There's usually not that much overlap between the gaming industry (the gambling one) and the gaming industry (the one you actually are about). That seems poised to change, though, as the New York Times reports slot machine manufacturers are adding skill-based gaming elements to the one-armed bandits in an effort to attract new players. "We can't just make a slot thinking about the 55-year-old lady who comes to the casino a few times a month," said Rob Bone, marketing director for WMS Gaming. "We need to appeal to new buckets of players, or we'll die."
To that end, Bally Technologies has signed a deal with Atari to make machines based on Pong and Breakout, which let you play simplified versions of the games during a bonus round. Don't get too excited, though -- your gaming skills won't let you break the bank at Vegas. As the Times points out, "skill will take a player only so far as these machines are still calibrated to pay out less money than they take in." That's OK though ... back in the '80s we put money into these games without expecting to get any money back.