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September 2015 Retro Gaming Article


September 19, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Autumn and Halloween are for Monster Cereal (and augmented reality), not pumpkin-spiced atrocities

My breakfast sausage tasted a little off this morning. I'd purchased a batch at the grocery store last night, completely oblivious to the pumpkin on the packaging. As I cooked them, I thought little of the pumpkin packaging since marketers always try to put a Fall spin on everything after Labor Day.

General Mills Halloween Monster Cereals As a child, Monster Cereal was my Halloween passion. I adored Boo Berry, Franken Berry, and somewhat less Count Chocula. I'd cut out the mask on the back of the Boo Berry box and be delighted for hours. I've since had an affinity for blue food and shocked by the relative dearth of this coloring at the market.

Over time, some years yielded marvelous hauls of Boo Berry and FrankenBerry (not a fan of the Count), while other years left me longing for a bowl of blue or pink cereal. I scored boxes of Monster Cereal at the store last night, while also buying breakfast sausages.

Perhaps I was still in a euphoric bliss from a bowl of Boo Berry, but I finally went back to the sausage packaging to discover the cause of the latent foul taste. Apparently someone in a corporate boardroom actually gave the thumbs-up for Pumpkin Spice flavored sausages!

Monster Cereal Goes AR

Blippar logo All the monster characters have been given a makeover for this year's shipment of cereal. As I was snatching boxes off the grocer's shelves, I wondered what the "We're Alive!" slogan was about. At home I saw the cellphone logo and mention of an app called Blippar.

I downloaded the app for my android phone and discovered it is similar to the AR Games found on Nintendo's 3DS. Just as you can use AR cards with the 2/3DS, Blippar has a similar effect on a smartphone when the camera is focused on a known image or video. While Nintendo's AR Games let you inject characters into your real-world photos, Blippar delivers additional "info", in a variety of ways, when it recognizes a product logo or image.

I guess the cardboard masks that used to delight me as a kid have taken a backseat to kid's wielding smartphones who are delighted by animation.

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