6/26/2009

All about the tokens

Remember when you went to Chuck E Cheese and you played all of those "cheesey" games and you were rewarded with coupons if you played well? I never went as a child, since of course my childhood sucked, but I took my son many times and when he started getting too old for it, we would still go and play the games together and see who could rack up the most coupons. He won most of the time, but at the end of the day when you are counting hundreds of coupons for a dollar store toy, I thought to myself many times. it is not about the toy that you get, its about the hundreds upon hundreds of coupons/tickets that you have collected. You would remember the number for days, using it as a bargaining tool when playing with friends. I got 500 tickets at Chuck E Cheese, how many did you get" I remember hearing when Bryant would play with his friends at school. They would then compare which games gave you the most tickets. They would hardy ever talk about the toy that they "bought" with their tickets, it was all about who could gather the most tickets.

The same thing can be said about adults and their games. I play on an online gaming site, and when you pay the monthly or yearly fee you are rewarded by being able to collect tokens. They can be used for.... nothing, absolutely positively nothing. Funny thing is, adults are amazed when someone "walks" into a gaming room with 20 million tokens or higher. These people get asked all of the time, "How long have you been playing" or how did you get so many tokens?" I think I have around 7 million at this time, but I get into funks where I need to go and play and see which games can give you the most tokens when you win. You then brag to the other players when you get a jackpot spin and get a ginormous amount of tokens. Of course most of the time, you know no one in the room, but the need to share and have something in common with others. When one person announces that they got 5000 on a jackpot spin, all of a sudden everyone in the room starts spouting off how many tokens that they recieved on their jackpot spin. It is just a sense of belonging I guess.
No one asks you what you are going to buy with them, they never ask you what you are going to do with the millions upon millions of tokens that you have in your account. We all know that this is a ploy by the gaming industry that dates back decades when the saying was "whoever has the most toys wins". Now it is not so much about the toys, since we really do not have anywhere to put them anymore, but it has to do with the tokens that you collect, or the tickets you have coming out of your armpits when the games are over at the pizza place.

I think of this often, especially when I go into one of my gaming rooms, and I see members with more tokens than I have. I get a stab of jealousy and maybe a twinge of "oh they probably bought all of those tokens" I might read a profile or two to see how long they have been members. Eventually i play my game and hope that one day, I have the most tokens and I win.

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