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telekinesis and the evolution of toys

[Ok, I completely screwed up the history of toys from previous generations. I just deleted the whole first section of this post because I had too many updated changes to make. I don't know jack shit about what toys were around in earlier generations. Nevetheless, you get the idea from looking at the pictures. Grandparents... not very exciting toys, parents, more exciting toys, my generation very exciting... next gen?]

My father used to tell me about how he used to shoot marbles when he was younger, and he has showed me his collection, many of which look something like these...

In my generation, kids growing up were exposed to video games for the first time. Atari was all the rage in my early years... it started to die out during elementary school as Nintendo gradually took over. By middle school, Super Mario Brothers and other 2D scrollers defined our generation. And by the time I got to high school the first 3D computer games (Wolfenstein, Doom) were being released, although they weren't very popular yet.

Kids growing up today already have the internet, and much more sophisticated 3D games like MMoRPG's. And now the Wii. But what's next? What is the next generation going to grow up with? I'll tell you what... mother fucking telekinesis, baby. And guess what? It's already here on the market:


UPDATE: this is a total and complete scam. I bought one of these, and everything they say on the package and on the web is a total lie. It works on a random number generator, not on your brainwaves. DO NOT BUY! I returned mine after trying it once. Incredibly, I still don't see any other blogs on the web saying what a scam this product is. It's the clearest case of false advertising I've ever personally run into. They should definitely be prosecuted for something like this, although I'm too lazy to file a class action lawsuit (plus having gotten a full refund there's not much point).


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
Interesting. I was talking with the makers of the cheap dry EEG headset (presumably what's used here) last year, and they were aiming to use it on fairly complex videogames. This is actually a much better app for it, though I wonder if the headset is an open platform that could be used to hook up to other interfaces.

Someone should build a remote-control vibrator using the same tech.
Oct. 17th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Someone should build a remote-control vibrator using the same tech.

They'll make millions!
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
By the way... that Star Wars "Force Trainer" (thing where you supposedly levitate a ping pong ball based on your brainwaves?) Turned out to be total bullshit.

I asked for one for xmas to play around with. Says right on the box that it is based on the shape of your brainwaves (specifically mentioning alpha, beta, delta, and theta). Tried it out, and after a couple hours was completely convinced it is a random number generator. Had 3 other people try it, all of us came to the same conclusion. They basically just lie about their product. Strangely, I searched the web and could not find anyone else with a blog that said this. If I wasn't more lazy, I would do a whole blog entry on it, although I'm not sure I want the traffic... would do it if I had a wordpress acct or something. Got a full refund, but still... would be nice if someone warned everyone else that it's fraud.
Feb. 27th, 2010 07:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, I plyed with a neurosky and came to the same conclusion. There were so many other confounding factors (eg muscle twitches, facial movements, talking, even heartbeats) that were much stronger than the brainwave signal.
Feb. 27th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
For this one, even though the directions said "the more you relax the higher the ball will go" you could literally stand up, jump around like a monkey, gyrating in all directions yelling... and it would still have exactly the same behavior as if you were sitting down relaxed staring at it.

The only cause and effect relationship we found at all was that it could detect whether you had it on your head or not. So maybe it looks to see if there is any brain activity going on, and if it is it goes into its preset patterns, and if not, it doesn't. And I do believe their preset patterns is based on some kind of pseudo-random number generator. My sister even thinks it's the same pattern every time you turn it on, although I am not sure of that. Basically, it will start to rise up slowly but surely, then hover for a while, then slowly go back down... all very smoothly, as if you are concentrating and making something happen. Except that it's independent of anything you do.
Oct. 17th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
If you've got an interest in the history of video gaming, you might try Play Value.
Oct. 17th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'll watch some of those at some point. Last night after making this post, I ended up getting some 80's nostalgia and going back and reading a bunch of Wikipedia pages on arcade games, atari and nintendo games, and about the "North American video game crash of 1983" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983)

I had never realized Pac-Man was first called "Puck Man" and is still called that on some European arcade machines. They changed it solely because their analysts predicted Americans would all start calling it "Fuck Man" and vandalize the machines to say that.

Then I started wondering where the "donkey" in Donkey Kong came from (since he doesn't look anything like a donkey, just an ape). Apparently, it was a mistranslation for the japanese name for him which was "stupid ape". When the Japanese representatives told their American business associates it was going to be called "Donkey Kong" they got laughed at, but somehow the name ended up sticking. Then the minor "Mario" character in it grew into its own series with Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros. (For some reason, I forgot that Mario was in donkey kong; I used to play them both, but by the time Super Mario Brothers became really popular I had mostly forgotten about Donkey Kong).

I also remember playing Space Invaders on Atari, and Centepede, Galaga, Tron, and others in the arcades. Apparently the main selling point of Space Invaders at the time was it's advanced graphics:

Looking at it now, it's hilarious to think that this was impressive graphics, but the idea for the game came indirectly from Breakout, whose graphics looked like this:

So it was a huge step forward. I also remember how shitty the Atari version of Pac-Man was compared to the arcade version.

Edited at 2009-10-17 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oct. 17th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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