Since 1946, the undecided have relied on Abe Bookman’s Magic 8-Ball to help guide their more critical life decisions, but there’s one question the game hasn’t been able to answer: how someone will die. So Stuart Gorman created the 8-Tragic Ball which instead reveals the morbid death of a person.
Despite the claim here in the name of the product, there is no actual magic that feeds the Magic 8-Ball. Crack one open and dump out the dark blue alcoholic solution and inside you will find a dead icosahedron covered in pre-printed answers that appear random when the die floats to the inverted ball window opening. I like DJ Harrigan’s custom magic ball GIF, Gorman created his custom 8-Ball from scratch, starting with a large 3D-printed billiard ball that swaps the number eight on top for a more appropriate and predictable skull and crossbones.
Inside Gorman included an Arduino Nano board attached to a permanently fixed 1.6-inch LCD screen, a lithium-ion battery, and a trio of mercury-filled tilt switches that send only power to the electronics when the Tragic Fate Ball is turned on its head. That approach not only extends the battery life of the ball, but also ensures that the screen only turns on and reveals a destiny when the ball is turned upside down, just like the real thing.
Can the Ball of Tragic Destiny actually predict how a person will die? Hopefully because the seemingly random CODs currently installed include destinations like “Falling Whale”, “Running with Scissors”, “Frozen Carrot Shiv”, and “Ingested Rubik’s Cube” that all seem particularly awful ways to go. We appreciate the effort here, but a simple productive warning on the screen, something like “Ignorance is bliss, are you sure you want to know?” it could be a welcome request.