The humble vending machine has been a stock environmental asset in video games for decades. You probably don't even notice it, past your token attempt to make it work every time you find it in a new game (shortly after checking to see if the toilets flush). But you should.
You see, far from being a simple block of stuff with which to fill a spare bit of corridor, the video game vending machine is a medium for vast swathes of eclectic design endeavours. Every one is a unique, individual little snowflake of coin-operated commerce, and each should be studied and valued for its own merits. That's what we're going to do here. Buckle up.
The Secret of Monkey Island
The flagrantly anachronistic one.
The one where the nightmare-clown terrifies you into buying something.
The one that vends the rocket launcher Easter egg. Meaning that theoretically kids could buy one. Fun for all the family!
The one that doesn't seem to do anything, but that's okay because the shop around the corner sells industrial death-tools.
Duke Nukem 3D
The safe, generic, supermarket own-brand one.
Half-Life: Opposing Force
The one that gives you a free bleeding security guard with every purchase.
The socially oppressive one.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
The huge one that sells bags of crisps bigger than a man's head.
The one with the black sense of humour.