Researchers from Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a new video game that uses your body as the controller. The object of "The Guts Game," as it has been named, is to be the first to crap out a pill-shaped sensor that each player swallows at the beginning of the game.
"There are already many ingestible sensors that can measure the user's body temperature, pH value, pressure, or serve as endoscopy [tools] on the market," Zhuying Li, one of the developers of "The Guts Game" said. "We can see these devices might become more and more common in the medical field. However, some people might feel uncomfortable to ingest a foreign object. We believe games [based] around sensors can motivate patients to use the sensor and enhance the overall experience of the treatment. Our game shows an opportunity to make pill-taking interesting."
In addition to racing for a bowel movement, winning the game also depends on gaining points from changing your body temperature by completing tasks involving exercise or eating/drinking certain foods and beverages. Whatever the mobile application connected to the sensor tells the player to do, they must do, while maintaining a higher success rate than their opponent. Once the sensor, or "virtual parasite" has been released (and, hopefully, not recovered), the game ends.
We agree that a device that can monitor body activity from within is an instrument of great use that should continue to advance for the purpose of medical research. However, using this potentially revolutionary technology for the purpose of entertainment just feels unnecessary. Furthermore, it only encourages the inexplicable endurance of poop toys.
When will the world learn that practicality can and, for the sake of humanity, probably should only go so far? And when is fecal matter going to stop being synonymous with fun?!
What do you think? Should cutting-edge medical technology stay out of the gaming aisle or do you already have the "virtual parasite" working its way through your colon as we speak? Let us know in the comments below!