have that invade my pristine virgin sphere of computing and videogaming was rather unpleasant and even disappointing.

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Of course they were about making money. Why else would they be in the arcade business? :P

 

Exactly, if there was no money to be made, civilization would never advance. Even at 10 years old, I knew they were about making money when reading about quarter shortages.

There are countless classics (home and coin) which you can tell the programmers and artists poured their hearts and souls into. I love reading the stories of what it was like to work at Atari back in the day.

There isn't a single thing about a full size Atari Tempest that isn't a work of art. Anyone think that the programmers at Activision didn't give a damn about their work and just wanted a paycheck?

Unfortunately that "craftsmanship" began to disappear in the late 80s and eventually turned into one genre of button mashing fighters.

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When I play redemption games at Dave and Busters, games like ski ball and Sub Hunt and Galaga Assault, I play for the GAME 1st and foremost. They have a number of 'games' there that are clearly for the tickets and last like 5 seconds. But there are a lot of good arcade games that just happen to give tickets, and I'm fine to take those as a secondary item. Over the years I've gotten some decent stuff from there cashing in tickets -- a pair of noise canceling headphones, a weather device, a blender, a grill/skillet for indoor use, and just at my last visit, the DVD/Blue Ray box of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now I realize that as far as money goes it would have been MUCH cheaper to buy those items directly then the value of how much I spent to get the tickets for said items. But like I said, it's a secondary bonus. I don't play the ticket games to get tickets....I play them to enjoy the game.

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We call it kiddie gambling and refused to let the kids do it. Also much like the old Pokemon cards thing,get money from mom,get card pack,melt down if you don't get what you want,beg mom for more money to try again. Redemption crap is awful,would probably be good to invest in a gamblers regards service after they become adults.

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atarian63, on 31 Jul 2016 - 10:39 AM, said:

We call it kiddie gambling and refused to let the kids do it. Also much like the old Pokemon cards thing,get money from mom,get card pack,melt down if you don't get what you want,beg mom for more money to try again. Redemption crap is awful,would probably be good to invest in a gamblers regards service after they become adults.

 

Well, I used to get Magic: The Gathering cards, baseball and football player cards, and some other card games as a kid...and I'm not a addictive gambler. ;)

 

Me thinks you're being a bit too harsh. Let the kids have their fun, I say. And the adults can have it also. (I was surprised to see that the gift store for D&B was more adult items then kiddy items)

 

Keatah's whole post was about how much fun the kids enjoy with that stuff, and talk to any arcade owner and they will tell you those redemption games bring in 80-90 percent of their money. So if you enjoy still being able to go to a modern or retro arcade, thank the redemption games. ;)

Edited by SoulBlazer

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Playing Skee ball for tickets allowed me to bring a physical asset home. Whereas if I just played arcade games I'd have to wait another year for more.

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When I was in Wildwood, NJ last year the majority of the arcades had all those crappy redemption games. One arcade had a ridiculous amount of claw machines.

 

The only redemption games I like playing are skeeball and the basketball game where you have to shoot at the moving hoop.

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My family doesn't care whether it's redemption or classic games. I myself prefer the classic games and really don't like the redemption games. But when it's something like this:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2307/2501892291_3df38b5568_b.jpg

I feel happy inside. (I love '90s Nick!)

 

What intrigues me about redemption games is the sound. I have Aspergers so I like certain sounds, and redemption games are one of them. Examples: Tower of Power, Slam-a-Winner, Wheel Deal, Spider Stompin', Cyclone, Monster Drop, the list goes on. The visuals are another factor, again, caused by my Aspergers. Games like Big Haul, Spider Stompin', Slam-a-Winner, Wheel of Fortune, Giga, and others all have visuals that I like (and sounds too). I remember laughing because the kid on the Spider Stompin' art wore pink shoes and he was a boy. I called him "Sam".

 

So, yeah, I don't really like redemption games, but I like the visuals and sounds.

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I know a couple of the CVGs at Bally's Aladdin's Castle at Lincoln Mall (Matteson, IL) where hacked and retrofitted for ticket redemption. I remember it was weird when all of a sudden in the middle of Ms. Pac-Man my game would freeze, the screen would suddenly be very wavy, and I'd hear a hum and feel a buzzing on the cabinet...then all of a sudden the game would resume. Turns out it was spitting out tickets.

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Very young kids, yes.

 

But once they get to be around 8 years old those machines are suddenly un-cool.

 

It's all about becoming more discerning (and discovering that a lot of freebies are just cheap crap).

 

Ah, the magic of life experience...

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I never liked redemption machines myself. They tend to be boring. But that's just my opinion.

 

Although I used to play a lot of skiball (one of the aforementioned games that is actually a game, not a dazzling, spinning whatsit giving cheap prizes) in hopes of collecting enough tickets to win an Atari 7800 from the prize counter. That wasn't a good move on my part: I couldn't get nearly enough, and buying one years later was a better investment.

 

As to the money aspect, well I never had any disillusionment. Even as a kid, I understood the importance of capitalism.

Edited by AceHart

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What was a real disillusionment for me was those machines where you put a token (or quarter in) and try to knock the other tokens (or quarters) off the playing field. When I was little those machines used to give you whatever coins you managed to knock off. Nowadays they just give you a certain number of tickets based on how many tokens you knocked off.

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I never personally cared for redemption games all that much, at least those that didn't involve at least some degree of skill. Skee-Ball was always good, because that was a bit more like bowling, and the various basketball games were in the same vein. I also remember a video poker type game, Pop-A-Ball, which I actually liked because you did actually have some choice over the cards you kept, and you felt you had at least something of a random chance since you got to see the balls pop up and fly around all over the place. I could also tolerate the game where you roll a ball down a slight incline into slots, trying to spin a wheel above to make it land on certain spaces to increase your ticket payout (without hitting a bankrupt). Name of the game escapes me at the moment, and to be honest I can't be bothered to go look that up.

 

The games I absolutely detest are the "coin pusher" type games where you drop a coin and watch, hoping that your one coin will send an avalanche of coins over the edge and get you a few tickets (and no, that never actually happened, ever). Perhaps slightly more tolerable, but only just, is the Cyclone game where you drop a token, a light goes around the machine under a dome, and you have to stop the light between two neon lights in a particular spot for a jackpot (or you could stop it elsewhere for a much smaller payout). Equally annoying, but I know some people liked it, is the Rock'n Bowl game (didn't care for it back then; don't care for it now).

 

However, I do think these more modern redemption games based on cell phone games are a small step in the right direction. For one, they're actually games with actual skill involved, to a degree. Games like Fruit Ninja and Flappy Bird do require the player to bring some skill to the table in order to earn tickets. I've also seen a Yahtzee game that is basically the same general concept as the Pop-A-Ball game, except it's Yahtzee scoring instead of straight video poker. Even the Let's Make a Deal idea is a decent one, but that one is almost totally luck based from the get-go. But for every one of those kinds of games, I see much more of the "press this handle in to spin a wheel and maybe land on something" or "press this button to drop a block on top of this other block" type game, or some similar dross as that.

 

Of course, the most floor space dedicated to these redemption games, the less floor space available for our beloved classic style arcade and pinball games, or even modern arcade games, and it's always sad to walk into an arcade today and not find a single game I care to spend so much as a single token on. But then again I do suppose the folks marketing these "family fun centers" are marketing more toward kids who eat this stuff up than us older guys and gals who prefer something a bit more vintage and refined.

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Every time I see an "arcade" filled with redemption games, I die a little inside.

Me too, to add insult to injury, I was at an arcade once, filled with ticket games, and about two real arcade games, Ms. Pac-Man and Dance Dance Revolution (in a japanese cabinet for some reason), and this was roughly how many tokens they made.

 

Ms. Pac: 5-20 Tokens

DDR: Played Blind

Ticket Games 200-300 Tokens

 

I have no words on how horrible this is.

Edited by Jumpman1981

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