Slot machine maker Konami to pursue legal action against CBC report

    LAS VEGAS, NV, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - An item which aired on CBC's "The
National" on February 26 is irresponsible, inaccurate and damaging, says slot
machine manufacturer Konami Gaming. The company will pursue legal action.
    The report by journalist Dave Seglins claims that a few older Konami
machines contain a "subliminal message," implying that this may affect the
behavior of the player but the story does not specify how, if at all, this
could occur. Mr. Seglins was told in an interview with Konami C.O.O. Steve
Sutherland that the machines in question are actually some of the lowest
performing machines, based on house averages, within the Konami game library.
    "The performance of these machines directly disproves the CBC's theory,
but the reporter conveniently neglected to mention that in his piece," says
Sutherland. "The reporter did not ask for the data that shows these machines
generate less revenue than comparable machines. Broadcasting a story based on
controversial and vague theories, despite the facts which refute those
theories, is irresponsible and impugns the integrity of an honest company."
    In addition, the CBC reporter neglected to include that the psychologist
he interviewed for the story, Philip Merikle, wrote in the Encyclopedia of
Psychology that "there is no independent evidence indicating that embedded
subliminal words, symbols or objects are used to sell products. Furthermore,
even if such embedded subliminal stimuli were used, there is no evidence to
suggest this would be an effective method for influencing the choices that
consumers make."
    The CBC story was also misleading by creating the impression that
subliminal perception is a more powerful influencer. Merikle wrote in the same
encyclopedia, "A common theme that links all extraordinary claims regarding
subliminal perception is that perception in the absence of an awareness of
perceiving is somehow more powerful or influential. This idea is not supported
by the results of controlled laboratory investigations."
    The CBC presented no evidence and no first-hand accounts to support any
of its claims.
    The report shows that five of the same symbol appear for 200-milliseconds
on the screen at the start of a game on four (three in Canada) game titles
developed in 2001. "Even though this has absolutely no effect whatsoever on
the outcome of the game, we have still offered conversion kits for every
machine," adds Sutherland.
    "Konami will pursue its legal options related to what it considers
irresponsible reporting on the part of CBC, and the resultant impact on the
integrity of Konami Gaming," says Sutherland.

For further information: Steve Sutherland, Executive Vice-President and
C.O.O., Konami Gaming, (702) 616-1419