ARCADE SCAM SCIENCE (not clickbait)

ARCADE SCAM SCIENCE (not clickbait)


I designed this machine to win the jackpot
everytime on our kid games like these where you have to hit the button at the exact moment the light comes by
So the plan was for me to be a hero amongst my buddies and a veritable Chuckie Cheese Robin Hood giving out free tickets to all
The little kids, but that’s not
What actually happened
it actually turned out way more interesting and the more I tested the more
I realized this was turning into a repeat of when I use physics to expose the rigged carnival games because by building this super precise
Little robot I discovered arcade games like this are pretending to be one thing when in fact
They’re total scams. now in order to explain just how bad they’re scamming you let me first explain how my machine works and then walk
through the results of our testing for the past two months
Fundamentally the way this works is you have a photoresistor right here
And it senses the light five or six lights
Upstream of where you need to hit the button to get a jackpot and then after a pre-programmed delay the plunger comes down and hits
The button. To build this my buddy John
And I started by designing the main base in CAD and then we 3D printed it overnight
And then we attached the photoresistor at the end of the articulating arm
And then we took a solenoid with a plunger and attached it to the base
It’s powered by 20 volts worth of double-A batteries
And this is the same power pack I use to trigger the Super Soaker and the brains of the operation
Is this wireless Arduino board and it connects via Wi-Fi to a
Super ghetto app that we made an app is critical because it lets you adjust the delay between
Sensing the light and pushing the plunger so if you miss short
You just add a few milliseconds to the delay and try again
And then to disguise the whole thing we put it in a backpack and cut a hole in the bottom so the plunger could access
the big button on the machine
So to set it up. You simply walk in set the backpack down and then pull out your phone like you’re checking dankmemes
as you can see the disguise worked really well
And no one ever suspected anything. so at this point. We were ready for our first real-world test and the results were disappointing
We were getting jackpots, but only about every 30 tries, and what was so frustrating is we got the timing dialed in so well
we would miss short by one light and then not adjust the timing at all and then the very next run we
This long by one light. So for 30 attempts without changing anything about half were missing one light short and the other half were missing
One light long so this could mean only one of two things, either we had some errors in our machine
that was introducing some variability or there was something shady going on with the game itself
And troubleshooting because things don’t go as planned is
incredibly common with doing any engineering task so to fix it you have to
Systematically do some detective work to figure out where the error is coming from. In the last interview Carl Sagan ever gave
He said science is more than a body of knowledge
It’s a way of thinking
so here was our thought process and if I can prove that my
Machine was super precise then the only reason we weren’t getting a jackpot would be because the game was rigged so I needed to start
By looking at any potential sources of variability error in my machine there were only three
so it could be the
Photoresistor the solenoid or the arduino. There was one
External source we considered and that was light pollution from all the flashing lights in the arcade could mean the input to the light sensor
Was too noisy and therefore not repeatable now
There’s a trick when it comes to troubleshooting where you test several?
Potential error sources at the same time, and if I can get really precise results within this loop
Then I know that none of those components are the source of the error without having to take time to test each individually
so to test all three of these at once we made a simple app that flashed a white screen and started a stopwatch at the
Exact same time and then we set the trigger for exactly one second later and sure enough we were getting results with one millisecond precision
We also repeated the test with an incandescent bulb just like the game and got the same super accurate results
Now to appreciate that one millisecond of precision one flap of a hummingbird wing takes 12
Milliseconds so one millisecond is literally this long if you pull out your phone and trying it the stopwatch to land on four point
Zero zero seconds that’s really hard
And this is just a two decimal places
I had some friends of mine use a timer app that went out to three decimal places which is milliseconds
and then I
Challenged them to land exactly on four seconds and in one hundred tries these mere humans with their pitiful non machine reaction times
Were only able to do it once whereas my robot can do it pretty much every time
So there’s definitely no error coming from the hardware components
But maybe the sensor is being told to trip at different times because there’s so many additional
Flashing lights in an arcade and to investigate that we looked at the signal data from the sensor
Which looked really noisy
And low like this
until you see a spike in
Intensity every time the light would come around which is when the delay countdown would start because we have such a narrow field of view
On the sensor when we compared the time between each of the peaks it was also precise down to the millisecond so light pollution
Wasn’t the issue either
With this in mind I headed to a different arcade with some family friends and their kids to see if things would be any different
And we did win a few jackpots
But for the most part once again
We would alternate missing by one light on either side of the jackpot without making any
Adjustments to my machine which as a reminder can repeatedly hit the same mark within
1/12 of a hummingbird wing flap and so at this point it was pretty clear that these games just randomly hand out rare jackpots
but just to be sure I did some digging and was able to locate a 25 year old manual for the cyclone arcade game and
Sure enough if you flipped all the way to the back to page 31 it states the machine owner can specify
How often they want a jackpot to be won
Which actually makes sense because in our testing a lot of times
We’d hit a jackpot right away, and then go through a dry spell until we would finally get a jackpot again on average
Maybe 30 games later and so in conclusion
My issue here isn’t that this arcade game makes money for the arcade owner
My issue is this arcade game presents itself as a winnable game of skill when in reality
It’s a random dice roll
That is heavily stacked against you
And if you recall from the carnival scam video the most lucrative games for the carnival owner are those where people overestimate
their chances of winning that is
Exactly what happens in this game
especially when you might play a few games
And get it to stop one light short or one light long thinking
You are so close to getting a jackpot when in reality you weren’t close at all in gambling psychology
this is known as the near miss effect and people will spend much more money to try and win because they think they can just
Do it on the next one and for that reason it should come as no surprise
That this scam machine is considered the highest earning redemption arcade game ever made so if I were you
I’d save your tokens for skee-ball
There’s a plunger in the backpack and then it pushes down on the thing is that cool
So you’re basically cheating?
Well I mean cheating is a strong word I’m using an advantage I might have created myself
It’s a new year
Which means it’s time to make new goals and one of my new goals for this year
is learning how to make really cool motion graphics animations like the guys from the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt
And to do that I’m using skillshare.com
Who were also kind of to support this video. in this class they cover all the basics as well as how to animate their cool little bird
And there’s a bunch of free downloadable files
So you can follow along with the instructions. And skillshare has a bunch of different courses from
photography to marketing to
tutorials on that you think you just bought or maybe you want to learn to make videos like this it’s less than ten bucks a
Month for their premium membership and that gives you full access to all their classes and the first 300 people to use the link in
the video description
Get two months for you to try it out. So if you appreciate the work
I put into these videos and you want to start the new year off right by expanding your mind and setting a goal you can
Actually achieve, click the link in the video description to get started
Thanks for watching

100 thoughts on “ARCADE SCAM SCIENCE (not clickbait)”

  1. This was one of those videos that turned out way different than my original plan. It feels good to use scientific rigor to get a definitive answer to something that people often speculate about. Shoutout to pet.t.on and Surfncdog and for guessing the purpose of the machine from a picture on my Instagram. If you want stuff more than once/month, come join me there @markrober!

  2. I won the jackpot the first time i played it when i only had one token at peter piper since that was the only game that was one token beside the one where you have to drop it to a pile of coins where it pushes it of the edge

  3. The tip is never play this game unless the jackpot is at maximum. That way you bank on everyone else's losses and your closer to the jackpot setpoint. I win this game every time within 5 plays using this strategy.

  4. In that one car hit the light for jackpot game I got the jackpot 11 or so times in a row lol every1 was very impressed even my parents (I’m 13)

  5. Wish you could do a casino one of these and show how advanced they've become today. But of course you wouldn't be able to record in one or study anything inside or you'd get fingers broke.

  6. Did you really need to go through all this to figure out that? Seems like a few bucks on the manual of the game would have told you this or better yet common sense.

  7. Please make a video on claw crane games. They use the exact same kind of software variable for winnability. They can be adjusted so that the grip strength of the claw can be made strong enough to only win, say, 1 out of 20 games. They are not games of skill.

  8. I'd love to see a video like this on those "Stacker" games; my friend would always get to ONE before the top and then miss; he's NEVER won but has gotten to that one before the top a least a hundred times

  9. It was so satisfying watching y’all get away with doing this. That’s security guard didnt have a clue 😂🤣😂

  10. this is……

    AWSOME!!!!!! i can't stop watching this its sooooooo coolz i want to try this! 🙂 i liked and subscribed :))))))

  11. Block Stacker is another arcade game (of many, I suspect) in which it appears to be a game of skill while actually being random. These things are worse than Loot Boxes.

  12. Yup, a bunch of arcade games are like that. It's basically gambling but because you need at least some skill to get it, they call it a game of skill…"for kids!" The owner programmatically sets it to only pay out a specific rate (once every 30 plays in this case). What's great is that you can now just look up the manual on the internet.

  13. Also, excellent elimination of variables and proving the error in your gadget. Really completes the whole investigation/excitement and usually that's the most boring part but you make it fun.

  14. I’m going into 6 th grade next year but when I go to college I want to be just like you mark you are so good with kids judging by some of you videos ever since I’ve been watching your channel I went from B- in science and math to an average of 95 in math and 98 in science

    BTW I’m not trying to brag or anything because the people at my school a lot of them are a lot smarter
    Also I’m just trying to put out there that all you have to do is put a few more hours of effort in and it could go a long ways
    As long as you study right plus if it wasn’t for mark I would probably be getting Bs again

    Also it’s completely fine if you get Cs or Ds or even A- as long as your happy and thinking about your future cause your 5,000 ig followers aren’t gonna help you to much once college is over probably I don’t really know that’s what my mom said

  15. I always call BS on this I see something on the prize wall I see a nerf gun it says worth 20,000 tickets
    I'm saying that's probably 29$ but you can go to Walmart and get for about 10$

  16. Is the gaming commission involved… can we sue for this… cheating children isn't right… that like taking advantage of the elderly…

  17. Great video as always!
    Once in the late 70's I built an addition on a local American legion building. The bathroom was next to a small room that had 2 mechanical shot machines. Once when the bar was closed, I went to use the bathroom and noticed a man working on one of the machines, I noticed what looked like a piece of lead pounded in between 2 of the teeth on the large main gear, I asked what that was for and he quickly usured me out.
    That explained why the third lemon would just bearly slide off, no winner!
    I think gambling devices have always been rigged.

  18. How polite. Not dont forget to hit that suscribe button or suscribe to win a stuffed animal but please consider subscribing! So i feel i must

  19. Hmmm….

    Shady Arcade Game OR Errors in Engineering?

    **I'm gonna go with Shady Arcade Game for the Win!**

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