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Penny Arcade - Comic - Childish Gamblino

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Childish Gamblino!

Penny Arcade - Comic - Childish Gamblino

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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    Johnny17Johnny17 Registered User regular
    Kids face expressions like Yu Gi Oh cartoon.

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    OverkillengineOverkillengine Registered User regular
    I mean, plenty of early arcade games were designed to hoover up your money, they just did it a quarter at a time was all.

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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    My childhood in seaside arcades was spent at the machines where you could win actual money, like the mechanical horse racing or the ones where you try to get coins into holes or push other coins over

    When I was 17 I earned enough 10p pieces in one day to buy a Family Guy DVD boxset from Blockbuster

    I think that sentence belongs in a museum

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Gotta wonder how much this was inspired by the most recent Penny For Your Thoughts, where they talked about this strip:

    dql8itpulirf.png

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    ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    Yes, we're still doing arcades. But now they're bars that serve microbrews, plus a wide variety of imports in bottles. Some will even serve you a shot of Jameson alongside a properly-poured Guinness. And pizza that smells so good it makes you wary of ordering any and spoiling that first impression. Never meet your heroes, and never try that pizza. Some things are best left to the imagination.

    Nothing personal. It's just business.
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    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    The first (and last!) time I went to a Dave & Busters, it made me sad. There were some interesting diversions, but no actual good video games. I played some kind of Marvel fighting game, hoping to recapture a moment of nostalgia from the Capcom cabinets of my youth, only to find that it controlled like an upscaled mobile app.

    Sure, the old games were meant to eat quarters but there was a sense that skill was involved. This was like a real-life gacha machine - it even dispensed random character cards after a match!

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    ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    I remember when, in our youth, we realized that arcade games could have their difficulty tuned by the arcade owner. The arcade at North Hills had things turned way up, and ate your quarters like crazy. The arcade at the Village Mall was fair, and they did a great job of having the latest and greatest games pretty quickly.

    Crabtree Valley was decent, too, but a much longer drive.

    The giant fun center at Crossroads Mall had the best selection of games, most pretty fair. But holy shit, it was the worst when the indoor roller coaster was going, you couldn't hear a damn thing over it. Best times where early in the morning or on weekdays when the crowd was sparse enough that it wasn't running.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

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    furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    I don't think old arcades were any less interested in taking your money, newer ones are just better and more obvious about it. We have a Dave and busters as well as a few other similar places and they are all basically casinos. I try to get my kid to play what few actual games there are but the allure of getting tickets is too strong lol.

    sig.gif Gamertag: KL Retribution
    PSN:Furlion
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    FireballDragonFireballDragon Registered User regular
    "Are we still doing arcades?" It's in the name of the comic, isn't it?

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Yes, we're still doing arcades. But now they're bars that serve microbrews, plus a wide variety of imports in bottles. Some will even serve you a shot of Jameson alongside a properly-poured Guinness.

    So, yeah, a casino. But one where you have to actually (directly) pay for your liquor.

    dennis on
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    ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

    It's a social outlet.

    As arcades always were.

    Sure, back in the day the games you could play on the cabinet were way better than what you could play at home (if you even had a computer or a video game console), but in a lot of ways social interaction, pre-teen/teenage cultures were centered around malls, with arcades and food courts being primary centers of gravity. The mall was also a crossroads for different social and peer groups, which created an environment that often allowed different mixing and interactions that weren't always an option inside the four walls of a school, where social hierarchies (unfortunately) were more strictly "enforced".

    All this to say, that Dave & Buster's carries about as much gravitas these days as a Chuckie Cheese back in the 90's.

    I, too, would agree with the "I'm not sure it's an arcade" statement.

    ironzerg on
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    As I understand it, there was a whole scene around Dance Dance Revolution

    As an uncoordinated boob all I got were glimpses, seeing friends of friends play with most of their weight on the side rails to better facilitate quick foot movements

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

    It's a social outlet.

    As arcades always were.

    Sure, back in the day the games you could play on the cabinet were way better than what you could play at home (if you even had a computer or a video game console), but in a lot of ways social interaction, pre-teen/teenage cultures were centered around malls, with arcades and food courts being primary centers of gravity. The mall was also a crossroads for different social and peer groups, which created an environment that often allowed different mixing and interactions that weren't always an option inside the four walls of a school, where social hierarchies (unfortunately) were more strictly "enforced".

    All this to say, that Dave & Buster's carries about as much gravitas these days as a Chuckie Cheese back in the 90's.

    I, too, would agree with the "I'm not sure it's an arcade" statement.

    I get that, and I can certainly see going to a Dave and Buster's with coworkers over going to a regular bar. I don't know that arcades, or the mall in general, are going to still perform the function of mingling with strangers, though. The internet, for better or worse, has given us plenty of options, like this very forum, for "hanging out" with people we've deliberately chosen instead of just whoever happens to be at the mall at the time. And on the one hand, I can definitely see something lost there, that we only engage in social groups with people with our very specific sets of interest. On the other hand, I absolutely cannot see myself striking up a conversation or playing games with strangers at Dave and Buster's. Though that problem is probably with me.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    ironzerg wrote: »
    I get that, and I can certainly see going to a Dave and Buster's with coworkers over going to a regular bar. I don't know that arcades, or the mall in general, are going to still perform the function of mingling with strangers, though. The internet, for better or worse, has given us plenty of options, like this very forum, for "hanging out" with people we've deliberately chosen instead of just whoever happens to be at the mall at the time. And on the one hand, I can definitely see something lost there, that we only engage in social groups with people with our very specific sets of interest. On the other hand, I absolutely cannot see myself striking up a conversation or playing games with strangers at Dave and Buster's. Though that problem is probably with me.

    For people I actually know, I prefer hanging out in person. Having a destination gives that a focal point. No different than going bowling, or to go watch a movie, or whatever. Sometimes the novelty also helps people agree on a destination. I'm not a naturally extroverted person, but I am definitely much more excited to be in the room with a handful of people I'm friends with.

    For strangers, the problem is also with me. I know that about myself. There are very few situations where I've ever felt that comfortable approaching strangers. PAX is one. The local board game meetups have been another (though sometimes anxiety about cliques can creep in). So I can see D&B being the same as the mall or a bar or whatever the rest of the population that enjoys meeting strangers likes.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    Yes, we're still doing arcades. But now they're bars that serve microbrews, plus a wide variety of imports in bottles. Some will even serve you a shot of Jameson alongside a properly-poured Guinness.

    So, yeah, a casino. But one where you have to actually (directly) pay for your liquor.

    Oh no. They're worse than casinos. Because casinos are actually regulated and required to follow guidelines that keep the games honest. Redemption games have none of that.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

    It's a social outlet.

    As arcades always were.

    Sure, back in the day the games you could play on the cabinet were way better than what you could play at home (if you even had a computer or a video game console), but in a lot of ways social interaction, pre-teen/teenage cultures were centered around malls, with arcades and food courts being primary centers of gravity. The mall was also a crossroads for different social and peer groups, which created an environment that often allowed different mixing and interactions that weren't always an option inside the four walls of a school, where social hierarchies (unfortunately) were more strictly "enforced".

    All this to say, that Dave & Buster's carries about as much gravitas these days as a Chuckie Cheese back in the 90's.

    I, too, would agree with the "I'm not sure it's an arcade" statement.

    I get that, and I can certainly see going to a Dave and Buster's with coworkers over going to a regular bar. I don't know that arcades, or the mall in general, are going to still perform the function of mingling with strangers, though. The internet, for better or worse, has given us plenty of options, like this very forum, for "hanging out" with people we've deliberately chosen instead of just whoever happens to be at the mall at the time. And on the one hand, I can definitely see something lost there, that we only engage in social groups with people with our very specific sets of interest. On the other hand, I absolutely cannot see myself striking up a conversation or playing games with strangers at Dave and Buster's. Though that problem is probably with me.

    "Grown-up" arcades nowadays serve a different function than 80s/90s arcades served in the 80s/90s. Arcades back then were some social outlet, as has been described earlier in the thread. Grown-up arcades are there simply to cater to your nostalgia of those times, and I love them for it.

    Meanwhile, those modern arcades for kids with ticket prizes and such, these are simply unregulated casinos for underage children. They exist wholly to steal kids' money and train them to engage in impulsive and irresponsible financial behaviors by exploiting the sunken cost fallacy.

    Sure, old arcades swallowed your quarters, but the games were (god I hate that term, but) "real games". They were designed to be beatable. You could, in theory, play all of Metal Slug on a single quarter if you were God.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    The problem I had with D&B being "the grown up arcade that caters to your nostalgia" is when I went there, they were full of the games that came along 20+ years after I had a kid, and were altogether of a different nature. In short, they sucked.

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    ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

    If the arcade machines are select-a-game reproductions with LCD screens and standardized control schemes, then they're not worth my time.

    If they're original cabinets, with the art, and brilliant CRT screens, and the original controls? Those, I'll seek out. Galaga hits different on one of these machines. Tempest, even more so, if it's still using a display built for color vector graphics, and the knob you rotate as the primary control input. Nothing you watch at home on an LCD or OLED screen is going to convey what those vector graphics look like in person.

    Bonus points if the arcade has some old electromechanical arcade games from the '70s. These are a trip, for the way they combine miniatures and moving pieces with lighting tricks like Pepper's Ghost and loads of electrical wiring inside to perform some very rudimentary tasks.

    Pinball, of course, is where it all comes together. Electromechanical wizardry, moving parts, polished or rough surfaces, miniatures, display technology, primitive digitized sound, and even a bit of force feedback. Then there's the way that no two pinball tables, of the same design, play the same way. Each is a new experience, a new puzzle box, occasionally a form of the Lament Configuration.

    Some of these experiences, you can get a sense of at home. I love digitized versions of real-world pinball tables. And I love collections of classic coin-op arcade titles. But the whole experience is something far trickier to replicate. Even for the less ancient titles like NFL Blitz 2000, with its unique, 49-way digital joystick and quarter-hungry attempts to force a tie and overtime, Super Off-Road where you throw the wheel to make a 90 degree turn, or Daytona USA with its manic out-of-sequence manual shifting and head to head battles for position.

    If buying and enjoying a couple pints, along with the quarters I spend, helps keep these machines in good working order, then I'm quite happy with that arrangement.

    ArmsForPeace84 on
    Nothing personal. It's just business.
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    LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    The problem I had with D&B being "the grown up arcade that caters to your nostalgia" is when I went there, they were full of the games that came along 20+ years after I had a kid, and were altogether of a different nature. In short, they sucked.
    There were sucky old games too, but they got killed off by natural selection. We just need to give the new ones some time

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    YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    My first experience at a Dave & Busters was going there in the middle of the day maybe 10 years ago. There were probably 8 customers total. One of the machines was endlessly dispensing tickets and the staff didn't notice/care. Everyone in turn would wander by and harvest the current bounty. Nobody was a jerk about it and we all got paid. I still played games because Skee-Ball is fun. But there wasn't any real pressure to turn that fun into equity.

    I walked out with a coffee mug that day.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Grown up arcades (or video game arcades in general) are weird to me in an age where you can get games of that quality on your phone for less than the cost of the pizza at the arcade.

    If you're going to have a place to go where you play video games, it should be games that most people can't afford to have in their home. VR sets and that sort of thing.

    It's a social outlet.

    As arcades always were.

    Sure, back in the day the games you could play on the cabinet were way better than what you could play at home (if you even had a computer or a video game console), but in a lot of ways social interaction, pre-teen/teenage cultures were centered around malls, with arcades and food courts being primary centers of gravity. The mall was also a crossroads for different social and peer groups, which created an environment that often allowed different mixing and interactions that weren't always an option inside the four walls of a school, where social hierarchies (unfortunately) were more strictly "enforced".

    All this to say, that Dave & Buster's carries about as much gravitas these days as a Chuckie Cheese back in the 90's.

    I, too, would agree with the "I'm not sure it's an arcade" statement.

    I get that, and I can certainly see going to a Dave and Buster's with coworkers over going to a regular bar. I don't know that arcades, or the mall in general, are going to still perform the function of mingling with strangers, though. The internet, for better or worse, has given us plenty of options, like this very forum, for "hanging out" with people we've deliberately chosen instead of just whoever happens to be at the mall at the time. And on the one hand, I can definitely see something lost there, that we only engage in social groups with people with our very specific sets of interest. On the other hand, I absolutely cannot see myself striking up a conversation or playing games with strangers at Dave and Buster's. Though that problem is probably with me.

    "Grown-up" arcades nowadays serve a different function than 80s/90s arcades served in the 80s/90s. Arcades back then were some social outlet, as has been described earlier in the thread. Grown-up arcades are there simply to cater to your nostalgia of those times, and I love them for it.

    Meanwhile, those modern arcades for kids with ticket prizes and such, these are simply unregulated casinos for underage children. They exist wholly to steal kids' money and train them to engage in impulsive and irresponsible financial behaviors by exploiting the sunken cost fallacy.

    Sure, old arcades swallowed your quarters, but the games were (god I hate that term, but) "real games". They were designed to be beatable. You could, in theory, play all of Metal Slug on a single quarter if you were God.

    Even if you weren't good enough to beat the game on one, or even any reasonable amount of quarters, and god knows I wasn't, the reward for spending more money was getting to play the game more. Not just another spin at the wheel.

    steam_sig.png
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    ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    All these observations about redemption game parlors are spot on. And yet, the main beef I have with them is, there could have been an actual arcade there. There was a whole industry far more predatory, upon kids and their allowances, and far more normalizing of various gambler's fallacies and disorders and lottery ticket mentality, when I was growing up.

    Collectible cards. Not specifically CCGs, those were merely the next evolution of a fad that began as a way to sell more cigarettes, and actually worked. All the sports collectible shops had to do was put in some tables for kids to play, and get hooked, and change the sign out front from All-Stars Sports & Cards to The Dragon's Pit. And voila! Juvenal proven wrong in an afternoon, with the worst of a vice reached in a single leap.

    And while all this was going on, AND while the redemption prize arcades were doing brisk business, there were places in the US that had yet to legalize pinball:

    'Sup, Oakland. Really? It took you 'til 2014? I thought you were down with lean mean money makin' machines servin' fiends.
    Hey Kokomo, whaddaya know? 2016? That's a bit slow.
    South Carolina, how's it hang... oh WTF? Really? You're just now legalizing pinball for minors? What, did it take an ADA suit by Tommy to force your hand?

    ArmsForPeace84 on
    Nothing personal. It's just business.
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    LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    Ah yeah I remember the basketball card craze of 1993, kids bringing binders to school and trading at lunchtime. It looked like fun

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    ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Lttlefoot wrote: »
    Ah yeah I remember the basketball card craze of 1993, kids bringing binders to school and trading at lunchtime. It looked like fun

    Wrong decade, and wrong sport, but otherwise, well played.

    By that time, meaning my generation, it was CCGs. For previous generations it was baseball cards. To the point that, there were still sports card shops all over, right up until the dads and uncles started picking up the CCG habit, as well, and their greater spending power was brought to bear. At that point, things went down like I described them. Signs changed, sports cards were shoved into the corner, and MTG and SWCCG and L5R starters and packs and singles took up the shelves and display cases.

    This is one of those things that younger people might not believe about the past. Like the way model kits were just about everywhere that a parent might conceivably drag their kid while they were out shopping. Grocery stores. Drugstores. Convenience stores. Boring old grown-up "hobby shops" otherwise, disappointingly for a young person, stocked mostly with planters and fabrics and ceramics. The way hobbies your dad, your uncle, maybe even your granddad, were into, weren't always old man hobbies. Or on the flip side, how early the modern hobby of videogames, with arcades and consoles for their enjoyment, became a thing.

    The past was weird.

    ArmsForPeace84 on
    Nothing personal. It's just business.
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