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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Japan's Love Tester

You may have seen it hiding in a dark corner of your local watering hole... or perhaps it was behind a curtain at a video arcade back in the 1980s... or perhaps you are only familiar with the concept from watching such television shows like The Simpsons...

... but even if you haven't physically seen one, we all know what The Love Tester is.

Go directly to jail if you thought it was one of those godawful quizzes from Cosmopolitan magazines (I actually used to have a subscription to Cosmo, and while I thought those quizzes were the worst piece of editorial garbage I have ever seen in a magazine, I though the rest of the information advice given out in Cosmo was interesting... it's always good to know the friendly enemy).

The Love Tester is a toy... designed by Nintendo in '69 (figures).

Not just for men to prove to other men that they were the Big Kahuna (that's what pissing contests are for), The Love Tester was fun "for young ladies and men", according to original product documentation.

Not men and women. Not ladies and gentlemen. But ladies and men.

The implication being that women using this device were still ladies, but men bragging about their Love Tester scores would certainly not be gentlemen.

This Love Tester was meant to be used by couples... in an electronic way to determine just how much they loved each other.

Hey... I'm pretty sure a machine... and a machine designed by a Japanese dude... would know all about how much a man loves a woman, or how much a woman tolerated a man to allow her to have to go through this fun and possibly damaging testing procedure.

Damaging? Sure.

To work The Love Tester, the man and the lady (sorry, Gays and Lesbians - I didn't write the original copy) grab hold of one of the connected spherical (IE balls) metal sensors with one hand and then hold each other's other hand... then... then The Love Tester goes to work... using its electronic doo-hickeys, it senses how much in love you both are and displays a love score between 1 and 100... I might not be good at math, but I'm afraid this is one time you don't want to be No. 1

Created by lonely boy with a brain—Yokoi Gunpei (横井 軍平 - surname first) Yokoi says he first conceived of The Love Tester as he wondered "if I could somehow use this to get girls to hold my hand… I wound up holding hands with quite a few girls thanks to it. Of course, somewhere along the line I started to feel like I wanted to do more than just hold hands."

Even better, Yokoi says he really "loved explaining that the meter gave better results when people kissed the girl..."

The Love Tester originally sold in Japan for ¥1,800 in 1969.

Okay... I can't find a calculator for this, but if I was to take US $1,800 in 1969 and apply inflation to it for 2015, that would be $10,105.92. That's multiplying the original dollar amount x an Annual inflation rate of 4.19% or a Total Inflation: 561.44%...

... so ¥1800 = $15... now lets take that $15 and multiply it by 561.44%.... and presto, the game would have cost an equivalent US$84.22... which isn't really that much... Of course... I am a way better lover than an effing mathematician.

The Love Tester was marketed outside of Japan as a Love/Lie Detector, and was one of the few products sold outside of Japan by Nintendo during the 1960s.

It was the very first Nintendo product to use real electronic components. I have no idea why that statement had to say 'real', but it did.

Does it work? I suppose it all depends on the score you achieve, doesn't it?

The Love Tester machine has appeared in 11 episodes of The Simpsons TV show.
Somewhere getting a grip,
Andrew "Hot Tamale" Joseph

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