Children all over the world have enjoyed the Magic 8-ball since the ‘50s, with its funny clairvoyance capabilities and its infinite “wisdom”. The witty toy seems to have answers to everything, well, at least 20 of them…But a new, gloomier version of the toy was developed, tackling the ultimate question of human existence. Meet the Tragic Fate Ball, which can tell you how you’re going to die.
The Tragic Fate Ball isn’t by far an appropriate gift for your kid. We’re taking about a morbid, twisted device here, although you’ve got to give it up for its savory black humor. As if taken from the Addams Family movie, the Morticia-inspired toy is the creation of Stuart Gorman, who made the dark device from scratch.
It consists of an oversized, 3D-printed billiard ball with a skull and crossbones symbol instead of the dull “8” number. Your answers are displayed on a 1.6-inch LCD screen, while the insides of the goth toy consist of an Arduino Nano board and a lithium-ion battery. In order to make the battery last longer, Gorman also added three mercury tilt switches that make sure the Tragic Ball is only powered when it is turned upside down.
Now for the morbid part of the gadget. You know how the original Magic 8-Ball alternates between those same, boring, universal 20 answers such as “Don’t count on it”, “It is certain”, “Most likely”, and so on? Well, the Tragic Fate Ball has more imagination than that. Some of your possible death causes as predicted by the toy of the doom are: “Running With Scissors”, “Falling whale”, “Swallowed Rubik’s Cube”, “Shot by the Dalai Lama”, or “Frozen Carrot Shiv”.
If you’re a techy person, you can put your engineering and programming skills to work and make your own Tragic Fate Ball. Stuart Gorman shared everything you need to put the toy together, including the Arduino sketch. His video takes you through the entire building process.