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from the L.A. Times

Most bizarre game at E3 2011? French kissing meets bowling

Kiss Controller 1

The most bizarre game this year at E3, the annual video game industry convention in Downtown Los Angeles, involves your tongue.

With Kissing Controller, people can play a bowling game by french kissing -- for real.

Intrigued? Read on to see how it works.

1. OBTAIN TINY MAGNET AND DENTURE ADHESIVE

Kiss Controller 2

The game's developer, Hye Yeon Nam, uses Fixodent, a denture adhesive, to glue a tiny circular magnet about 3 millimeters in diameter.

2. MAGNET IS PLACED AT THE TIP OF THE TONGUE

Kiss Controller 3

The first player of this two-person game needs to apply a good amount of the adhesive so that they don't accidentally swallow the magnet, as this reporter did. What happens if you ingest a magnet? The answer lies at the end of this post.

3. UP NEXT: PLAYER NO. 2

Kiss Controller 4

The second player dons a receiver, wearing it like they would a pair of headphones, except lower.

4. KISS

Kiss Controller 5

As the players make out, the receiver on Player 2 picks up the movements of the magnet attached to Player 1's tongue.

5. SCORE

Kiss Controller 6

The direction and velocity of the magnet's movements on Player 1 are tracked by the receiver worn by Player 2. Both inputs determine the speed and accuracy of the virtual bowling ball as it rolls down the lane.

There are three things you should know about this game. One, it's not a commercially available product -- yet. Nam, a 32-year-old  doctoral student in digital media and computer science at Georgia Intstitute of Technology, developed it for a couple that was engaged. "We just wanted to have fun with it," Nam said.

Two, it springs from a path of research in digital media that seeks to explore the intersection between man and machine. The focus of Nam's studies involves emotional feedback loops between technology and their users.

And three, swallowing one magnet is not fatal. Two, however, are bad news. That's because the magnets can exert a push or pull force that would interfere with the inner workings in the intestines. If the magnets are strong enough, they can twist the intestines into a knot and create a blockage. This is probably Nam's biggest obstacle to finding a company to commercialize her Kiss Controller.

So what happens when you accidentally swallow one? I'm told I have to wait for 24 hours before I can try again. Game over.

RELATED:

Nintendo unveils Wii U with tablet-sized touch-screen controller

Sony's NGP is officially named PlayStation Vita

Microsoft sells Kinect to hard-core gamers

-- Alex Pham

 
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