kings-ring-featured

King Vitaman Hologram Ring, 1972

The possibility of recording a three-dimensional image for later reconstruction through a hologram was developed out of early progress in X-ray and electron microscopy—notably by Hungarian-born Dennis Gabor, who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics…

spinner

‘Nuclear War’ Card Game, 1965

Originally designed by Douglas Malewicki, an American aerospace engineer and eclectic inventor, the object of this satirical simulation of cataclysmic nuclear war was to be sole survivor, although final retaliatory strikes often eliminated all players in a deadly chain reaction…

13-tzameti-feature

13 Tzameti: The Game

By Brother Bill

A wave of dark, violent horror films arrived in the early-to-mid 2000s, all set in the present-day real world and centered on people caught up in deranged systems or subcultures. It seemed as though the lone psycho supermen of earlier decades (Hannibal Lecter, Max Cady, endlessly respawning Freddies, Michaels, and Jasons) were being supplanted…

china-syndrome-1982-featured

Spectravision ‘China Syndrome’ Advertisement, 1982

After a partial nuclear meltdown occurred at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant only days before the release of a 1979 film discussing just that possibility, the term “China Syndrome”—used by nuclear power experts to describe a hypothetical scenario in which an overheating reactor core melted its way to the other side of the planet—quickly passed into common usage…

xenon-featured

‘Xenon’ Pinball Machine, 1980

Released by Bally in 1980, Xenon was the first pinball game to feature a female voice (the first speaking pinball machine being the previous year’s sword and sorcery-themed Gorgar). Designed by Greg Kmiec and featuring sensual artwork by Paul Faris—which clearly showed the influence of underground and European comics…