In the article, “Racing the Beam”, the author brings up the concept of midway games. Midway games “rely on partial reinforcement-a type of operant conditioning that explains how people become attached (and possibly addicted) to experiences. Partial reinforcement provides rewards at scheduled intervals” (Montfort and Bogost). The partial reinforcement of midway games give gamers the idea that winning is a possibility which makes them want to play even more. Midway games were mostly found in bars and arcades because people would pay to keep playing the games in order to win, which in most cases they never did. One thing that I found interesting was that Bushnell opened Chuck E. Cheese’s based on his prior experiences. Bushnell recognized that bar/tavern culture was huge and capitalized on his “prior influences. Chuck E. Cheese’s was an arcade: its games encouraged continued play and cross-cabinet play. It was also a restaurant: food and drink drew players to the locale and kept them there longer. Finally, it was a midway: players collected tickets from games of slull and chance like skeeball in the hopes of exchanging them for prizes” (Montfort and Bogost).
After playing the arcade version of Pac-Man it made me realize just how addicting people could become to it. For me, Pac-Man is one of those games that I’ve never been good at. I keep playing it over and over because I keep thinking that I can beat it but ultimately the game beats me. Pac-Man proved to me that the idea of midway games is in fact true because every once and awhile I was shown that I could get all of the ghosts, but then the ghosts eventually got the best of me; however, I kept playing in hopes of winning. I was wondering because there aren’t really arcades around anymore because people play videogames on their consoles at home, are midway games still around? If so, what games would be considered midway games?