For decades minor-league baseball across the country has sought to bring fans out to the ballpark with the kind of quirky, offbeat promotions that would make Bill Veeck proud. However, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, may have taken the (urinal) cake in that department.
Coca-Cola Park is already known as one of the nicer, more innovative ballparks in Minor League Baseball. At $50 million to construct, it was one of the priciest minor league fields in the country, and has features like a large high-definition video board and a Coca-Cola bottle which spouts fireworks.
According to the team’s official website, those features will soon be joined by a first-of-its-kind “urinal gaming system,” bringing a new angle to the phrase “hands-free controller.” The special urinals will be in all men’s restrooms in the ballpark, and are actually sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Health Network.
When someone approaches said urinal, it will automatically go into gaming mode, which will test the gamer’s stream of knowledge, so to speak. Algorithms are used to allow the user to interact with the game, which measures both intellect and flow direction. The system was created by U.K.-based Captive Media, and after completion of the game (which research shows averaged 55 seconds, in case you were wondering), the gamer receives their score and a code. These codes will be displayed on video boards around the ballpark, allowing the gamers to see how their cranial girth measures up to their fellow competitors anonymously.
The games, beyond their novelty and entertainment value, are also meant to raise awareness of prostate health. The team and the urinals’ hospital sponsor hope that the promotion will help men initiate conversations with their doctors.
My advice would be the same infamous wisdom that Harold Ramis, playing Dr. Egon Spengler, imparted upon the rest of his comrades in the film Ghostbusters: “Don’t cross the streams.”
Check out Captive Media’s video tutorial of urinal gaming in the video below.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Coca-Cola Park
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