The Escapist Magazine
Issue 64
Hands-On Gaming
Editor's Note Hands-On Gaming

"First called 'teledildonics' in the 1980s by Ted Nelson (the same man who coined the term Hypertext), the field of electronically-enhanced cybersex has more or less exploded in recent years. Encouraged by websites like Slashdong, outspoken columnists like Regina Lynn, online communities like Second Life and a number of singles-oriented web-based dating services (many of which offer 'have sex toy' as a profile checkbox), more and more people are trying (or perhaps admitting to trying) teledildos. To cover every available device would require more space than we have here. So I've narrowed it down to the most stimulating of the bunch, and invited a few of my colleagues to help me get a grip on the subject."

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"When Ralph Baer invented the home videogame way back in the late '60s, one of the first human interface devices he and his engineering team at Sanders Associates (which just so happened to be a military contractor) devised was a makeshift light-pistol. Not really anything more than a light "detector" with a handle, the pistol was used to select bright white squares against a black background in various test routines. It was then re-engineered to fit inside a toy rifle bought at a local department store, and was finally redesigned one last time as a pump-action shotgun accessory for the first ever videogame console released in 1972, the Magnavox Odyssey. Not only was the console a commercial success, but the high-priced rifle accessory also sold extremely well, shifting around 80,000 units during the console's lifespan."

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"It was a classic clash of cultures. The gaming establishment and its audience treat Christian game publishers as bizarre outsiders, aliens from another world where people use the word "spirituality" in a serious sense. While the "Are games art?" debate rages endlessly in "our" circles, these same outsiders seek to make games that are spiritually enriching. Disagree with their conviction all you like, but few publishers seek enlightenment in addition to fabulous cash prizes."

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"The day I spent $250 to play one game started like any other in our office. I had been reading through some industry news, and at least two cups of coffee were running through my veins. It was a good day. Until the box arrived. Stamped with Amazon.com on the side, I first believed the box contained nothing more than books for the IT Department. What we didn't know was the code monkeys knew how to rock."

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"But to me and the development staff of Mother 3, and perhaps even to the producer, Shigesato Itoi, this makes perfect sense when we're standing on our packed Tokyo trains with our GBAs in one hand, the overhead handles in the other and our Nintendo DSes sitting mournfully in our backpacks. For all of the DS's potential for innovation, it simply can't overcome the environmental pressures of Tokyo's 12 million people, unless you're one of the lucky few who can consistently get a seat on your morning commute."

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