DIARY OF AN INVENTOR: Peggy Brown and Q-bitz - ToyNews

DIARY OF AN INVENTOR: Peggy Brown and Q-bitz

Q-bitz creator Peggy Brown explains why you need to be a little nuts to be a professional game inventor.
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I’m a professional game inventor, a career choice that’s not for the squeamish nor faint of heart. It actually requires being certifiably nuts.

To put it into a certifiable nutshell, I work on whims and hunches, unpaid and at my own expense, on the microscopic sliver of an imagined possibility that I might be able to talk somebody with wherewithal into taking my weenie-widget (or whatever), backing it with big bucks and serving it up to the masses, and after all that, blow a little decimal dust my way.

It’s a lottery, and like they say, “You can’t win it if you don’t get in it,” but as they never say, “Getting in it has zip-squat-cipher to do with how you win it.”

As a professional inventor, I know that in order to continue to be a professional inventor (who doesn’t live in a refrigerator box under I-94), I have to create items that fill a need in the marketplace.

Items that can be manufactured and sold for a price the market will bear, and that will appeal to the broadest audience possible, starting with toy company executives and moving down the food chain to hopefully clear the myriad of hurdles on the way toward the eventual consumer.

It’s a precarious path, pocked with perilous pitfalls and perched on the precipice of something particularly horrible starting with P that I can’t think of right now.

After many years, a sprinkling of successes, and many, many, many (did I say many?) many more failures, I’ve learned that once in a while, even a blind squirrel finds a nut, and I must declare that I have found a certifiable nut.

Turns out that the American America’s Cup Sailing Team, a.k.a. Team Oracle, plays a game I invented, in order to keep their brains from scrambling when they’re physically pooped from hoisting jibs and weighing anchors (those are two of the only three sailing terms I know).

They play Q-bitz to develop and strengthen their mental acuity in the middle of their grueling training sessions so they don’t keel over (that’s the third one) during the big race. The big America's Cup race. Yeah. The America’s Cup race that the whole world watches. Uh-huh. That America’s Cup.

These world-class athletes train by swinging kettle bells the size of hippos while running across bouncy nets, and by doing sit-ups by the millions and balancing like ballerinas on tightropes, and while this description may be slightly exaggerated, they pump iron until they get practically delirious, and then, with sweat dripping off their noses, (this next part involves no exaggeration) they scoot over to the table and play Q-bitz.

They’re strapped with scads of high-tech gadgets that monitor their vitals and dissect every component of their elite athletic performance, they work out to the Nth degree, and then they drop their dumbbells and scamper over to the game table for a quick round of Q-bitz. Can you believe it?!? They play my game! And it trains them to stay sharp and focused. It builds their brain power under incredible physical duress. And they used it to train for the America’s Cup race this year, and guess what? They won! Woooooohoooo! USA! USA! USA!

Don’t believe me? Check out this video and see for yourself how Q-bitz has forged the concentration and fortified the cognition of the world’s top sailors: http://bit.ly/1httHi2

So, clearly, the transitive property of Q-bitz, which Pythagoras could only have wished to think up, proves that Q-bitz is good for brains everywhere, whether it’s played between push-ups and planks, or on the porch with peanuts and Mr. Pibb.

It’s a game that levels the playing field for players of a great range of ages, levels of education and genders (okay – there is probably not a great range of genders, but you know what I mean).

Q-bitz is simultaneously a race, a puzzle, and a work of art. It’s thinky in its simplicity and simple in its complexitude. It’s elegant and tactile and visual and has hardly any rules. It could be played between four players that speak four different languages, and nobody would have any discernable advantage.

Playing Q-bitz makes you feel spatial. And whether you’re one of the best sailors in the world or not, everybody deserves to feel spatial.

If you are an inventor and you'd like to share your story, email us at Billy.Langsworthy@intentmedia.co.uk.

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