In a light-hearted story of utilizing an otherwise completely useless skill to achieve great things, a man from Xiamen has drawn some well-earned admiration for being a true master at claw machines.
Chen Zhitong is Jianghu shopping mall’s famous “claw machine god.” He has one room dedicated to toys that he has nabbed from the arcade and it doesn’t look like he’s planning on stopping any time soon.
“Of course I won’t stop, I’ve already lost count,” he says.
But in order to not overcrowd his house with his spoils of war, he’s careful about picking when to play:
It’s like picking a diamond and it can be expensive to play – I’ve already got all of the normal dolls anyway. I once saw a university student put online a picture of his collection, saying ‘claw machine owners are already crying their hearts out!’ I l saw it and laughed it off, it wasn’t even one tenth of my collection, thank you very much.
If you think this kind of talk is a little weird, you’ll not be surprised that in Chen’s house he actually has a total of three room filled with toys. Apart from his own room and the sitting room, they’re on the bed, the floor, the sofa, in the kitchen, dining table… basically in every corner of his house there’s a pile of toys.
Safe to say, in Xiamen, most claw machine owners are familiar with Chen and often invite him to dinner and ask him not to play their machines.
“The first time I played was last year in July, it was really random, I saw the machine in the entrance of a supermarket,” he says. “I didn’t think much of it, it was just a way to kill time.”
Afterwards, whenever Chen had free time he would play at claw machines, and after a month realized that he was pretty good at it when people began to gather around and watch him play. And after clearing out an entire machine, this became more and more obvious to Chen.
“One time, the most toys I won in one sitting was over 100,” Chen says. “I’m not actually interested in the dolls themselves, it’s the process of getting them, it’s pretty exciting.”
Chen says he isn’t obsessed with winning dolls, “I give myself a limit. I figure that the cost of one doll is around ten yuan to make, so I don’t go over five yuan when playing, if I can’t get it I don’t get it,” he explains.
From Chen’s perspective, a master understands the importance of observation, for example, by judging how much a claw shakes you can judge the strength of the grip.
“The extent of the claw’s shakiness can tell you if the grip is really bad, so of course you can’t get dolls with it.”
It seems Chen has made grabbing weird-looking dolls from a claw machine into an art, and admittedly, we’re impressed with how many he has. Being awesome at claw machines is certainly easier to explain than collecting 7 tons of newspapers or an insane amount of bras at least.
And here’s another master with a different technique:
How to beat the system.
Posted by Shanghaiist on Monday, January 25, 2016
By Kitty Lai
[Images via NetEase / CCTV]