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'Pong Prom' Is Dull, Brings Up Bad Memories of Junior High

A guy by the name of Ed Keeble recently designed Pong Prom, a project that aims to "produce an experience which is at once competitive and collaborative." Using the LilyPad Arduino -- an open-source computing platform that incorporates physically interactive elements like motion sensors -- Pong Prom makes touch an integral part of the classic game play. Basically, bodies are transformed into living 'Pong' paddles.

Two participants don outfits rigged with conductive fabric on the shoulders, hips, and cuffs, linking the two Arduino microcomputers embedded in each. Game play is then controlled by accelerometers (also embedded in the fabric), or rather by rocking one's partner back and forth through a slow dance. (Modern kids would have no need of this device, as they have graduated on to "freak dancing.") Check out the video after the break to see Pong Prom in action.

This art/game/thing is somehow supposed to bring its participants closer together through slow dance movements. Except, if you watch the video, you have to stay at church-social-arm's-length to even see what's happening on your partner's chest. Not that staring at your partner's white American Apparel hoodie bedecked with blinking red LEDs while playing a crushingly slow game of 'Pong' to early-'90s shoegazer jams could be remotely sexy or intimacy-building in the slightest. Yes, we get that it's "collaborative and competitive," but it only reminds us of awkward middle school dances, instead of elucidating any deeper sentiments about human connection, participation, or performance. Also, does it even seem fun? Cute idea, but we don't really get it. [From: Ed Keeble, via: DVICE]

Tags: arduino, games, pong, slow dancing, SlowDancing, top