I believe that Etsy, the online marketplace for all things handmade and vintage, has a similarly devious strategy in the way it's designed. Consider:
- Even if you don't sell anything, you can accumulate "hearts"--little rewards from fellow members to give you hope and keep you putting your quarters in the slots.
- The forums are open 24-7 for chatting, eavesdropping, combat, and titillation.
- To keep things interesting and patrons happy, the management adds new games every now and then (such as Alchemy) or moves things around to make them seem fresh.
- Just as casinos give their big spenders free rooms and airfare, big sellers and the particularly talented at Etsy are rewarded with perks such as featured artists position on page 1 or, more deliciously, a plug on the Martha Stewart Show.
The only thing missing was a hostess in a skimpy outfit serving me drinks. (Maybe my husband will be home soon.)