WICHITA, Kan. — Patrons of a local arcade bar have noted the erotic intensity between a claw machine and the seven-inch Minecraft Creeper plushie contained within it, recent reports confirm.
“It’s… it’s not just me, right?” player Josie Blanche fretted, inserting another dollar into the machine. “It’s just… there’s something about that sleek, smooth claw, slowly and repeatedly plunging into a pool of long, semi-firm cylinders… I swear I’m not weird. I’m not. There’s one in the right-hand corner of the machine I’m aiming for, but I’m merely angling it further and further upwards with each attempt, gently caressing the shaft as it glides through those metal fingers. It’s hard. TO IGNORE. I meant to say that altogether. ‘It’s hard to ignore.’ Don’t put that pause in. I didn’t mean the pause. I’m not weird.”
The staff at Hyperdrive Bar & Arcade have noted uneasy silence and decreased eye contact between patrons within minutes of playing the machine. Though it remains a popular and profitable attraction, management fears a combination of cold, sweaty control panels and individuals leaving in a daze “to mull some stuff over” could affect return business.
“I absolutely hate refilling that thing,” bleary-eyed bartender Bobby Strolt muttered. “I’m dirty. It’s a cash cow and I can’t stop. Every day, I facilitate an orgy of inanimate objects, an enabler and slave of phallic green felt. Do you truly know what complicity feels like? To be a worker bee pollinating a field of digital dick-shaped daisies, and wonder if your customers see it too? Surely, they know. Perhaps, in our own way, we are all stroking the pixelated prick of chance with the claw of tomorrow’s hope. I… I think I need a day off.”’
Although a sizable percentage of patrons aren’t distracted by the machine’s implications, most have complained that the soft, moan-like creaking sound that occurs as the toy deposits into the prize chute is “a bit much.”
“Of course it’s intentional,” Arcade Machine Manufacturers representative Gwendoline Goodham explained. “Claw machines are games after all, and what is a game without a story? We design each machine with narrative subtext in mind. Claw machines represent an erotic metaphor about power dynamics in a relationship, whereas our Whac-A-Mole range is a statement on the cyclic futility of violence. Our coin-pusher machines are clearly about how capitalism hoards opportunity, and our ring toss game is a powerful family drama — the ring representing a young man’s ambition and the pegs being degrees of his father’s acceptance, obviously. So, yeah, the claw’s about fuckin’. It’s just good environmental storytelling.”
Hyperdrive management have confirmed that they plan to install ashtrays near the machine to curb the amount of cigarette butts left by winning players.