Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 15

Slot Machines and Player’s Memories 11 pneumatically endowed women in relatively unrevealing costumes, providing eye candy to the player who sits down to play an otherwise unimaginative game; however, it also hearkens back to a time when a picture’s importance for its male adolescent discoverer lay only in its existence as a picture o f an adult woman— a picture which symbolized the world o f adult heterosexual identity. The obvious fact that the game objectifies women is simply rendered irrelevant to the player. While slot machine technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, their themes remain constant. W hen the “colossal reel” machine first took its place on the casino floor, for example, the compelling twin display reflected “the same old law“ as Walt Whitman would say in Song o f Myself. instead o f the characters from the newest vampiric sensations, the Twilight series, there on the screen in beautifully rendered, highly detailed faux paintings, were the characters o f Van Heising, a name which hearkens back to the original vampire novel, Dracula. Instead o f Once Upon A Time, the newest version o f twisted children’s tales retold for adults, there was L il’ Red, an adult update o f “Little Red Riding Hood.” Greek and Roman cultural tropes were represented by an updating o f Zeus’ stories and the story o f Spartacus. In sum, the idea is not to appeal to players in terms o f what they are reading in the here and now, but in terms o f what they absorbed as children from books, movies, and the storytellers in their lives— parents and teachers. There is a loud and persistent voice throughout the Internet positing that advertisers whet children’s appetites for adult products such as cigarettes and alcohol by using cartoon characters and populär culture references; here, game manufacturers are doing the same thing, only they are whetting the gaming appetites o f those who are already grown by appealing to the children within their psyches. M organ State University J.A. White Works Cited Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses o f Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance ofFairy Tales. New York: Vintage, 2010. Print. Previtti, Bill. “Casinos make way for even more slots.” ABQ Journal. 8 Feb 2013. Web. 5 Apr 2013.