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Let Us Now Have A Heated Argument About Plinko. I’ll Start.

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
June 28, 2013

There are people who believe that Plinko is the best game on The Price Is Right. I have a name for these people. I call them “Wrongety Wrong Wrong.” They are the leaders of Wrongitania. They are the Doctors Of Wrongology. They are the Wrongtown Rats.

Plinko, if you have never seen it, is the completely inferior game in which people win money by basically sliding a plastic circle through a plastic pegboard which behaves in a functionally random way to award them money. You really might as well watch people pull the handle on a slot machine or draw straws. If Plinko were called Straw Drawer, you wouldn’t think it was so great, would you?

Plinko begins with a round in which you attempt to win up to four “chips” by guessing whether a given two-digit price contains the right first digit or the right second digit. What this really means is: Is this the right first digit or not? Does this triple kitchen timer cost fortysomething dollars, or is it more or less than that?

The best part of Plinko is that these are often very weird items — in this clip, you have the triple timer, a set of plastic heart-shaped bowls (perfect for … serving a bunch of popcorn in separate containers on Valentine’s Day!), three plastic cookie cutters that manage to cost $20, and a whipped-cream dispenser that this dude does not need, because it will only cause pranks.

Once the person collects as many chips as he or she manages to win — plus a bonus starter free chip that keeps the game from collapsing if you’re a doofus and don’t know anything about prices and also have bad luck and can’t tell the value of plastic items well at all — we move on to the Plinko board. The chips slide down and bounce around, and Drew Carey engages in anti-intellectualism and magical thinking by cheering for the chip to move in a certain direction, which it cannot do because it is not sentient nor is it obedient nor does it speak English.

In the end, you drop some pieces of plastic on some numbers and that’s how you win money.

How can this compare to the drama of Cliff Hangers, where if you don’t guess the prices correctly, the imaginary mountain climber falls to his death? How can it compete with Ten Chances, which you can always win unless you don’t know how to play it correctly, which makes the hosts insane?

Well, now they have gone and done it. They’ve taped an entire episode with nothing but Plinko, which is as good an idea as the time they thought the Tortellis should have their own Cheers spinoff.

Where is the Clock Game, where you find out whether people know what numbers are? Where is that thing where the host makes a putt like a smug jerk? Where is the game where you start with a can of green beans and move up to an RV? JUST PLINKO? This is an outrage. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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