features

A cube-shaped Earth illuminated with a thousand points of twinkling light radiates from the center of my computer screen. The Earth forms the ball of a huge pulsing purple and yellow eye. The soundtrack is a Robert Bly drumming-workshop percussion with Kenny G.-style sax squeezing. A man and various women with saccharine announcer voices recite the program's soon to be hidden audio affirmations: "I feel joyful now," "I can do anything," "I love being alive."

No, this is not some side-splitting parody of the New Age. These are the opening moments of Endorfun, a subliminal computer game created by Onesong Partners, inc. and published by Time-Warner. Part Tetris, part Rubic's Cube, and part colored baby blocks, Endorfun is the type of frighteningly infectious game that will give you mouse elbow in no time, as you go game after game, trying to master each level. The goal of the game is to have a series of "experiences" on the "unified field," trying to merge with the "life force" while avoiding "blocks." Secular translation: You roll a multicolored block around on a colored grid and try to match up the color on the block's bottom to the corresponding color square on the grid. The squares are life's obstacles ("blocks") to overcome, unless they're flashing with the "Life Force," in which case, embracing them will lead you to a higher level of vibration. Successive levels unfold with harder obstacles, more psychedelic imagery, and more mystical mumbo-jumbo. It's new age solitaire for today's techno-rave culture.

But Endorfun's raison d'être is not the game itself, but its hidden life-affirming messages. Hidden beneath the one-world Muzak is a long list of subliminal affirmations. Now you can goof off at work playing this twitch game while your brain secretly sponges up such warm and fuzzy assurances as: "I love doing my work," "Riches flow into my life," "I am strong and secure." And how about: "I create joyous safety" and "I create joyous creation?"

Risking my own mental health, I bravely subjected myself to the dangers of having my brain pan scoured by people who wear drawstring pants, eat blue-green algae, and think that Yanni is a major talent. I spent hours rolling my baby blocks through the unified fields of Endorfun. The results? My mouse hand and wrist ached and I had an uncontrollable urge to load a blunderbuss with chunks of crystal and open fire on a Deepak Chopra workshop. Mainly I just felt stupid and sad. Somehow, I don't think this is what the gentle folks at Onesong had in mind. I think I'll go listen to some Godflesh now to cleanse the palette of my mind before moving on to the next experiment.

Back Back
Up