Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas

By Natasha Dow Schüll | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION: MAPPING THE MACHINE ZONE

1. Legato 2005b, 30.

2. “Slot Symphonies: The Importance of Peripherals,” G2E 2009. Gambling machines can be seen as “heterogeneously engineered” artifacts (Law 1987, 113) that combine different forms of scientific knowledge and industrial innovation in an ongoing process of innovation, modification, and refinement (see also Woolley 2008).

3. See chapter 3 for a fuller genealogy of the contemporary gambling machine. There is substantial international variation in machine nomenclature. In North America, devices with physical reels are referred to as “slot machines” or “stepper slots” (referring to their use of stepper motors), while screen-based devices are “video reel slots” and “video poker.” In Australia, machines are exclusively video reel games, called “poker machines” or “pokies” because one must “poke” them to spin the game. In Canada and some US jurisdictions, “video lottery terminals,” or VLTs, offer diverse games in one unit (poker, video reels) and are called “terminals” because the outcome on each machine derives from a central system to which all units are linked, in the manner of a state lottery. In Britain, “fruit machines,” “jackpot machines,” “amusement with prizes,” or AWPs, and “fixed odds betting terminals” typically refer to devices with four reels and one payline, featuring a low maximum spending rate and slow speed of play; such devices are found also in Germany, Spain, and Japan. In Japan, “pachinko” machines (pinball-like devices played with tiny metal balls) and “pachisuro” or “pachislo”are variants on slot machines that give out noncash prizes. To speak of gambling machines across type and region, industry representatives often use the term “electronic gambling machines” (EGMs for short) or “electronic gambling devices” (EGDs). Here I use the phrase “gambling machine.”

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