Stand up, ye spellers, now and spell; spell phenakistoscope and knell: Or take some simple word as chilly, Or gauger Or the garden lily…
- Anon, 19th Century
The first animated gif was created by CompuServe (remember them?) in 1987. But a century and a half before that, there was the phenakistoscope.
The phenakistoscope was an optical illusion machine that was essentially an early attempt at animation. The animations were drawn in a series around a record-like disc, which also featured a series of evenly-spaced slits. By turning a handle on the machine, the disc would rotate, and when the viewer peered through the slits at a mirror reflecting the disc, the drawings on the disc gave the illusion of fluid animation.
The machine was first conceived by a Belgian physicist, Joseph Plateau, in 1839, who was inspired by the work of Euclid and Newton.
A 2010 study presented at the the Association for Psychological Sciences convention in Boston found that playing video games that involve reckless driving is associated with IRL reckless driving, “including speeding, crossing double yellow lines, tailgating and being pulled over by the police.”
In our own XXJFG study, peer-reviewed by Giorgio Moroder and the saintly apparition of Donna Summer, playing video games that involve reckless driving is also associated with mixtapes that blare immortal-sounding house music, seeing the world in 8-bit colours, pretending you’re the dude from Outrun and being totally friggin awesome.