Urinal games give whizzes a new aim

U.K. gamers are getting target practice with urinals that use pee streams as controllers. Get ready to demonstrate your peeing prowess, fellas!

But won't girl gamers feel left out? As my very pun-ny CNET colleague Jeff Sparkman notes, they are going to be pissed! Captive Media

Isn't it a bummer when urinal time interferes with game time? It can really interrupt the gaming flow, am I right, guys?

Fortunately, U.K.-based Captive Media has combined pee time and play time with urinal games controlled by, you guessed it, your own very personal game-whiz skills.

The system--patented in the U.K., with patents pending overseas--consists of a 12-inch high-definition LCD screen installed at eye level above the urinal.

When not in active use, the system plays a mixture of ads and content from one of six "PTV" channels. When a user approaches, the monitor flips from ad mode to gaming mode, using sensors to detect not only the urinator's presence, but the direction of his stream.

Just move left or right to demonstrate your gaming (and aiming) prowess in titles like On the Piste, in which you speed through the (presumably yellow) snowy mountains on a supercharged snowmobile, and Clever Dick, a wicked pisser of a trivia game. As the Telegraph rightly points out, "Never has Nintendo Wii sounded more apt."

Five of the media urinals are currently enjoying a trial run at The Exhibit bar in South London, with a broader rollout expected across the U.K. early next year. Competitive pee-gamers can even leak their scores to an online leaderboard or Twitter.

"We already had a huge amount of interest in the units from bars, pubs, exhibition centers, and retail outlets across the country and overseas--even though we've been trying to keep a lid on it," said Gordon MacSween, one of two Cambridge engineering graduates who founded Captive Media. A lid...geddit? OK, we'll stop now.

Another title, Hosepipe Hero. Help! The skyscraper is burning. Does anyone have a hose handy? Captive Media

Captive Media informs us that research pegs the "average visit time for a U.K. male at 55 seconds--equivalent to two standard TV ad slots!" (Furthering the British/American divide, informal research by a U.S. colleague today produced a 22-second pee time).

Regardless of stream duration, Captive Media sees a huge opportunity in "turning the minute most men spend at the bowl from a boring interlude into an engaging experience which offers brands pre-game, in-game, and post-game promotional opportunities." The powerful urinal lobby has probably never felt more victorious.

Pee left
Danger ahead. Pee left, pee left! Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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