Thinking Out Loud

July 5, 2009

Our Day (15 minutes) at the Casino

Filed under: addiction — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:49 pm

Today we dropped by one of our local casinos, mostly to see what the restaurant was like.   No money changed hands.    I’m always struck by the blinking lights that lure in the customers, but it was something on the auditory side of things that struck my wife.   I’ll let her describe it:

The room was huge, I don’t know how many square feet, but we figured that it contained 6 or 7 hundred machines.  Just a few green baize tables in the centre, surrounded by slanted rows of blinking, shining machines.  Each one a variation on slots, with different colour schemes, different images, but the same configuration.

The volume of sound, the pleasant sounds generated by the machines – of dinging and pinging and chirping and ringing – in the casino seemed almost deliberately modulated.  Just loud enough to be engaging, but not loud enough to distract or interfere with conversation.

But the further we went into the room, the more it became apparent that every one of those 6 or 7 hundred machines was pinging and dinging in the same key.  The same musical key.  No discord, no clash, no change as you walked through.  Exactly the same.  It surrounded us like a warm pool.  You could hum along with it.

And the more you listened – the more you swam through it – the more you became aware that most of the pinging and ringing and chiming was the same note.  An octave or two apart, but the same sound, the same tone over and over and over, following you through, or propelling you.  At just the right volume, with no irritating edges.  Soft, round, mellow.

Hypnotic?  Maybe.  Deliberate?  No doubt.

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1 Comment »

  1. What an interesting observation! I haven’t ever walked through a casino but it sounds other- worldly…there has to be more to it than just winning and losing money…perhaps there is a lulling of the senses as well.

    Comment by Cynthia — July 6, 2009 @ 8:22 pm


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