Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tokens in an unexpected place

Recently, I took a trip with some family to an amusement park. While walking around, we came across a carnival game. You know the one where you compete with others over who can shoot the most water into a clowns mouth? Yeah, that's that's it. This by itself is normal, but you now win tokens.

One token can be turned in for the small piece-o-crap prize while four can be turned in for the large piece-o-crap prize. That's all well and good but then I looked at the rules which stated: Everybody wins, Every time.

I was taken aback by this, as these games had always rewarded the winner. Now it doesn't really matter if you win, you get a token just the same. On one hand this makes a lot of sense for the folks running the booth. If you want that large prize, you are guaranteed to get it in 4 games. That makes it a bit more tempting. Of course at $3 a game, they will make a tidy profit.

On the other hand, this killed our motivation to play so we kept walking. The $3 price tag didn't help any, what the hell? In retrospect, the tokens should not have had any influence on our wanting to play. We were not playing for the prizes and there still would have been a winner. I guess we just don't want to see everybody winning. Hey, that's family :)

This system is actually more extreme than what you would find in a MMO. There you at least have to do something for the tokens. In the carnival game, you really are just handing over money for a token. They should at least have had the winner get 2 tokens or something.


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