Presentation Title

GUD LUK: Decoding the Message of Vanity License Plates for Gamblers

Panel Title

Session 3-4-D: Player Perceptions and Messages

Location

The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

9-6-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

9-6-2016 3:30 PM

Abstract

This presentation looks at personalized license plates with gambling-related themes as they float through traffic and fill public parking lots across Las Vegas. The study is an adaptation of a paper presented at the 2014 Far West Popular Culture conference, and will focus on the messaging of vanity plates seen at different casinos at different times. My research began from of a journalistic inquiry that involved tweeting pictures of poker- and money-themed license plates seen at the Rio during the World Series of Poker from 2009-2012, and since then I have amassed a library of thousands of digital license plate images, each with a story to tell.

There is more to personalized license plates than meets the eye. These plates make statements similar to tattoos, only slightly less permanent, but possibly more revealing -- often identifying gender, race, religion, or profession while commenting on physical attributes, political leanings, sexual proclivities, psychological dispositions, and philosophical outlooks.

Influenced by linguistics, semiotics, and social psychology, this media studies research takes an ethnographic approach to understanding the messages of a distinct subgroup of gamblers and casino patrons. The results could help inform future study of message conveyances according to selected nicknames and avatars in online gaming environments, which could prove relevant and of interest to game creators and casino marketers alike. At a minimum, this fun, light-hearted presentation will show people new ways of looking at cars around them at a red light. Attendees will leave with novel insights about what certain license plates suggest gamblers are wanting to, or willing to, reveal about themselves, whether consciously or not their intent.

Streaming Media

GUD LUK: Decoding the Message of Vanity License Plates for Gamblers

Keywords

media studies; ethnography; license plate recognition; casino marketing

Disciplines

Critical and Cultural Studies | Discourse and Text Linguistics | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Other Communication | Social Psychology | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Comments

Audio recording of this presentation is attached as a downloadable MP3 audio file, 62.4 MB

34D_MorvannouARoyEetal_pres_HowPoker.mp3 (62471 kB)
Audio recording of presentation

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Jun 9th, 4:00 PM Jun 9th, 3:30 PM

GUD LUK: Decoding the Message of Vanity License Plates for Gamblers

The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

This presentation looks at personalized license plates with gambling-related themes as they float through traffic and fill public parking lots across Las Vegas. The study is an adaptation of a paper presented at the 2014 Far West Popular Culture conference, and will focus on the messaging of vanity plates seen at different casinos at different times. My research began from of a journalistic inquiry that involved tweeting pictures of poker- and money-themed license plates seen at the Rio during the World Series of Poker from 2009-2012, and since then I have amassed a library of thousands of digital license plate images, each with a story to tell.

There is more to personalized license plates than meets the eye. These plates make statements similar to tattoos, only slightly less permanent, but possibly more revealing -- often identifying gender, race, religion, or profession while commenting on physical attributes, political leanings, sexual proclivities, psychological dispositions, and philosophical outlooks.

Influenced by linguistics, semiotics, and social psychology, this media studies research takes an ethnographic approach to understanding the messages of a distinct subgroup of gamblers and casino patrons. The results could help inform future study of message conveyances according to selected nicknames and avatars in online gaming environments, which could prove relevant and of interest to game creators and casino marketers alike. At a minimum, this fun, light-hearted presentation will show people new ways of looking at cars around them at a red light. Attendees will leave with novel insights about what certain license plates suggest gamblers are wanting to, or willing to, reveal about themselves, whether consciously or not their intent.