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THE QUINN ONE MINUTE COLUMN: Interactive Television

Today’s message is not a fable…it is a true story.

     In 2021, we know how to interact with a screen. We can order products, pay our bills, and even talk online to folks staring back at us.

But back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, that was just a dream. Then Winky Dink appeared.

He and his dog Woofer were cartoon characters created by Harry W. Prichett and Edwin Brit Wyckoff. Winky’s adventures got him into lots of scrapes, but we kids could get him out. How?

We could order a little plastic sheet – sorta like sandwich wrap – we could place on our TV screens. When Winky got into a jam, dots appeared on the screen. With our markers (as I remember, some sort of crayons), we drew on our screens to connect those dots to form a boat, a ladder, or whatever Winky needed to escape.

Another feature of the show was a “secret message” which Winky revealed. Again, we’d connect the dots to uncover that mystery.

Then, for the first time, we could not only watch the action, but influence what might happen next.

Is that interactive TV, or what?

by Rix Quinn

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