Ten Great (but Fake) Tech and Science Videos

The Mother of All Fake Game Demos

Fake Game Demo
One would think a person wouldn't need to be a hoaxster to make a video game look awful: So many commercially released games are bad enough without anyone resorting to trickery. But Tristan Newcomb created a masterful hoax by intentionally building an awful game. (Impossible to describe, it inexplicably includes Lego characters plus SpongeBob SquarePants on a Mario-like adventure, complete with 1980s-style, voice-synthesized narration.)

Demoing his game to a large audience, Newcomb pretends to struggle to keep the "players" in line (everything on screen is prerecorded) while dealing with the stress of constant bugs and game crashes. The audience is alternately annoyed and amused, much as you'll be if you watch the whole affair, which is essentially a postmodern performance art piece.

This is a long video, so skip around--you'll see some truly funny moments along the way.

Steorn Free Energy

Steorn Energy
Though free-energy hoaxes have been around since the industrial age (or even earlier), the Internet has given them new life, as hoaxsters can reach millions of gullible consumers with a simple video and a PowerPoint deck. Steorn relies on that age-old standby, magnetism, to sell its claims of building a motor that can operate with over 400 percent efficiency. That, of course, is impossible, but Steorn's mini-infomercial seems so earnest and honest that it's hard to believe the group is really trying to bilk anyone.

Rather, these Irish fellows just seem self-deluded and confused. A public 2007 demo was a disaster (leading many observers to mock it), but Steorn has still taken the mainstream media along for the ride: Fox News, among other outlets, breathlessly interviewed Steorn's CEO about the company's claims. Their discussion is every bit as surreal as the original flick.

Subscribe to the The Advisor Newsletter

Comments