- Ludic Cartography. Mapping Gamespaces
- Past Projects
- Preserving Virtual Worlds
- Research and Publication
The Cabrinety collection is comprised primarily of games, but also includes a fair chunk of unique software applications that have nothing to do with entertainment. One of the strangest is the subliminal message application, where the user undergoes a computer-assisted form of self-hypnosis in order to achieve a specific goal without doing any actual work – for example, raising a child. The “Mind Over…” series and the “Expando-Vision” series are the best-represented so far, but I look forward to seeing what else is hidden in the depths of the collection. Here’s a look at some of the box covers. I take no responsibility if they subliminally influence you in any way.
The Expando-Vision series
1. Athletic Confidence/Golf
The caption on this cover says, “Fill your subconscious with the positive images you need to improve your game of golf…while you watch your favorite television shows!” Since normally these boxes depict someone accomplishing the stated goal, I’m not sure why this box shows a guy inside a sand trap while a woman wearing a single white glove looks on in disdain. Maybe he’s developed so much confidence he doesn’t care what she thinks of him?
2. Career/Success Motivation
This caption starts, “Fill your subconscious with the positive images you need to develop a “can-do” attitude in your work life, for material prosperity and emotional security…while you watch your favorite television shows!” This box cover is more like it. The guy is well-dressed (good work life), he has a nice car (material prosperity), and a nice-looking lady likes him (emotional security).
3. Weight Control/Exercise
The caption for this reads, “Fill your subconscious with the positive images you need to control your eating habits and promote wholesome attitudes toward exercise…while you watch your favorite television shows!” So apparently, the couple on this box cover is engaging in some night-time paired spinning exercising, holding each other as far apart as possible so as better to eyeball the other’s slimmed down waistline.
The common theme in all these Expando-Vision titles is that these subliminal messages flash into your brain “while you watch your favorite television shows!” It’s tempting to believe you can sit on a couch and magically transform your mind and body into better shape. A doctor-type person on the back of the catalog helps provide some reassurance. It’s doubtful these methods can work. However, if you do want to lose weight while watching television, this testimony by Jeremy Hoffman, a GameTrailers employee, can provide some real-life advice. And yes, it involves actual exercise, not just thinking positive thoughts about exercising.
The Mind Over… series
1. Mind Over Minors
I don’t know where they found this kid, but some combination of that look in his eyes, plus that terrible haircut, screams problem child. He looks exactly like the kind of child being raised by the types of parents that would use this software on him.
2. Mind Over Matter: Stop Smoking
The tagline at the bottom of the box says, “Effortless results in just minutes a day.” Notice how all the packaging emphasizes that total lack of effort and a miniscule attention span is no barrier to success. I’ve never had to quit smoking, but I imagine that for most people who try to quit, “effortless” isn’t a word they’d use to describe the experience.
3. Mind Prober
Remember the days before Facebook? When you needed to use computer software to psychologically analyze those around you to glean “their secret likes and dislikes”? In this modern era of over- and constant-sharing, this type of software feels obsolete.
4. Mind Over Matter: Lose Weight
Another effortless way to do something hard.
5. Mind Over Matter: Conquer Stress
The “Mind Over…” and “Expando-Vision” applications promise a low-risk, high-reward system that sounds too good to be true. Doctor’s names and faces are plastered on the boxes, supporting these products, helping sell the hope that subliminal suggestion is the answer.
Since I haven’t personally used any of these applications, maybe my skepticism is unfounded. If there’s ever a time when systems like this are proven to work, we have Jesse Pinkman to show us the appropriate reaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRL4uIVzVWI.