Dialed In! Camera - Disabling It as a Player?

I don’t know if this has been discussed to death or not, but a preliminary search here brings up nothing, so I’ll go for it anyway:

Is there any sort of option, from a non-operator, non-owner perspective, to turn off the camera in Dialed In!? As an introvert, I do not like having my pictures taken. There are a couple of Dialed In! machines in public reasonably close to where I’m at, but I would rather avoid them until I can be sure I can play it anonymously.

Otherwise, is there any sort of heads-up before you play that it will take your picture? I haven’t been able to find any such disclaimer, either on the monitor, on the apron, on the little screens on the playfield, or anything. I have to wonder if this would fall afoul in places where it’s illegal to take pictures or video of people without their consent first.

Japan is one such place: Privacy laws are VERY strong there (considered a fundamental human right), and you can get in pretty big trouble for breaking one. From that link:


There are other countries where’s it’s illegal; I think France would have a fit [maybe not all of the players, but the authorities likely would]. And playing the game would not be considered granting consent.


Huh, not even with that whole “By using this (whatever it is), you grant consent?” That’s pretty interesting.

The best option is cover it with a post-it note. Easily removable when finished and if you forget, still no mess for the next person.


I feel like the Post-It Note solution (which I remember was the one Mr. Jack proposed) was the laziest possible option by the designers though. Basically, it sounds as if the onus is completely on the player who doesn’t want their photographs taken to carry something around that will block the camera–you might as well wear a mask whenever you play–and if you ask me, that’s kind of insulting, considering I don’t think it’s THAT hard to add in an option to play without the camera. It also requires the player already know in advance that the machine will take their pictures, which is why I feel a disclaimer like that is important. (Would it be insulting if I intentionally don’t remove the paper covering the camera?)

That being said, I do remember seeing at least one Dialed In! in which the camera was covered with a piece of black duct tape. It looked as if this was done by the operator, as it was incredibly clean and aligned and was just short enough to completely cover the lens while blending in with everything around it. I’ve definitely seen a bunch of Mario Kart Arcade GP machines with duct-taped lenses too (this game takes a picture of the player as their temporary profile and actually tells you in advance that it will take your picture).

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In the UK today it could be argued that what the machine does is illegal. Especially if it accidentally was to take a picture of a non-player assuming you buy the hocus that by playing you waive your rights (which I wouldn’t). New legislation called EU-GDPR that comes into force shortly across the EU would definitely have a huge impact on the legality of this feature. Whilst I’m not bothered about it I do think JJP should have a mechanism to disable at the start of the game. press left or right flipper.


I wouldn’t like to rely upon that as a waive of your rights.

I don’t know if it’ll help anyone’s feelings or not, but in my Official Role as Director of Software for JJP, I can assure you with my personal word that your picture is never stored or written to the SSD unless it’s for a high score (which by default is turned off if an operator does install coin-op, but obviously they can turn it back on or set it up manually for coin play).

We’ll talk about including some kind of opt-out since it’s come up a couple of times now, but it’ll never be presented in the form of a choice at game start. If anything it’ll be something like “hold in a flipper button while pressing start.”

From what I’ve seen, you’re infinitely more likely to be recorded video-wise, not just picture-wise, being in some location playing a game, FYI, by the location itself.

Edit to add: Pretty sure I’ve seen some of that creepiness posted to pinside before.


I brought this up on Pinside not for legal reasons but because it makes me uncomfortable. I got more downvotes in a few hours than I think I’ve ever gotten on there. Yay pinside?



Would you agree that those recordings are almost never shown to people walking by as you’re playing, the way the backbox display shows the Dialed In pictures? Your argument is a strawman, not related to some player’s discomfort with public display of their photos.
Thank you for not recording all the photos to the SSD, I appreciate that. I hope the camera records any slam-tilts and stores them automatically.

Privacy is a funny thing. I wish user control of their own data/photos was the norm. I also wish no one was uncomfortable. Social anxiety is a thing many people have to varying degrees. I have it too, some days more than others.

I suggest if an opt-out is implemented maybe show some default stored ‘photos’ of game characters.


Thank you for posting the link to the pinside convo, if only because I couldn’t figure out where the damn camera was either. I noticed people in the thread saying that a shirt with a face on it, or a hat with a logo, could confuse the camera, and that reminded me of two weird high score photos that I’ve been talking about recently:

  1. A guy got a high score on DI and, without trying to pose, was captured only from his eyes up. It was creepy/awesome.
  2. I got a high score and it took a picture of my torso instead of my face. This was less awesome. It was a freaking white shirt with no logo, and everyone else’s picture involved their face, so I don’t know what the camera thought was going on. Thankfully it was just the daily high score, so a picture of my boobs was only scrolling through for a few hours, but, like, I didn’t want that and didn’t think that was something I would have to worry about!

Keith, a fair point, but usually atleast there is signage to deal with that. like I say not a big deal for me personally but as someone who looks after data in a large organisation I’m reminded about these sorts of things all the time…

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This happens all the time on my friend’s DI! Someone else’s face was snapped for one of my high scores because they happened to walk past and looked over just as I entered my initials. Often during the Selfie Mode, bystanders are captured as well. It’s a small space, so people other than the player are usually in the field of view of the camera when there are a few of us over.

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Yeah I guess I would agree. I also guess that I completely do not understand the issue since I do not have said anxiety. So, it’s only when your picture is displayed back? Even in selfie mode that lasts for 30s and doesn’t save anything? Or it’s a spectrum of some kind? Genuinely trying to understand.

Ugh, that is unfortunate. The algorithm works most of the time, but without seeing what it was trying to do in the camera test it makes it harder to track down certainly. I will say we’ve had it pick up odd stuff on occasion that we didn’t understand why, but we also can’t afford the time/energy to get it like instagram-type perfect.

That’s an interesting result from the perspective of algorithm building. I wonder what data points were used to provide that result? What might happen if a user played topless? What about a standing mirror in front of the machine and you use the phone app to control the flippers (was that ever implemented?)

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Yes and it’s actually super fun!

Also re: the torso thing, I am 5’10" and was standing upright when entering my initials, so maybe the camera was calibrated for a shorter type of nerd.

You don’t sound an inch over 5’ 7" on the podcast.


The camera actually captures a pretty large area. At Flip Flip it regulary decides the light fixture on the ceiling above the machine is a face.


Wow, this is a lot of discussion, and it’s really constructive too! I was reading that discussion at Pinside, and it is pretty toxic…and completely missing the point.

If it’s pointed out to the player when the game begins, I’ll be in full support of it. I don’t see why it would “never be presented in the form of a choice at game start” though. I don’t see where the harm in that would be. The more choice given to a player, the better.

The main thing I’m seeing there is the argument that surveillance will photograph you and film you all the time. That’s very different, as the pictures and footage generated by said surveillance is not shown to the public and is discarded soon after they’re created if there isn’t any crime found in it. Based on my experiences working retail, most of it is watched by absolutely no one and is automatically deleted after a few days.

These people must be a nuisance in countries and other places, like the aforementioned Japan or France, where the law is that you do not have permission to take pictures or video of other people by default. (Surveillance is special permission, and it is a slow process to discourage excessive use of public cameras.)

That’s interesting–I didn’t know that it takes a picture of a wide area and uses facial recognition to find what it thinks is the player’s face. That is…definitely a pretty negative experience for you, but even then, a whole day is too much. Me, I am not comfortable having photos of me shown where other people can see them, period. That mode where it takes lots of pictures of the player? I do not want any of that at all.

It’s not even anxiety, but introversion in general. We introverts value our privacy very, very much. To put it briefly, attention drawn toward introverts makes them uncomfortable and drains them of energy. The uncomfortability is something one can get used to, but the slow draining of energy cannot–even Johnny Carson had to spend a lot of time by himself to recharge, Greta Garbo was (in)famous for her insistence on being alone any time someone wanted to interview her, and Trey Parker does not do commentary for South Park because speaking as himself, rather than a character, makes him feel very uneasy.

The word “anxiety” makes it sound like it’s a problem that needs to be fixed, when it’s really a clashing within a culture that celebrates extroversion while shunning introversion. Said countries where privacy is taken VERY seriously is the other way around, where extroversion is more seen as a problem. For instance, a common Japanese stereotype of Americans is that they are noisy, pushy, and have no sense of personal space.

And for the record, yes, ANY picture that is displayed in public will make such a person feel uncomfortable. For that matter, we don’t really like taking pictures of ourselves or letting other people do it, period. One Piece may have the Guinness World Record of best-selling single-author comic book, but the number of known photographs of its author is less than a dozen (and, until recently, there was only one confirmed image of him).


Thank you for bringing this up. It’s given me a lot to think about. I remember when the game first came out the camera took the photo at such an awkward angle I was convinced the photo had come from over my shoulder. After a couple minutes of minor paranoia looking for another camera I gave up. I was almost convinced the game had hooked into the bars security system and was taking photos from there.(As others have mentioned I’ve also had it take pictures of a face on my shirt or vaguely face-shaped objects on my shirt.)

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