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Coming soon: A machine that swaps your bad memories for good

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coming soon: A machine that swaps your bad memories for good

Everyone has a memory they’d rather forget. The kind of memory that makes you sit bolt upright at 2.57am and think ‘Oh no! Why did I do that?’. The kind of memory that makes you break out in a cold sweat as you remember an experience you would rather not have had, or that thing you did or said.

Imagine if there was a machine, so magnificent that it could delete your most embarrassing or horrid memories and replace them with exciting, fun ones. In only a couple of weeks, there will be.

On July 18 CanTeen, New Zealand’s charity that supports young people living with cancer, will be unveiling its Magnificent Memory Machine. It’s a machine so magnificent that for a measly $3 text donation it will expunge the worst memories of New Zealanders and exchange them with enjoyable new ones.

The machine, which looks like a collaboration between Dr Who and Dr Seuss, will be touring the country destroying all bad memories, starting at Sylvia Park from July 18 to 23. Then the magnificent machine will travel down to Wellington and take up residence at the Railway Station from July 26 to August 2, before moving on to Dunedin where it will be located at Meridian Mall from August 8 to 13.

A $3 text donation will make the machine ‘come alive’. The participant can then input their bad memory into the machine, which will exchange it for a brand new ethereal memory printed on a ticket. New memories – such as hugging a stranger, giving someone the thumbs up or doing something a bit wacky are expected to go a long way to put a smile on someone’s face.

The machine will also live online at www.memorymachine.co.nz as well as on Facebook, and will operate in the same way as the actual machine. This way, those living outside of Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin will also have the opportunity to replace their bad memories with great new ones.

CanTeen’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Kimberley Waters, is sure the machine will be a big hit with New Zealanders.
“Everyone has at least one memory they wish they could erase. The Magnificent Memory Machine lets them do that in a fun way while also giving them the chance to donate $3 to CanTeen.”

“Creating great new memories is, in essence, what CanTeen strives to do every day for our members. Unfortunately we don’t have a machine that can take away the memories cancer generates, but we do like to have fun and create special experiences and opportunities for our members that help them better deal with cancer and thrive beyond it. When young people living with cancer get together and share their experiences, it creates an environment where better memories really can outshine the bad ones.”

Guy Alexander, CanTeen’s Vice President and a patient member, definitely has a few bad memories he would like to swap for good ones.

“The moment I diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in my leg is a memory I wouldn’t mind trading in. I wouldn’t want to trade in having cancer though, as it has made me the person I am today. One of the big things I learnt is that the small things in life are what really matter. It’s all about taking the time to appreciate those things when you’ve got a lot on your mind.”

Many people have enjoyed their own new memories as a result of helping to create the Magnificent Memory Machine for free, such as creators M&C Saatchi, the machine’s builders Three Sixty Design Ltd, and photographer Stephen Langdon.


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