A blog about games, gamers, and various and sundry geek culture-related ephemera and paraphernalia.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ich Bin Ein Nerd?

So, I took the plunge last week and bought myself the shirt I was gushing over in the previous post. It arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and upon gleefully opening the package like a giddy schoolboy on Christmas morning, I can say that this shirt rates a hearty and well-deserved "Meh."

While it looks lovely in pictures on ThinkGeek's site, it's not quite so alluring in the flesh, so to speak. What the pictures fail to make clear is how much the detachable "decal" stands out from the shirt itself. It's a rectangular, semi-glossy, 7" x 5" (-ish) plastic placard - not so much a "decal" - that looks like it belongs on the front of a t-shirt about as much as it would look like it belongs stuck to one's forehead. It really is that obtrusive.

To make matters worse, the battery pack was much larger than I hoped. As advertised, it holds three AAA batteries, but it is by no means slim and easy to conceal, totaling about twice the size of the battery bay itself. And it's heavy. Fully stocked with batteries, it's not easily hidden, as it would pull down the fabric if kept in the "small pocket sewn inside the shirt." (I'm guessing that's why it features a belt clip - I honestly can't imagine anyone wearing this shirt with that relatively large battery pack concealed within. It would look ludicrous.)

All told, I was completely underwhelmed. I guess the technology for this sort of shirt hasn't reached the point yet where it can be combined with clothing of this sort to form a truly wearable, fashionable piece of apparel.

On the upside, the "decal" is detachable, and the battery pack and wiring are removable - allowing for transplantation of the nifty wi-fi signal detector onto items more suitable to the unit's relative bulk and prominence. I'm thinking it might serve better adorning my canvas book bag, or perhaps stuck to a laptop cover - I'm not sure yet where I'm going to put it. I'm quietly awaiting a moment of inspiration. (The shirt, at this point, is a loss - without the "decal" the velcro-like material and hole for the connector are plainly visible. Unless I stick something to its front to hide these.)

I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy this shirt (or any of the similar "Interactive T-Shirts") until the price comes down a bit more or the technology reaches the point where it isn't such a detriment to the shirts' appearance. (Unless, like me, you plan to scrap the shirt and use the interactive placards elsewhere. Or unless, unlike me, you are so jazzed about the idea of wearing an interactive shirt that the fashion disaster created by the unattractive placard and bulky battery pack doesn't bother you.)

Also in my order was TG's "Critical Hit LED" twenty-sider. The die is awkwardly large - but this was to be expected, as it's measurements are provided on TG's site. Regardless, I'm hoping to get some actual at-the-table use out of it - if I ever get the chance to play again. (I haven't gamed in months, and since the move a month-and-a-half ago, I'm without a group. *frown*) The die seems to roll without bias (amazingly) and - as advertised - flashes red when a natural 20 is rolled. If you don't mind its bulk, I'd recommend it - at the current price ($9.99 US) it's not too expensive to make it a gimmicky toy worth adding to the dice collection of the discerning tabletop gamer.

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4 comments:

  1. One, I love that D20 and I am going to have to break down and get one for everyone in my group. Now everyone will know if you get a crit!

    Two, bummer on the shirt but I can say that I one of my players wore that shirt in one of my games and I was so distracted by it I had to get him to turn it off. I suggest putting it on your pc if you do lan gaming or maybe in a game room or secret base somewhere...

    Too bad about the shirt as I think a shirt that changes images from rock to paper to scissors to lizard to spock would rock! The only thing is that if I have to carry a Star Trek the Original Series style tricorder in my pocket to make it function is not all that appealing.

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  2. "I think a shirt that changes images from rock to paper to scissors to lizard to spock would rock!"

    Agreed! I have ThinkGeek's RPSLS shirt, and it would be awesome if the various choices on that shirt lit up. Even better still would be if you could play a game of RPSLS using the shirt: press a tab on the hem and the choices light up rapidly, in succession, ultimately stopping on a random choice. (This would functionally solve the ever-present problem of every player choosing "Spock" each round - another bonus. ;D)

    I'd pay good money for a shirt like that - if it was executed in a more fashionable manner than the wi-fi shirt, of course.

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  3. Too bad about the shirt. The dice looks cool though.

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