Pissing up the Wall. The Next Challenge for Windows 7

One of the sources of information for the blog entries that I write is Google Alerts. This is an excellent tool for letting you know when a topic of interest has come up over a specified period (I ask for the previous day’s results). It works by keyword search, for example if I wanted to find out about entries on the web about autism research I would type in the words ‘autism’ and ‘research’. However, I was defeated yesterday in that a major news item occurred which I hadn’t catered for. If only I had put in the keywords ‘urinal’ and ‘computer game’.

It seems there is a public house in Balham that is trialling a computer game attached to a urinal where the movement of the game is not controlled by a mouse or some kinetic means, but by the flow of urine. Here’s the BBC coverage. It has also attracted the attention of newspapers not normally associated with cutting edge technology and science coverage, here for example (I love the headline.’The snowboarding game that really makes a splash’). It clearly has a serious intent: to reduce the amount of unpleasant cleaning that a pub has to carry out.  There are, however, a number of points worth making:

  • First I wonder whether there will be some disappointed punters who fail on the game and then leave the pub immediately. Perhaps a cheering final message such as ‘nice try big boy’ would cheer them up to the extent that they would remain in the pub, buy a drink and bask in some priapic glory.
  • It represents the conquest of the final frontier of ubiquitous computing. Is there anywhere else the computer can go? Probably best not to think about this.
  • Does it represent an endpoint to urino-technocentricity? Is there, perhaps, scope for multi-player games?
  • I notice in the BBC article there was scope for a female version.
  • It brings to the fore a little-known, very pleasant part of London known as Balham. This has suffered from an appalling comedy sketch narrated by Peter Sellers. The fightback for Balham begins!
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