Friday, April 20, 2012

Geek Chic; Deco Edition.

Good morning, Potpourri.  After my fourth or fifth submission to Dave S of fun web finds, he graciously said, and I heavily paraphrase, "[Do it your damned self!]"  From this point forth, if you see a post about gaming or Star Wars, there is a high probability that it's from me.  My network of Bothan spies runs far and wide.

While surfing the web for gaming info, I stumbled upon "How Did the Duck Hunt Gun Work?", a blogpost/article from Jan 2011.  That article alone made the geek in me smile with 80s 90s nostalgia and optics glee.  Lo and behold, gaming with light beams was done 66 years prior to my beloved Nintendo Zapper!  Embedded was a link to some fantastic early gaming geekery, the 1936 Seeburg Ray-O-Lite Rifle Range (not to be confused with Ray-o-Vac flashlight products also named Ray-o-Lite).  Seeburg made a variety of vending units, primarily jukeboxes.  I was simultaneously taken aback by the pre-computer, vacuum tube technological innovation combined with the craftsmanship of the late-deco wood case and gorgeous art in the game scene.  I am not a collector, but what I wouldn't give to have one of these consoles in my den!
And a little more research reveals that Seeburg sold conversion kits with different scenery and animals; bear, deer, raccoon, and rabbit.  Later models included more mundane cans on a fence (why shoot cans at home when you can show off to your buddies in a bar!) and, sigh, people (a classic gangster shootout, a chicken thief, and convict escaping from a chain gang).  There's even a custom one called "Shoot the Bartender."  Not sure I'd want that game in my bar.

PONG on your oscilloscope?  Check.  And now, from the Great Depression, optical shooting galleries.  Gaming + tech = awesome in any time period!

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