There was an ad on the newspaper today that captured my attention. It was an ad for a place of found memories that I had as a kid. That place is Chuck E. Cheese. For those who may not know about this place, it’s a place of games and crappy food kids love going to for whatever reason (including my self.) But as I thought about the memories I had going there, I had somewhat of an interesting revelation!
Chuck E. Cheese is a casino for kids! It makes perfect sense! A parent walks in to a Chuck E. Cheese location with there kids and exchange money into Chuck E. Cheese coins. Then the kids piss away all those coins on over priced games requiring three or five coins to play. The game lasts for a few minutes and if they win, they receive coupons that they then could exchange into crappy prizes unless they have a crap load of coupons for better prizes. When kids runs out of coins, they beg mom and dad for more coins that as I said before, is way over priced. But as for the gaming aspect, to me, thats like betting on the game where if you win, you are rewarded based on your skill and if you lose, you lose the coins you spent. To me thats gambling and gambling is heavily regulated in North America. Gambling is also illegal to anyone under the age of 18. so how the hell can such a business exist?
Thats exactly how I remembered it when I was a kid. I wanted to play some games there, asked mom for coins, she gave me $20 worth of coins and then I pissed it all away on the crappy games they had there. But I was a kid easily brainwashed into thinking those games where fun thanks to the TV ads from Chuck E. Cheese. The food and Pizza was crap but the TV ads told me the food is awesome and yet I believed.
Anyway, looking at the prices that Chuck E. Cheese charges these days for coins based on the ad pictured above… seriously? $28.99 for 40 coins with a crappy large pizza and thats a savings of $15? If I remember it right, some games can cost as much as 5 coins to play! Thats roughly about 7 rounds worth of decent games. If you have to share those coins with a sibling, you may end up just playing three rounds of a decent game.
What about the prizes? Well if you never been to that place, you will see that even 30 or even 50 coupons wont get you a hell of a lot. If I remember it right, 100 coupons got you something like a basket ball and anything below 100 coupons was disposable stuff no kid wants like whistles, whoopee cushions and sparkly pencils. They do have better prizes like RC cars, but now we are talking about thousands of coupons needed to win those. The last time I was there, the first ever PlayStation was big at the time and sure enough, you could win a Playstation. You just needed something like 60,000 coupons to win it. Thats like a few thousand dollars worth of games to be played to achieve that. my goodness!
When the day comes when I have kids who are old enough to learn about Chuck E. Cheese (if it’s still in business then,) It really would not be a day I would look forward to. I would hate it! I am not looking to piss away $30 (or more thanks to inflation) on my kids to this hidden form of gambling. Who knows? It could be sort of a gateway drug into getting my kids into gambling addicts when there older and as if raising kids is hard enough. I am better off refusing to take them there and instead take them to a toy store and spend that $30 on a toy better than any other crappy prize they could win at Chuck E. Cheese. But hey, at least I still don’t have kids yet.