Gambling. What’s the big appeal? I don’t understand it. I can always use a little spare cash, so when I found a gambling study that paid its participants, I jumped for it. I know I know, I’m kind of disgracing Mennonites everywhere, and I really shouldn’t gamble, but its not my money I’m gambling, right? It’s for science! I feel like those Amish teens that go out into the world to taste it for themselves during Rumspringa- since coming to university I’ve gambled, played paintball, drank (one daquiri, but still) and gone roof running, which is illegal. But gambling is definitely not my thing; I’m glad the study is over. I had to play a slot machine for about a half hour and then listen to sounds to see how I responded to the sounds used in the slot machine. The slot machine part was just as boring as staring at a little white cross and listening to short sound clips while strapped up to a heart rate monitor to judge my level of arousal caused by the gambling sounds.

But let me tell you, the two hours I wasted doing this study were two of the most boring hours of my life. I personally don’t find it all that exciting to watch lobsters roll around the screen, hoping that some of them line up so that I get back a little tiny portion of the vast amounts of points I wasted trying to win more points. It didn’t feel like I was winning anything, but just trying to minimize the damage to my wallet. Now, truthfully, it wasn’t my money and I got paid afterward, but still. And lobsters? Really? What? What is up with that?

And plus, it’s just plain confusing. There are apparently 15 different lines you can play, and I was playing all of them. But they confused me so much! I would get 3 lobsters in a row, right in the middle of the screen, and it wasn’t worth any points. How does that make sense? It doesn’t. So there are lines going every which way in a highly unintuitive manner and I really don’t know how the heck anyone would keep track of them. I think I hate lobsters now.

I just felt like a vegetable. Some mindless thing just sitting there, staring vacantly at a screen pushing a single button over and over and over again. I hated it. Who would want to feel like that, desperately hoping for money they know they’re not gonna get? I lost money both times. The chances of winning money are not very high, I’m afraid. How could people be stupid enough to think gambling is actually profitable?

So don’t you worry. This little Mennonite girl isn’t going rouge… quite yet.

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