Famous Birdman Tony Hawk is in the news again. He has helped to invent a a robot skateboard that you may manipulate with your feet and body, simulating certain acts. It’s for a video game but as with all things robotic the device opens a moral Pandora’s box that taps into man’s darkest urges and wants. Because he is backing it as a product Tony Hawk describes the device in fairly sterile terms, like so:
“This is a whole new direction. I don’t even like to compare because this is a full-body experience that you are controlling through standing on a board, and we made the gameplay completely different.”
At Boil the Ocean, defender of Human values, we cast a jaundiced eye upon robot pleasure machines of all shapes, even if it is in the comely form of promoting boardsport. The truth is that these devices wreck homes. Read if you will from this account of how one such so-called “exercise board” poisoned an American couple against each other.
Mrs. Levy lay prone on the motorized exercising board, its several sections prodding her ample body gently, nudging and kneading her soft, white flesh like a loving baker. Winding her arms under the table, she held it tightly.
“Oh,” she moaned softly and happily, nibbling on the section beneath her face.
“Turn that thing off,” her husband’s voice said somewhere behind her.
“What?” Mrs. Levy raised her head and looked dreamily around. “What are you doing here? I thought you were staying in town for the races.”
“I changed my mind, if it’s okay with you.”
“Sure, it’s okay with me. Do whatever you want. Don’t let me tell you what to do. Have yourself a ball. See if I care.”
“Pardon me. I’m sorry I tore you away from the board.”
“Let’s leave the board out of this, if you don’t mind.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I insulted it.”
“Just leave my board out of it. That’s all I said. I’m trying to be nice. I don’t start the arguments around here.”
“Turn the damn thing on again and shut up. I’m going to take a shower.”
Tony Hawk has sold literally hundreds of video games to the youth, and now he has teamed with robots to corrupt values in a way that could also dent the skateboard industry. If people favor robot board simulations there will be no market for real skateboards, and the culture will collapse in on itself similar to what happened with kayaking down mountainsides. It’s only a warning but this could become real for everyone.