It might happen at a grocery store, it might happen in your living room. You reach out for some banal task, something you’ve done a thousand times before, only this time, it’s impossible. You’re body freezes, your mind locks up and a thousand horrible failures swirl around in your future . You don’t know how, but it’s all gone wrong, so quickly. Normalcy is lost to the ether. You look around you. You know that nobody else feels this way. They just do things. It looks so easy. And my god, they’re all looking at you because they know.
In the good ol’ days of McDonald’s, you’d finish your quarter pounder, pull on your sweaty tube socks, and go play in the glistening, brightly-colored, slippery-with-sweat tunnels of the huge McDonald’s Play Place.
Not anymore. In one Singapore location, young McDonald’s diners can play with “The Happy Table,” a McDonald’s-themed smartphone game that’s only playable within the confines of the McDonald’s restaurant (PLAY UNTIL YOU’RE HUNGRY FOR MORE FOOD, KIDS!). What is this sorcery, you ask? The restaurant’s tables are embedded with NFC stickers, so when a kid waves her smartphone over the table, “The Happy Table” game automatically launches on her screen.
Play Your Video Games
Shopping addicts and Betabeat readers alike are probably familiar with Birchbox, the shopping startup that periodically sends you boxes of trendy products. But what if you’re a proud geek, and aren’t interested in Blair Waldorf-inspired lipstick or vegan shit courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow? What if all you want—besides emerging victorious from your next WOW raid, of course—is to have a monthly box of “epic geek gear” delivered to your door?Nerdblock has you covered (but please never use the term “epic” again).
In the heady year of 1977, from that slice of meteorological heaven called San Jose, Nolan Bushnell–the cofounder of Atari–had a charming idea. In a fit of inspiration, he decided to fuse two of the best things on earth and then also tack on one of the creepiest (but who are we to judge?): Pizza, arcade games and animatronic animals so scary they make children hide behind their parents’ legs.
He would build it, furnish it with a stinky ballpit, and they would come: it would be called Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre.