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Vegas: the Candyland experience

When I was in kindergarten, I hated Candyland, that syrupy, pastel board game that involved moving plastic gingermen along a linear path according to the whims of an arbitrary deck of cards. Chutes and Ladders was a similarly tedious pastime, substituting a spinner for the deck and requiring an equal amount of skill and acumen, which is to say none at all.

As games, these two products are abject failures, rewarding players for nothing more than sheer luck, karma, or predestination.

Likewise, just about every “game” in Vegas involves nothing so much as random shots of adrenaline to the tune of no measurable skill. Playing the slots is really ritualized manic depression. The core mechanic of roulette, like Chutes and Ladders, is the spinning of a wheel. (Is the very mindlessness of these “games” what makes them so appealing?).

For my money, dumping quarters into the overpriced arcade in the faux Coney Island beat the rest of the NYNY casino, hands-down, for entertainment value. In fact, I found it rather amusing that children were Whack-a-Mole’ing and Skeeballing for real (if cheesy) prizes while their parents whittled away their dollars for what would likely add up to a bit fat nil downstairs in the pits.

(Arguably, poker entails skill as well as luck,though I’m not familiar enough with any form of poker to be any judge of that claim).

(Update: I stumbled on Candy Land, the revisionist history during an infrequent trip to the Interweb’s main watering holes)

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