Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tech Column: Tech for Kids - Beat the Claw Game & Defeat the Boogeyman

by Bill Adler

I want to share two tidbits that came my way recently. If you're a parent, your kids will adore you because of this first tip. That's not to say that your kids don't already adore you, but they'll love you even more when you tell them how to beat the claw game, at arcades and highway rest stops. That's the game where you lower the claw to retrieve a stuffed animal or other prize that you didn't want anyway:

As it turns out, the game is rigged. Some machines are set to "win" only after 5 or 10 failed attempts, so that no matter how skilled you think you are, the prize will fall back into the abyss. Machine owners can vary the strength of the claw's grip, too: You get one guess as to whether they increase or decrease the grip's power. According to Slate magazine,, there are several things you can do to improve the chances of your child smiling: Watch the machine. Get a sense for how strong the grip is on that particular machine, when the toy drops, and how often it wins. Work with a partner: Your partner should stand to the side and give you three-dimensional guidance. Use the claw to first push aside any toys that block a straight path to the teddy bear your heart desires. Eventually you'll snag that stuffed animal you didn't want in the first place.

Boogeyman Radar,, is an iPhone app that lets you scan a room for monsters. As we all know, monsters, including ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and dinosaur-alligator hybrids, hide under beds, in closets, in window blinds and toy boxes. Boogeyman Radar displays an overlay of the room using the phone's camera, and with this app you can reassure the child that the room is safe for sleep. If my parents had this during my toddler years, I think that I --and they-- would have gotten hours more sleep a night.


Bill Adler is the co-publisher of the Cleveland Park Listserv, He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," He tweets at @billadler.


Celestron NexStar 4 telescope. Treat your family to the stars, planets and galaxies,


No comments:

Post a Comment