Embracing mortality? Surprise, surprise: there’s an app for that, too. Meet “The Wheel of Death:”
According to its makers, the app “will help you, your family, and your friends embrace mortality. Spin it as you would a roulette wheel, but instead of landing on a number, you discover a possible fate. This, in turn, makes you appreciate the good fortune you enjoy today. A daily spin will keep you in this happy state, as you are continually reminded of what could be and what is.”
More from The Wheel of Death’s App-Store description:
“Conceived by Valeria Clark, the app [...] was inspired by roulette and Buddhist teachings. The wheel includes many of the common ways to die. Valeria Clark is a designer and Dharma teacher living in the Hudson Valley.”
I’ve been playing with the Wheel myself, and have encouraged others to try it. So far, usage seems to follow a basic pattern:
Given access to the Wheel, the user spins it, is delighted by its interface (and its rewarding, clicking roulette-wheel sound), and then laughs when confronted with the first scenario of their demise — which may very likely seem to them a remote possibility. They spin it again, and laugh again. Then, soon enough, they spin it and are given a hypothetical fate that hits home, one that seems somehow more realistic all of a sudden; the joke isn’t quite so funny anymore.
As the old advertising line goes, That means it’s working.
You can try it yourself in versions for both the iPad and the iPhone, via the App Store. (A paid version removes ads from the top of the screen.)
Would you be willing to spin The Wheel of Death?