25-Cents

“Alright, team. Idea time. What have you got for me, Johnson?”

“Umm… so you’re a rabbit, right? And you, like, jump around collecting different colored carrots—”

“Lame. Think of something better by the time we come back around or you’re fired. What about you, Lambert?”

“I’m working on this fighting game—”

“Nice.”

“—but instead of a player select screen, you customize your own character—”

“I like it, I like it.”

“—and each time you change your appearance it costs another quarter.”

“Brilliant! Are you listening to this, Johnson? This is game development gold over here. Green light it, code it, send a demo over to Capcom ASAP. Who’s next?”

“I’ve got something, sir.”

“Bellamy? Talk to me.”

“Okay, so I’m thinking racing game meets rail shooter.”

“I’m listening.”

“Player Two has a separate screen set at a right angle to Player One for a drive-by shooting emulator.”

“Sounds violent but I’m interested. Just needs a hook.”

“Umm… if one player dies they both have to deposit quarters to continue?”

“Bam! Another homerun! Get RnD on housing logistics and write up a proposal to Namco immediately. Oh, and get Legal working on a disclaimer for that. Right, who’s next?”

“I’ve got something better than a game, boss.”

“You’ve got my attention, Thompson.”

“What if token machines in arcades charged a transaction fee to break bills?”

“Why, that is the most despicable, sleazy, underhanded ploy I’ve ever heard. Green light it. I want every arcade on the west coast charging fees to break dollars by next month. Alright, Johnson. You’re the last one. Either wow me or clear out your desk.”

“Well, there is a game that costs anywhere from one to twenty dollars per use…”

“Holy smokes! This must be one hell of a good game, Johnson! What kind of graphics budget are we talking here?”

“Oh, this game doesn’t really have any graphics.”

“A low-cost video game that rakes in hundreds of dollars an hour? It almost sounds too good to be… wait a minute. Are you talking about video poker? You know our target audience isn’t old enough to gamble, Johnson!”

“Not if they’re playing for arcade tokens which, I might add, have no cash value.”

“Not bad, Johnson. Not bad at all. Greenlight it. I want to see news reports on child gambling addictions by next month. Alright, next order of business: ideas for crappy prizes behind the ticket redeeming counter. Go!”

Dragon Momma at 604Republic