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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chew Controlled Gaming Is In Your Face

When I gave up smoking some thirty plus years ago I resorted to the less than edifying habit of chewing gum to satisfy my oral craving.  The thing about chewing gum is that the first couple minutes provide a sugar hit and a mouthful of flavour.  After that the sensation is one of masticating on old tennis balls.

Manufacturers of the stuff would now have you believe that health hygiene for the mouth is improved by chewing their product;  not that this cuts much ice in Singapore where the stuff is thankfully banned.

What might you well ask has all of this got to do with anything digital?

Well the short answer is that there now a game called Gumulon which encourage you to chew the future. I kid you not.

Using facial recognition technology you participate in this action game simply by chewing at various speeds which changes the character moves. They even claim that if you record your chewing and then play it backwards, you will discover the identity of your future tag-team partner. i.e. chew more gum to win.

Chew controlled gaming is an innovative piece of marketing from Mondelēz International's Stride Gum, who are using social media to promote their product to the age demographic that uses it most; and that is not ex-smokers.

Thomas Adams of New York received his first chewing gum machine patent in 1871 and in 1899 joined with others to form American Chicle Company which at that time controlled 85% of the chewing gum business in the USA. The sap of the large, tropical, American sapodilla tree was called a chicle and it is this that was used to create the gum base.

Though a series of amalgamations and takeovers the company eventually ended up as part of the Cadbury stable and it was they who introduced Stride Gum in 2006, before being swallowed up themselves three years ago by Kraft Foods Inc.  Mondelēz International (a.k.a. Kraft), is an interesting food conglomerate in its own right and owns many other brands that were established over a century ago, such as Pascalls and Nabisco.

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