There is proof that some arcade games are very carefully constructed scams. The Cyclone game that inhabits the middle of the floor in many larger arcades is a rather old game relatively speaking but it’s one that people tend to spend money on in the belief that they might score a humongous jackpot of tickets that is the goal of any arcade. Personally I stick to the fighting games and the adventure games but a lot of people seem transfixed by this game and continue to plunk credits into it thinking that they’ll win. What they don’t know is that the deck stacked against them from the very beginning.
The reason for saying this is that while arcade owners shouldn’t really fool around with their games in favor of allowing people to have fun and occasionally win, some of them do manage to make it that much harder for anyone to really pull out a jackpot from games like the Cyclone. The game is focused upon a ring of bulbs that light up as they go around and around in a continual ring. The object is to press a button that is set between two of the pulsing lights around the console so that you can win the jackpot. I must admit I’ve never played this game so the dynamics and the whole thing is kind of unknown to me. The creator of this clip goes into a very technical explanation of how he attempted to devise a way to accurately predict when to press the button so as to win a jackpot every time. What he didn’t figure on however was that he would always be hitting the button one light short or one light too far from winning.
His first thought was that his equipment was faulty, but after testing it against an app he found he discovered that this wasn’t the case. He then tested the effect of any surrounding noises and found that this wasn’t it either. Then he did the sensible thing, which was a lot easier but not as creative, and found a 25-year old manual on the Cyclone game and found out that an arcade owner can in fact set the jackpot so that it only occurs every so often. So in all honesty an arcade owner could set the number of wins to 999 and it would be just one in a thousand tries that would obtain the prize. Or they set it lower and it would happen more often, giving people that good feeling as though they’d accomplished something.
Arcades are no less of a scam than a carnival since they are out to make money, not lose it by allowing everyone to win. This is an immutable but very legal fact unfortunately but one that many people are still willing to try and test as they do their best to beat the house, so to speak. The sad part about actually getting the jackpot though is that you’ll typically spend more money to get all those tickets just to obtain something that costs a lot less in the retail stores.