How Claw Arcade Machines “Work”

by Christopher Paul on September 5, 2012

Not so much how they work but how they keep you from winning:

“…most crane games are designed so the claw is randomly (and only once in many games) strong enough to let players win. Some even weaken in strength after a short time so players get close to victory only to see it slip from their grasp!

There are settings for making the claw use its strong setting on most games, one game in a few, or almost never. There are further controls for the claw to grab in strong mode and then switch to weak mode anywhere from 2-9 seconds after grabbing. Finally, it can even be set to switch to weak mode 10-25 seconds from the start of the game, to put slowpokes at a disadvantage!”

Some machines can be set to “strong” mode once every 800 tries.

via Kottke

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