I don’t usually comment upon these things, but I thought I would this time. The original article is from Kotaku. It’s a good example of technology being blended into ritual where traditional methods work just fine and are actually far superior.
Lets start with the good. The app, as it will ship, will be entirely based on hand movements, not on computer AI. That alone could make the thing useful. Later editions of the app will retain this as a classic mode. Plus at $2 you’re saving yourself about $10 or so if you went to the store and bought a real Ouija board.
Now on to the bad. First off the programmers hope to update the app with an artificial AI that can spook you by sometimes moving by itself or doing other things. To me that sort of defeats the purpose of a Ouija board and turns it into nothing more than a novelty prank item.
Secondly this thing is made of plastic and synthetics and all sorts of other things. This is no where near as conductive to energy, spirits, and what not as a solid wood spirit board would be. Even a cardboard Ouija board would be better.
But most importantly, and I must stress this to anyone who wants to try using their iPad for seances, spirits have a tendency to break your stuff. Most don’t even mean to do it (although some do).
The good thing about a solid wood board is, unless you’re taking an axe to it or dropping it from very high up, it’s pretty difficult to destroy. Even the cardboard boards are a bit more durable than an iPad, and they only cost about ten bucks so if it is ripped to shreds, you can just go to Toys ‘R Us and get another.
Energy (like the kind spirits give off) can make things vibrate and does strange things to electronics. Plus some spirits, when they get upset, like to smash things. If you haven’t experienced it, you may have at least heard stories of people using a glass as a planchette on a board and having the glass suddenly shatter during an intense communication. It happens. Imagine that glass is your iPad.
In fact I recommend that you remove any electronics like cell phones and ipods from your person before performing a ritual. I’ve had issues with these specific devices in the past when I’ve left them in my pocket. Luckily for me the damage done was either minor enough that the device was still usable or could be fixed by resetting the device. But then I also wasn’t trying to summon spirits into my ipod and cell phone.
I think Ouija boards are like $12 at the store and you can get a good spirit board for like $20-$100 depending on exactly what you want. It’s a bit more than a $2 app, but you’re better off when you factor in the $500 you’d be out on a broken iPad (I’m pretty sure damages resulting from spiritual possession aren’t covered in Apple’s warranty).