Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I ♥ pachinko.

I love it.

It's simple and requires almost no skill but you get the payoff of flashing lights and fun noises.

For those of you who don't know about this popular Japanese game, what have you been doing??

The pachinko machine is Japan's answer to the slot machine. They're loud, bright and addictive. Instead of tokens or coins, small metal balls are put into the machine and they feed into it and drop down through the panel between the glass and board, hitting pins along the way. (For anyone who watched The Price is Right, it's like Plinko.) If the balls fall down into a certain slot, you win more balls. Once you are done, you exchange your pachinko balls for prizes or tokens. (250 balls = about 1000 yen = about $10.25) It is illgal to gamble so that why they give prizes instead. Although, if you want cash, you simply take your tokens around the corner and there will be a store that exchanges them into cash for you. The authorities tolerate this because, technically, they aren't breaking any laws. Ahhh, the japanese and their rules... and exceptions to those rules...

Aaarrr Japan PachinkoThe newer versions look more like vertical pinball with video screens and more moving parts. If you get a ball into the center gate, a series of reels will spin in the center, a video will play and if you're lucky, you get all 3 reels the same and you get the jackpot! (aka a crap load of little metal balls.) They have been customized to almost anything. Star War pachinko. Indiana Jones. Every anime possible. Under the sea, pirates, sex, outer space, everything!

I've been looking for one to buy for myself for a long time but haven't found the right one... It has to work, as I am not very handy and wouldn't know the first thing about how to fix it... and since they are so so heavy and fragile, especially the older ones, if I could find one that I can pick up, instead of shipping that would be best. I've done ebay and craigs list and haven't found exactly what I want...

But one day, it will be mine! And what an awesome birthday /Xmas /Hanuka /no-reason-I'm-just-awesome/Arbor day that will be!
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