Friday, August 10, 2007

Keep Your Nose to the Pheromone

You know how NBC and Fox have a history of developing similar ideas for game shows at the same time? This year it's "The Singing Bee" and "Don't Forget the Lyrics." Five years ago it was "The Chair" and "The Chamber." Both sides claim the concept was their's. Each net claims the other one is a thief. Who really knows the truth?

Well, somebody decided to patent an idea for a game show. That'll show 'em.

But this isn't your average, run-of-the-mill game show idea.

Yesterday the USPTO published a patent application (20070184885) entitled "Game show with non-interpersonal subliminal prompt." Sounds intriguing doesn't it? It's OK. You can admit it. Anytime you see the word subliminal, it kind of catches your eye.

When you think subliminal prompt, your first thought is probably hypnosis. But that definitely requires a personal interaction, and the title specifically states non-interpersonal. Plus, people are skeptical of hypnotherapists anyways. This quote from the patent app says it all: "For example, participants who volunteer as subjects for stage hypnotism are often self-selecting, willing to lose their inhibitions, and enjoy being the center of attention, whether or not they are actually in a state of hypnosis."

OK. What's left? The contestant can watch a video with subliminal messages. The surroundings can be scented to affect behavior, similar to what some casinos in Vegas are trying in their attempt to more easily separate you from your money.

But those ideas are already out there. Think outside the box a little bit.

What about pheromones?

The inventor, Walter Parsadayan, would most like to use a mammalian steroid pheromones to affect contestant behavior. Think about "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on steroids? Well, steroid pheromones to be exact. Or maybe "Blind Date: Pheromone Makeover"?

I don't think you'll be seeing any of these game shows soon. Even though the app was published yesterday, Mr. Parsadayan filed it way back in February 2006 and we haven't heard of any network developing this type of game show.

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