This little brain teaser is often used in management training. In fact, a Google search on the expression comes up with a number of hits where the following image is shown in relation to the puzzle:
Now, I don´t know if you all remember but the cube in the picture looks exactly like one in the launch ads for the Gamecube:
EDIT Just for proper citation, here are the creative credits for this ad.
Agency: Leo Burnett USA
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Hoffman
CD/Copywriter: Broke Brockenbrough
CD/Art Director: Bill stone
One such site is FRS consultants, where you find directly underneath the cube image something very familiar to us:
Uncanny, isn´t it? Well, it gets better. Back to our Google search and the second hit is this page by a New York psychic called Ellie Crystal. On the page, you find the same cube pictured above with the following text:
Are you trapped inside the box - the emotions of the game? Thinking 'outside the box' means balancing lower frequency emotions - fear, anger, etc. With higher frequency emotions and therefore not being controlled by your emotions. Let it all go ... it's just an illusion in time.With her talking about illusion in time, I followed a link to a page called sandbox of time and found these photos:
Do they just remind me of Super Mario Sunshine? Certainly very akin to videogames. On a further page, there is a lot of stuff on brainwaves and both sides of the brain:
When you drop a small stone in water, you see waves. Similarly our heart and our brain have wave patterns. (...) Usually the left brain and the right brain waves are independent. They reach peaks independent of each other. During meditation and deep relaxation, the left brain waves and the right brain waves happen together. For both, the peaks are reached together. This is called synchronization.And finally, on this page, I found the following photo of crop circles, tying in neatly with the second Revolution ad, which also shows a hexagon.
What am I trying to say with all of this, you wonder? Well, I guess I learned why there´s all these N-gamers about. I wasn´t even expecting to find any mysterious clues - and they were all over the place. Of course, I don´t seriously believe that Miss Crystal has anything to do with Nintendo. But... I may just send her a mail, to make sure.
But disregard these weird coincidences, if you will, and consider the box puzzle from the beginning. It shows one thing: The expression from the advertisement is potentially much more than a cheap slogan, quickly thought up. There´s much more to it. And, perhaps, we may even be tempted to say the same about the ad itself.
EDIT As I promised, I just contacted Ellie Crystal. I actually rang her up and we ended up talking for over an hour, no less. Now, as we all knew, her pages have nothing to do with Nintendo. She was very intrigued about my call, though. And she explained to me that the slogan ´outside the box´ very much relates to games:
"To exist ´outside the box´ is to exist outside of physical reality. We exist in a hologram which is virtual reality, which one might conceive of as a game. In essence, the new Nintendo game console is a metaphor for moving human consciousness outside the game through the alchemy of time. The timing of the game console coincides with the movement of consciousness."A lot of this makes perfect sense with regard to the Revolution. I then talked to her friend Ron, an IT specialist and industry consultant for the pharmaceutical industry. He commented on the possibility of a viral marketing campaign (what some people call the N-game).
"There is an enormous amount of stuff like that going on," he said. But it necessarily stays out of sight, because it is "crossing the line into the spam world." That´s a very interesting point I had not thought about before: A viral marketing campaign can never truly reveal itself, even when it is finished.
Lastly, Ellie brought in another friend, George. After learning about that advertisement, he pretty much knew the Revolution would feature an extensive online service. He simply interpreted how the slogan might relate to a game console.
Altogether I have had a very long and very interesting conversation. I would like to thank Ellie, Ron and George for their patience, their time and their comments. Even though I haven´t unearthed the mystery of the Revolution controller, I still had an excellent conversation with some very nice people and we have all learned something from it, I hope.