The elements of this system come together in a way that is simple and elegant, which is part of the reason I like it so much. Many of the systems we have looked at have been complex or in some way important, but this one uses few parts to bring entertainment through a method that, when you think about it, is really the basis for many of the new media forms of entertainment today. The box holds the whole system together and gives it a space to exist in. You have the acrobat and the wires he is attached to, which in turn are attached to the wheel in the back of the contraption. Finally, in the back you have the sand which is, at resting position, on the bottom of the box, the chute that guides the sand to the hopper above the wheel, and the hopper itself.
The interconnections of this system, while simple, again reflect the elegance of the system as a whole. The chain of interactions is not only simple, but streamlined to make the user experience require as little work as possible in order to maintain the fun that comes along with the nature of playing with a toy. The following illustrates the chain of events that causes the system to operate.
The control or feedback of this system is completely reliant on the user, and whether or not they feel like converting their physical energy into the potential energy of the sand in the hopper. The system is not self-sufficient, it will cease functioning when all of the sand has fallen into the hopper, and the control mechanism is the realization that the acrobat is no longer flipping, eliciting the action of reloading the toy.
Again, I love this system because it has one function, and it serves it so gracefully. The object of the system is to entertain the user, and the coolest thing about it is that the entertainment doesn’t just come from the acrobat at the front doing his flip over and over, it also comes from the system itself. Observing how sand and a wheel in a paper box can cause something like this to occur, and watching the process in action to see how it works is entertaining in and of itself. It is like those crazy gumball track machines, where you don’t really care about getting the gumball, but watching it fly and spin its way through the track is extremely entertaining.