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It's entirely possible her cunning plans are still underway...
October 25, 2007 11:58 AM   Subscribe

He owned a chain of hair salons. She was a computer science student at University of Leicester. Together, they stared at many a kid from the games section of their local toy store, challenging them to try a grown-up game. Now you can find out what happened to the couple on the Mastermind box. (Via.)
posted by beaucoupkevin (52 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay. That is just way way cool.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:06 PM on October 25, 2007


Heh...that's awesome.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2007


Very cool. I've never played Mastermind, but the cover is forever stuck in my memory.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:09 PM on October 25, 2007


This post reminds me of this remarkably uncomfortable-to-watch movie.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:10 PM on October 25, 2007


very cool.
posted by chunking express at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2007


There's some online MasterMind games linked in this previous thread.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2007


Somebody somewhere worked out who the classmates.com couple (she slept with him? and got 8 different STDs?!) were. Maybe it was on MetaFilter. I was kind of enthusiastic about it at the time, but you can see what the long range importance has been.

This is similar, although the cat pee is novel.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2007


Ha, this is great!
posted by grimcity at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2007


Wolfdog, I'm very sorry that I didn't meet your expectations in regards to the relative importance of my Metafilter post. In the future, please feel free to ignore posts I make; it would save both of us no small amount of grief, I'm sure.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 12:16 PM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


uncomfortable-to-watch movie.
posted by Pecinpah at 3:10 PM

epon.... never mind, different spelling
posted by exogenous at 12:16 PM on October 25, 2007


I always hoped they were in love.
posted by niccolo at 12:17 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not dissing the post. I think it's kinda cool. I'm just imagining I'll be hazy on the details in the not too distant future.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:17 PM on October 25, 2007


I propose replacing "First!"
With the much more enticing:

Helvetica!
posted by coolhappysteve at 12:18 PM on October 25, 2007


Wow. All this time I figured they lived in some cave underneath a volcano, surrounded by a bunch of identical looking goons in red spandex.

What other images from my childhood are you going to shatter? Were the kids in the Connect Four commercial not actually brother and sister? I DON’T NEED TO KNOW THIS!

It’s funny because last summer I was at my wife’s family’s place in Quebec, The Place Where Time Stands Still, where we still have many games from the 70s in their original box. My son dug up Mastermind and it was weird seeing that box for the first time in, I dunno, 25 years. I had forgotten about how mysterious that couple looked when I was a kid. Glad to know I wasn’t alone.
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on October 25, 2007


The classmates.com couple story.
posted by bunnytricks at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


My kids LOVE this game, and they play it all the time with my roommate's original edition, cover intact. My roommate and I never fail to cringe and laugh at the racist, sexist cover art, and my kids never fail to ask us why we're having such a big reaction.

I'm so excited to get the real story, I love that the woman is actually a competent geek and business owner (not a maul), and I'm really hoping that "owned a chain of hair salons" is code for "gay".
posted by serazin at 12:28 PM on October 25, 2007


For Halloween, my Chinese wife and I are going to dress up as Mr. & Mrs. Mastermind.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:30 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


What other images from my childhood are you going to shatter? Were the kids in the Connect Four commercial not actually brother and sister?

Well, maybe not brother and sister, but they are related. Take a look at their family tree, and you can see the two of them here...diagonally.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:35 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is why I paid my $5 to Matt. Seriously.
posted by desjardins at 12:35 PM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]



I propose replacing "First!"
With the much more enticing:

Helvetica!


There is nothing funny about The Helvetica Scenario.
posted by anazgnos at 12:38 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pretty sneaky, DevilsAdvocate.
posted by bondcliff at 12:42 PM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Super cool.
posted by everichon at 12:45 PM on October 25, 2007


Awesome. I loved this game like crazy and stared at the cover endlessly. I seem to recall a later game, maybe SuperMastermind or MiniMastermind or something, with a similar cover featuring different people in the same situation (seated white dude, standing woman of colour.)
posted by chococat at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2007


Curse you, bondcliff!
posted by mephron at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2007


Hmm. I'd say by the looks of him Bill Woodward, too, could have been a pimp back in the day. In France. Yes, also in France.
posted by ericb at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2007


Hmm...maybe this one is the alternate one I was thinking of. I also found this one which I don't remember at all. They all have that same creepy theme, anyway.
posted by chococat at 12:52 PM on October 25, 2007


this is fairly awesome. funny how the guy looks mainly unchanged vs. the years whereas the pulp fiction chick appears pretty omighodhardwornotheshame &c.

and, yeah, chain of hair salons? rilly. ms cecilia fung is the true entrepreneuse here, I bet.

/moggypee ftw
posted by dorian at 12:55 PM on October 25, 2007


We'd get out Master Mind because the box was so cool and then remember that the game was just colored pegs, there were no hot babes or evil genuises. So, we'd put back Master Mind and get out Stratego. At least there were bombs in Stratego.

I recently saw some kids playing Clue and was really annoyed at the new illustrations. Payday, too.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:57 PM on October 25, 2007


post-preview:
oh man chococat, that one with the servile extra maid-or-whatever at one's feet is just hot. lordy. or maybe the pseudo-indian woman inna-chair is being forfeit cost of unfortunate gambling losses; also hot.

/spiel. des. jahres.
posted by dorian at 1:00 PM on October 25, 2007


My kids and I play my veeeerrrryyy old copy of Mastermind that's housed in my parent's basement when we go visit them for holidays. Now I will know one mor epiece of data to impress them with. AS I KILL THEM AT MASTERMIND. It's a pretty hard game really.

Also, the page isn't loading :(
posted by GuyZero at 1:06 PM on October 25, 2007


I think we done broke it.
posted by everichon at 1:07 PM on October 25, 2007


backup link with same info and photo, while FPP link is down.
posted by gubo at 1:20 PM on October 25, 2007


...funny how the guy looks mainly unchanged vs. the years whereas the pulp fiction chick appears pretty omighodhardwornotheshame &c.
posted by dorian at 12:55 PM on October 25 [+] [!]


Perhaps he's got a portrait of himself squirreled away in an attic somewhere, eh dorian?
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:40 PM on October 25, 2007


Oh, internets, how I love you.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:48 PM on October 25, 2007


Great post, thanks.
posted by Outlawyr at 2:18 PM on October 25, 2007


For Halloween, my Chinese wife and I are going to dress up as Mr. & Mrs. Mastermind.

This thread is will be useless without pictures.
posted by The Bellman at 2:31 PM on October 25, 2007


One of the first times I played this game with my now-wife, when it was her turn to provide the clues, I looked deeply into her eyes before we began and said, "remember, whatever you do, DON'T VISUALIZE THE COLORS IN YOUR MIND."

I sat back, closed my eyes, and there they were, black green yellow blue or some such. I popped the pegs in.

She sat there for a moment and then gaped for a moment longer. Removing the shield to reveal that I had gotten the colors absolutely correct on the first try, she urgently asked me how I had done it.

The crazy thing is that to this day I have no idea how I could have. But I did!
posted by mwhybark at 3:01 PM on October 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


The box cover was always hell of a lot cooler than the rather boring puzzle game in side. Pity the poor kid that brought that in on games-day at school.

And I prefer to think of them eternally running a casino in Hong Kong...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:04 PM on October 25, 2007


Well let this be a challenge for everyone then, to think up a game or hypothetical game whose premise and mechanics are sufficiently convoluted and cross-ethnically svelte and diabolical to match up with the cover.

I always meant to read Herman Hesse's THE GLASS BEAD GAME simply to extract the game's rules from the novel - but found the book so boring (I was in high school) that I couldn't get past the first hundred pages or so (even though there was partial nudity on the cover of the paperback copy I had.)
posted by newdaddy at 3:37 PM on October 25, 2007


to think up a game or hypothetical game

I'm thinking of something involving a revolver and a limited number of bullets.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:01 PM on October 25, 2007


Or a game involving many revolvers each with one bullet: 13 Tzameti.
posted by ericb at 4:08 PM on October 25, 2007


I'm thinking of something involving a revolver and a limited number of bullets.

Golf?
posted by eriko at 6:04 PM on October 25, 2007


posted by serazin My roommate and I never fail to cringe and laugh at the racist, sexist cover art

Why do you consider the photograph racist? I'm genuinely curious.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:29 PM on October 25, 2007


Some people might say the word "racist" is too strong, but what I was trying to express was how stereotyping the image is:

In the picture they had to be their ethnic and gendered stereotypes: He the powerful white man - in charge and authoritive, she the demuring but (as they say in the article) "cunning" Asian woman.

Of course in real life it turns out he runs hair salons (a profession that is often viewed as de-masculinized) and she is also an entrepenour and computer science professional. They don't fit the stereotypes that they were representing at all.

For me the image is racist and sexist because it promotes a lie about what people are - a lie that presents people as defined by stereotypes instead of the broad diversity that exists within people of every race and gender.
posted by serazin at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2007


Interesting take, there. I will concede the older man--with his hands posed and his stoic, skeptical expression--conveys an attitude of elegance, power, wealth, and confidence as he sits in his "throne". The younger woman's pose suggests she is less experienced but is both his lieutenant and his possession--she's standing behind him since he's in charge, but she's also at his side, sharing and contributing to the benefits of their partnership.

Each is the yin to the other's yang--the man's age is offset by his experience, while the woman compensates for her lack of experience by using her feminine allure to disarm, fool, and usurp the power from those who underestimate her abilities. Perhaps each is schooling the other as they form a symbiotic relationship, gleaning for each other the wealth, wisdom, and power that allows them to gaze at us from behind the polished surface of their table.

In their gaze we see the duality of ourselves and the figures we want to be--confident, powerful, dominant, and wise, yet also sexual, soft, young, and submissive. Their gaze is one of knowing, of wisdom, of confidence, as though only they know the secret to their success, a success only they can achieve, a success to which we can only strive and admire.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


Well sure. That's a slightly different take, but doesn't it still present a one-demensional stereotype (that is unmasked by learning the model's real life stories)?
posted by serazin at 7:57 PM on October 25, 2007


Not really. Ultimately it's just a photograph and the occupations of the models were and are irrelevant to the statement the photograph makes. My radar isn't picking up racism or sexism other than the inherent stuff you find in any given picture of two people--that is, whenever you have two of something, we inevitably make a comparison or attempt to create a link between them. In this case, we're simply supposed to feel like the man and woman have a partnership borne out of logic and critical thinking, a partnership that leads to the confidence, wealth and success they exude. As marketing for the game, the photograph succeeds brilliantly.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:10 PM on October 25, 2007


I think the woman looks kinda bored, actually. "Sigh, just another night in Master Mind Mansion. I wonder what Jeeves is cooking for dinner tonight?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:30 PM on October 25, 2007


Nice link. That brought back memories of wanting to berate my brother about the earhole with a rolling pin for making me play this awful, awful game.


I always meant to read Herman Hesse's THE GLASS BEAD GAME simply to extract the game's rules from the novel

Not to worry - they aren't actually in there. It's more an idea of a game than a ruleset. There's various attempts at concretising it on the tubes, though.
posted by Sparx at 3:29 AM on October 26, 2007


Awesome.
posted by Anything at 6:01 AM on October 26, 2007


I came here to write a long post about my father remarrying when I was 11, and my older step-brother's "game closet," full of all the games my bus driver father had never been to buy for my sister and me, and how the Mastermind cover had such a huge influence on my adolescent sense of who I wanted to be once I outgrew my baby fat and second-hand clothes, and left West Virginia.

But: too bloggy; didn't write.

However, without getting into the impressionable psyche of the Bobby Hill-like pre-teen that was MeFi's own Ian AT, suffice to say that the box had almost a profound effect on my 13-year-old self as Steven Tyler the end of the Rag Doll video. (Don't ask.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2007


Though I see that the box also had just as profound--though decidedly different--an effect on the musician Momus, as well:

http://imomus.livejournal.com/2007/09/26/
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:00 PM on October 27, 2007


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