Friday, June 6, 2008

Bureaucracy At Its Finest

My friends, tragedy struck on Wednesday.

It happened in the place one might least expect it, in a place that had heretofore been to me a sweet haven of distraction from all the ills in life like bosses and spiders. Alas, my sweet haven will forevermore be tarnished by this great travesty afflicted by the most garish of villains: bureaucracy.

You see, Wednesday my husband and I had gone to Dave and Busters for an evening of frivolity and fun. We had finished our dinner and were making a beeline to the area where our most favorite of games stood in all its glory: Deal or No Deal.

Yes, some genius, somewhere, had the brilliant idea of making an arcade game based on the show, of which Hubby and I are huge fans (the arcade game, not the show). The game is surprisingly similar to the show. You are given cases numbered 1-16, which have various amounts of tickets in them. You have the option of playing the cheaper version, of which the top ticket amount is 200, or the more expensive version, where the top ticket amount possible is 400. The rest of the game is played exactly as you see on TV.

It. Is. So. Much. Fun.

But alas, we were stopped dead in our tracks by a most unwelcome sight: emptiness. That's right. The game had completely vanished from where it once stood. We looked around to see if it had just been moved, but the game was nowhere to be found. Heartbroken, we looked for another game to play to ease our disappointment. Shortly thereafter, an employee walked by and asked if we would like anything to drink, and we took the opportunity to ask about our most beloved game. Had it just been sent somewhere for repair? Did they really get rid of it permanently? Hubby and I had come up with many possible scenarios to explain its disappearance, but nothing prepared us for what the employee said.

"We had to get rid of it," she said. "The gaming commission decided that it was gambling, so they've been taken out of everywhere."

Say what?

"Yeah, the commission said that because it wasn't a skill game that it was gambling. The non-skill games aren't supposed to give tickets, and since this one did, we had to take it out."

So let me get this straight. I can go to the local Indian casinos and gamble my life savings away, I can hop on a plane to Vegas and bet our house on blackjack, but I can't win a few paltry Dave and Busters tickets on the Deal or No Deal arcade game because that somehow is seen as unhealthy?

What did the gaming commission think was going to happen? Did they think pasty white Midwestern 8-year-olds would start selling crack just so they could make more money to put on their Dave and Busters playing card? Did they think adults would blow a mortgage payment trying to get the coveted 400 ticket case? Has anyone on the gaming commission ever been to Dave and Busters? You have to go, like, 4,537 times before you have enough tickets for anything decent. And by the time you've got enough tickets for something decent, you've spent 6,000 times more to win the tickets than you would have if you would have just gone to Target in the first place and bought the item, so what with the cost of gas and all, no one is really going to develop any unhealthy habits around this game. It's just not cost effective.

But apparently, the gaming commission was so worried about society's ability to ward off an addiction to this game, they felt it was necessary to eliminate its existence.

If a gaming commission has nothing better to do than wage war on the arcade version of Deal or No Deal, it's time to evaluate how our tax dollars could be more effectively spent.


Colleen said...

What a bummer! That sounds like a game I might actually play. I'm not a big video game person, but that one seems pretty fun. That sounds like a pretty crazy reason for removing the game. I hope you'll be able to find a new game. I'm always a fan of Skee-ball. Do they have that one at D&B?

Queen Goob said...

Pasty white Midwestern 8-year-olds selling crack….now THAT was funny! Did you contact the gaming commission to ask where the machine went and whether or not it was for sale for private, at home, non-gambling use? Sounds like a great father’s day gift!

MadMad said...

Oh, no! Don't you just LOVE bureaucracy. (Whew. That's a little hard to spell after the second glass of wine...) But you know what I DO love? Your husband's photos! I had never seen that link before! Wow, he's good!

Oh, and I'm sorry for your loss.

Dorky Dad said...

Sigh. Gosh, this country is so freaking goofy when it comes to gambling. Honestly, it's flat-out stupid.

Mrs. R said...

Colleen: Yes, it was really fun. I love Skee-ball too, and fortunately the gaming commission hasn't removed those yet from Dave and Busters!

Queen Goob: Oh, I have no doubt that at least some of those machines found their way into the living rooms of the gaming commissioners.

MadMad: Your sympathy is most appreciated at this difficult time.

And yes, my husband is REALLY good at photography. I'll have to do more blogs where I can incorporate his pictures.

Dorky Dad: I'm going to assume that you're not being sarcastic :) and say I agree. If you want to make gambling illegal (except for Indian casinos) fine, but don't mess with my Deal Or No Deal game.