We spent Monday playing arcade games at Chuck E Cheese winning tickets and prizes. And taking notes about the mechanics and rules of a variety of games. Each student is to document the game play with photos and video and then describe the mechanics and rules. Also the students are to suggest possible mechanic and rule changes to make the game an educational game.
I chose the Winners Wheel which was one of the slot games in which you time your token to cross a moving plank into the winners slot. Below is a video of the game, sadly I kept missing the planks!
Once you do cross the plank into the winners slot, a ball pops out onto a track making a quick circle around the wheel and falling in. On the wheel are nine holes into which the ball may drop which corresponds to a ticket reward worth 6-26 tickets or the bonus slot which is defined on the display above (50 tickets when I played).
I did notice that the hole for the bonus prize had a raised lip around the edge, making the likelihood that the ball would drop there practically zero. The wheel also appeared to not be spinning on a level surface as it did not just move to the outside edge and stay there as you would expect with centripetal force from the wheel spinning. The ball would roll across the middle from likely high to low spots of the angled wheel surface. I couldn’t tell if the lower surface was near lower ticket amounts but it wouldn’t surprise me.
To apply some educational rules to the Winner’s Wheel you could have quiz questions allow a player to win tokens, which are then an opportunity to play. But that’s kind of an easy way out. I think it might be interesting to change the mechanics of the plank size based on a math game, particularly fractions and fraction addition. A player could ‘win’ a larger plank based on their ability to add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide fractions correctly.
So for example the student starts with by default a plank that’s a 1/4 inch wide. They select at random another piece of plank they can add between 1/4 inch wide to 1 1/4 inch wide. A student selects a 2/3 inch piece of plank. The student must add 1/4 and 2/3 correctly to get the wider plank, which in turn would make it easier for the student to get the token across to the winner’s slot.