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Merlin's Spiel

Merlin's Spiel

8" x 6"
Wood & Cork
GERMANY

Have you ever been given a breath test? I mean for drinking, when you breathe into the tube, and something happens as a result? Maybe you've been to the hospital and were given that lung-strengthening exercise contraption. This game kind of gives the same sensation, as I imagine it. However, rather than the indicator lifting up, you have a little cork ball, with a little metal hook, which levitates up, up, up towards the metal ring. If you play the game correctly, the hook catches onto the ring, but if you fail, the ball drops either back to where it started, or onto the ground. Not as severe a punishment as a failed breathalyzer, or chronic pneumonia, but perhaps equally demoralizing - especially if you are heading on your fortieth try, like me, and you still have not hooked the ball. Prison may be worse, but I think Merlin's Spiel is harder on the ego. Just like video games, the Merlin's Spiel creates a false deficiency in the player to lure him or her into a nearly inescapable trap of enjoyment and self-loathing. Without any need for electricity, it's certain to silence any type-A personality, occupying him or her for hours. You know how they just don't like to give up. And, like that hospital machine, it's a real cardiopulmonary workout, too!