Back in the olden days, when disks were floppy and cell-phones were dumb, video games were limited to the areas of arcades, computers and, later consoles with importation of the fruits of Nintendo onto these shores. While staying on the computer and console now in disc form, games moved from the arcade and living-room television to mostly encompass the digital realm.

With the introductions of innovations like Bluetooth, WiFi and the ability to get high-speed streaming on cell-phone screens – the devices having greatly increased in intelligence, while reducing in size in a sort of bizarre, inverse correlation, since 1985 – games and their attendant culture have become so prevalent, the made-up term ‘gamer’ has become something of a noun in regular parlance, meaning many different things to many different people.

There are even chain stores such as Electronic Boutique (EB), catering to the needs and interests of the culture. An exercise in risk-management seeing what happened with West 49 and ‘Skater’ culture and Hot Topic and ‘Goth’ culture, but they seem to be pulling it off for the most part. These days almost anything can be made a game and, since the introduction of the Apple Watch, anything can be a gaming platform. As the newly developed dental health implement Grush gaming toothbrush shows.  

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Harnessing the need of the youth market to be entertained every second of everyday and never have even a single, solitary second of boredom just because something needs to be done, as we all know boredom is fatal, the geniuses behind the Grush have found a way to make brushing your teeth fun! By putting Bluetooth – yes Bluetooth! – technology into their brightly colored toothbrush/game-controller hybrid, the Grush makers have made it possible to play video-games, as displayed in a smartphone screen, while going thought the grinding daily chore of not getting gum disease or tooth rot.

By the numbers

In addition to being the greatest instance of child bribery since the invention of grape flavored cough medication, this gaming toothbrush also serves as an ingenious bit of surveillance equipment. Not only is it the greatest tooth brushing incentive in the history of dentistry, but that amazing little Bluetooth chip also records and saves data pertaining the user’s tooth brushing habits so the parent or adult guardian will know whether the kid in question is being entirely truthful about having brushed their teeth. Like if the Stasi gave out free coats with tracking devices.

Really?

Yes, these actually exist. Except for the Big Brother tracking element which ought to be of concern for all free-thinking individuals, the last thing this society needs, is yet another way to keep tabs on each other, how is a toothbrush that also plays video-games a bad thing? There could well be the argument that video-games can be habit forming. Indeed they can, which may not be the best thing in the world when it comes to things like homework, but in the case of the Grush toothbrush, might as well make that habit-forming too.

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Trevor McNeil spent much of his childhood playing video-games on early-form personal computers back when the disks were literally floppy. He attended the University of Victoria, completing a degree in Social Science with a concentration in Technology In Society, while also writing for the campus newspaper. He has written articles for such diverse publications as Humanity Death Watch, PopMatters and Perfect Sound Forever. He is a veteran of numerous “watershed moments” in the history of technological development and firmly believes that Han shot first.

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