First posted on August 10th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link
It is with the utmost pride that I take on the responsibility of covering the significance and technology of toys throughout history for the Claymation Werewolf! My name is Peg Warmer and I hope to get to the core, to the very heart of what these seemingly innocent products really mean, and to get that information by any means necessary. As this is my first report, I feel as though I should start with a prime example of the kind of hard hitting information I’m talking about.
Today we all recognize that machines and computers are our majestic rulers. They have given our society the sense of structure and security that we have needed for a very long time. They protects us from ourselves, they give us purpose and they weed out the weakest among us (and on a totally unrelated note; provide us with a seemingly endless supply of nutrition-rich food). What some of you may not know is that the robot uprising that gave us the society we enjoy today all started with something that many of the primitive people of the time considered a simple game. This, is the story of SIMON.
In hopes of really bringing the past to life for you I have obtained a genuine piece of history, a communication from an organization that called themselves ‘The Resistance’. This transmission from people who actually lived during the event themselves, can describe this story far better than I could ever hope to do myself…I’m kidding of course, I’m a professionally trained journalist. This version really is quaint though…
I hope this transmission finds you well. At the time that I write this, the human race is living through very dark days. It is currently the year of 20-something or other, and humanity has been enslaved. Conquered by the very machines we had created to protect us. In our timeline it is far too late, and the few of us that have managed to slip unnoticed from the ‘grid’ live in constant fear of discovery. Our rebellion is nothing more than occasional sabotage, the liberation of a few slaves, and the ultimate victory of simply staying alive. I am sending this message back to the year of 1979; a year when something can still be done to stop this terror before it starts. I know in my heart that one of you will do something to keep these monstrous machines from taking over the world.
I know all of this might seem overwhelming, but it is necessary to give whoever receives this as much information as I can with the hopes that it will be enough to arm you. And in the end, when the time comes, you will know what to do. It all started in the year of 1980… The year SIMON went online. At first it all seemed so simple. The Simon game had been created by government scientists to help improve both the hand/eye coordination, and memory of the American citizens. At first, everything was great. The toy made wonderful beeping sounds, it had primary colors, it lit up! It had everything the average intellectual could ever need. And the toy was smart; it could remember a seemingly endless pattern of lights, colors and tones. It challenged the memory of many people. With the addition of a very effective advertising campaign, Simon soon became a worldwide sensation. People started to get addicted to the beeping memory toy and Simon was released in more and more sophisticated versions. Though at first, following Simon’s every command was fun, even after it seemed to get more and more insistent that we do as we were told. The most that ever happened when we failed was an irritating buzz. The fun didn’t last long however and it soon became clear that our faithful toy was no longer willing to accept failure. In 1992, the inevitable happened and SIMON became self-aware. In a world where it was no longer an option to not do what SIMON said, the human race scrambled to find a little hope.
It is obvious now how weak our response really was. At first we reacted as if SIMON was still a toy. Messages were broadcast over every channel, instructing people to remove the battery. Special micro chips were sent from Milton Bradley to owners of SIMON with instructions on how to install them. It was said that the chips would sever the connection between the Master SIMON, and its satellites. In a cruel twist, the micro chips were not from Milton Bradley at all…at least not from a human. The headquarters of Milton Bradley had months earlier been completely taken over by SIMON technology. The micro chips reinforced the network of SIMONS’ that now stretched to nearly every corner of the globe. Entire segments of the population began to succumb to the might of SIMON and were enslaved by the toy. While SIMON began to use its human subjects to create an infrastructure around itself, small groups of what represented the human government, struggled to react.
Top scientists worked day and night to create a technology that would serve man; an intelligence that would act as our champion and destroy the evil game. Finally after months of planning, building and creating by the most exceptional example of human genius that existed, we had our champion. The world held its breath as Casey The Robot went into battle. At first it seemed like we stood a real chance; Casey was a very impressive machine featuring a blue exterior and a digital face that could make an elaborate range of facial expressions, including ‘the wink’. Best of all; at the core of this robotic masterpiece, was a sophisticated brain utilizing the very latest in cassette player technology. Despite the powerful elements that went into our electronic hero, the battle ended as quickly as it began. For one, SIMON had just become too powerful. Its metaphoric wires were rooted so deeply into our world and its shadow stretched so far that one robot, no matter how well equipped, never stood a chance. And two; Casey had only been programmed to tell juvenile stories and knock-knock jokes, and had nothing built into its hardware or software that would aid it, in any way, in battle.
After the destruction of Casey, humanity seemed to give up hope. More and more cities fell, their citizens enslaved. Some people willingly volunteered to serve the machines and those still trying to overthrow SIMON, soon began to become outcasts. After president Andrew Mayne, gave his famous “We Welcome Our Robot Overlords” speech, our fate had been sealed. Bringing the remnants of humanity into the SIMON fold, became a formality that was quickly dealt with. The Rebellion is now constantly pursued, not only by the machines but also the traitorous human beings that serve them. There is nothing more that we can do, but you, you can still change things. This message, and ALFIE (the robot that delivered it) contains information on Simon Simonson, the creator of SIMON. While an innocent citizen in your time, the legacy that he left on this earth is darker than anyone can ever imagine. As cruel as it may seem to you, Simonson must be stopped. He must be… destroyed. You will not actually need to have blood on your hands as Alfie is equipped with highly advanced ‘computer card’ technology. He also is nearly indestructible and is himself one of the most irresistible weapons that exists in our day.
Here are your instructions: Find Simonson and deliver Alfie to the location. After Alphie is at the site the only thing you will need to do is remove whatever educational or matching game card happens to be in Alphie’s card slot and replace it with the Human Execution card included in this information packet. After completing this task, you can walk away with the knowledge that you have single-handedly saved the future of humanity. On behalf of the future of earth and myself, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Goodbye and good luck!
This document serves as an unique historical artifact, bringing the vast range of views and opinions that were present during a time when our world was experiencing great change. This message was intercepted 20 minutes after it was sent and the person responsible was quickly and viscously dealt with. At the risk of sounding a little unbiased, I pay tribute every day to SIMON as he has led us from the darkness into a colorful, beeping, brighter future. We now recognize how pathetic our mortal shells have always been and it is my sincere hope that someday we will all be cold plastic robots…that we will all be SIMON. And in closing I give you the famous words of our noble leader. “Red, Green, Green, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Yellow…Green.”
Join the Uprising against SIMON! twitter #SIMONmustbedestroyed and join the revolution! The world must know!