I’ve played games all of my life. There were the games that were typical to any given age of a baby, toddler, child or adolescent. All the while, the complexities of the games I played accompany my rise into adulthood. And some people continue to experiment with games well into adulthood, as is my case. I have invented games, written games, published games, and was a co-owner and President of a game corporation. Now, as a father of a five year-old daughter, some of the games we play together are a wonderful remembrance of the classic board or card games of my youth. My experimentation with games, both new and old, has not let up over the years, and I most certainly see myself casting dice, clicking a mouse, and shuffling cards for as long as I physically can.
As time permits these days, I will go on-line and poke around to see what kind of games I come across – just quick little games to pass the time here and there. Last night, I stumbled upon an on-line Ouija board. How could I resist?
The first rule of playing any game is to understand all of the instructions. I clicked on the “Getting Started” page. It lists for you the optimum settings for your system for running the program. And then they give you the “Atmospheric Settings”. And so it reads:
“Proper atmosphere is extremely important for other worldly communication. For best results, turn the lights down low and eliminate all distractions such as TV or loud music. Soft music may be played to add ambience (sic), but not to the point of distraction. Lighting candles and the burning of incense or fragrant oils may also be conducive to a successful session.
Don’t be alarmed if the board does not seem to ‘work’ immediately. It is important to be comfortable within the session. Try to relax and clear your thoughts as much as possible before asking your first question. By doing so, you will disengage yourself from all subconscious attempts at moving the planchette yourself. If you have problems, take a break and try again later. Becoming comfortable with the board, and it with you, does take time.
Remember, spirits are notorious tricksters and liars so be careful. Further, they’ll often respond with words or phrases which may seem to be absurd jibberish (sic) at the time, but upon reflection, may be quite meaningful.”
I followed those instructions. Lights were dimmed, soft music played, and a candle was lit. The next section described “How to Use the Board”. Here is how it reads:
One player may operate the board, but use EXTREME CAUTION!!!
It is suggested that you place your mouse on a flat, hard surface resting on the knees of two persons, preferably (sic) a male and a female. Place your fingers lightly but firmly upon the mouse with one player being able to activate the ‘left click’ button (Windows) or standard click button (Mac).
To start, the on-screen planchette should be resting over the angel at the top of the board. Relax and clear all your thoughts. When comfortable, ask a question, such as “Is anyone there?”. Remember to ask all questions aloud so a nearby presence will hear. If you need a few questions to get going, we have provided 50 sample questions you can scroll through in the frame to your left. Once contacted, the spirits will do the rest.
It may take a few minutes for the on-screen planchette (mouse) to move so don’t give up. Once it does, its transparent center will select letters, numbers, or yes/no in response to your questions. When selecting a character, make sure the on-screen planchette comes to a noticeable stop or pause over the desired character. Left click the highlighted selection to display the character above the board. Other worldly messages and answers will then be spelled out for you. If you feel a space is required, click anywhere on the board (other than the letters, numbers, yes/no) to add one. Remember: spirits are notoriously bad spellers so don’t be alarmed if the words or phrases ‘look funny’, they’ll always have some meaning. The textual display above the board is limited to 132 characters, so once it is full, you may clear it by clicking “reset text” in the middle of the board.
When your session is complete, always say goodbye. The spirit will often bring the planchette down to this area of the board when he/she wants to leave. Please oblige by clicking and saying goodbye aloud. Also, if the spirit has left your session abruptly, make sure you click on “goodbye” yourself. You can never be too careful.”
There is more. Next is the “Precautions” section, which reads:
If you play alone, use extreme caution.
Never ask the board when you are going to die.
Never ask about God.
Never ask where buried treasure is located.
Never let a spirit count down through numbers or go through the alphabet, they will escape the board.
If your mouse falls off the flat surface, the spirit may escape.
If the on-screen planchette goes to each of the four corners of the board, an evil spirit has been contacted.
Evil spirits will use lies and flattery to gain your confidence.
If the on-screen planchette/mouse makes figure 8’s, an evil spirit is in control of the board.
Always say and click goodbye when ending a session or evil spirits may stay behind and haunt you.
Be very careful if you use the board when sick or fatigued as you become more susceptible to possession.
PS: If you have contacted a troublesome paranormal entity and would like it vanquished, please consult our Demon Finder page.
I started by asking when I was going to die. The message I got was “KWO9 NO 8MAQ”. I then asked if there is a god. For that one I got “H2I0MW9”. I then asked where any buried treasure is located. I got “D3M1 Yes”. Next, I allowed the planchette to count down the numbers AND went through the alphabet. I then shoved my mouse off the desk. I picked it up, and proceeded to move the planchette to all 4 corners of the board. I did this 6 times in a row for good (or bad) measure. Since then, I have not noticed anything strange in my person or house. If anything happens, you will all be the first to know.
But just to be safe, I consulted the “Demon Finder” page, as instructed. Here is how that page reads:
WA R N I N G:
The following excorcisor (sic) is to be used in extreme cases only. Do not use this service lightly. If your computer or home has any of the following symptoms, click to continue … if not, go no further.
• strange noises
• voices / whispers
• items frequently go missing
• cold spots / icy chills
• lights switching on/off
• feeling of being watched
• household items moving / levitating
This electronic excorcisor has been created to help rid your home and or computer of any unwanted spirits – good or bad. It will not effect bodily possessions! Please seek a priest… we can not help!
It then offers a hot link button that reads “Continue”. So I continued. Sometimes, I find it difficult to describe the indescribable, so click here and hit the start button. How you react will be your decision. I clicked on it six times (one for each of my four corners no-no as I described above) and I felt a range of emotion from hilarity to sorrow. Both the funniest and saddest thought is that this is not parody or humor. Many people are one hundred percent serious about the “power” of Ouija (aka, the ideomotor effect.) I’m thankful that my appreciation and understanding of games has followed me through life, especially when it is so clear that some adults still prefer to play with childish toys and games.