Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Occupation for Idle Time

Once again we have Chris Matyszczyk and his Technically Incorrect blog for CNET News to keep us informed about life among those who make innovation the highest priority.  Reading today’s post reminded me that I once had to write a review for the Colorado Daily, the student newspaper for the University of Colorado, of an end-of-term exhibit by the Art Department, entitled Colorado Scene, which consisted entirely of plates of dried-out cow pies.  I remember completing my review with the observation that art can be found wherever you set your foot.

According to Matyszczyk’s latest post, Sega shares these students’ interest in elimination.  However, where the students saw art, Sega sees a new opportunity for video gaming.  At this point I shall turn things over to Matyszczyk:

This is why the company has announced Toylets, video games controlled by your urine stream.

The games are those who cannot live without being a first-person shooter.

Toylets, according to Japan's Akihabara News, are truly repositories of both pleasure and pressure.

To prevent fulmination during urination, a pressure sensor is slipped inside the toilet bowl. You, the gamer, must focus and direct your urine at that sensor. The display on an LCD screen above the toilet grades your efforts.

To keep it exciting, there are four games, each with its own intellectual stream.

Mannequin Pis calculates how much urine you have released into the great beyond.

In Graffiti Eraser, you must attempt to urinate as forcefully as you can in order to remove graffiti from a virtual wall on the gaming screen.

Milk from Nose asks you to consider who was the previous occupant of your stall and to see whether you can beat the person in the maximum flow department.

You will be wondering why on earth such a beautiful concept would be called Milk from Nose. Well, the gaming visual here is a couple of sumo wrestlers who emit milk from their noses--the jets of which thrust their opponent out of the ring.

You will, hopefully, already be snorting physical elements from your nostrils before I tell you about The North Wind and Her.

This delightful repository of lavatory joy is a game in which your urine represents the wind. It is a wind full of mischievous humor, for the more strongly you manage to release your matter, the more likely you are to raise a woman's skirt above her waist.

Toilet seats have, of course, long been recognized as a venue for reading.  They were even honored in that capacity by James Joyce in Ulysses.  However, I do not recall Joyce ever taking on the urinal in that novel, although I would not be surprised if it were found lurking somewhere in Finnegan’s Wake.  I just want to know:  Is this the sort of thing Barack Obama had in mind when, last October, he said that “if people have the tools to let their imaginations run, then there's nothing we can't do in this country?”  Sega seems to have “let their imaginations run” in the direction of another sort of running!

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