Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Claw Game

I suck at these games!

Today I was reminded of a time when I was much younger and used to spend a lot of time and money in arcades. I used to love to play Street Fighter II and Mortal Combat as well as any pinball game I could find. I'd play just about any game in the arcade that I could get my hands on except for one. The claw game!

One day, before I developed my hate for this type of game, I saw a prize inside that I had to have. I don't remember what it was, but it was something that I really, really, really liked and I just had to win it! At this point, no other game in the arcade even existed to me. The pinball machine could be broken and giving out free games, I wouldn't have noticed. My heart was set on winning that prize inside the claw game.

So there I am with a pocket full of quarters and I start to play this terrible claw game. Each game costs 50 cents, which is more than most of the other games I enjoy playing, but I didn't care. I wanted to win that prize! First attempt isn't even close. The prize doesn't budge. I think to myself, "OK Gabe. This isn't going to be easy, but you can do it!" I pop in two more quarters are play again. My claw glides down to the prize and it starts to close around it, but it slips out. I try a third time and I still don't get the prize up into the air.

After three attempts I'm still prizeless, but I haven't lost hope. I'm learning the ways of the machine and making adjustments as I go. On the fourth attempt I get the claw wrapped around my prize securely! The claw glides back up into the air, but I can see that my prize is slipping out of the loose grip of the claw. When the claw moves sideways to the dropbox, my prize falls down and I've lost again! Now the prize is in a new area of the machine and I have to rethink my strategy.

I play a fifth game. My two quarters go into the coin slot and I'm determined to win. The claw slides around inside the machine as I control it. I drop the claw down to my prize, but another prize gets in the way and throws me off course. My claw is empty once again as it raises from the prize floor. I learn from this. I study the prizes inside a little harder and see a way to get my claw onto the prize.

I play a sixth game. I guide the claw into position and it slowly lowers down inside the machine. It comes to rest on the prize that I've been eyeing for what seems like an eternity. The claw starts to raise up, but it doesn't close around my prize! Stupid machine! By this time I'm pretty frustrated. I've practically spent all my arcade money for the day, and I've only been there for about 10 minutes! I decide to give it one more shot.

Needless to say, my seventh attempt at winning this prize is a complete failure once again. I haven't got much money left, I've used up all of my patience, and I have nothing to show for it. The fact that I'm a little stubborn and unwilling to quit when I see something I like has gotten me nowhere. Finally, I decide that this prize is not worth all the trouble I'm going through and I decide to look around for another game in the arcade to play. Even if I find another game, I know that I won't be as satisfied. But sometimes, you just have to cut your loses and move on.

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