The World’s Biggest Jenga Game, Featuring Caterpillars and 600-Pound Blocks 

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 16 2014 3:17 PM

The World’s Biggest Jenga Game, Featuring Caterpillars and 600-Pound Blocks 

Jenga has always made me uneasy, so dramatic are the results of a failed move. I prefer to lose discreetly. For some reason, I feel much differently about this video stunt by Caterpillar, in which giant 600-pound Jenga blocks are carefully plucked by various models of the company’s Cat line. The video, which features the best use of Grieg since The Social Network, delightfully shows the familiar yellow machines grabbing the blocks and lopping them on the top of the stack, blowing out tense little clouds of dust with each fateful drop. Since the set features just 27 blocks, half the game’s regulation 54, nature quickly takes its course.

The video’s presumptive point is to show the durability of Caterpillar’s machines as part of its "Built For It" campaign. But the inadvertent result may be to make us much more demanding of our high-concept publicity stunts. Next I would like to request the Boston Dynamics robots play an oversized game of Connect Four. What do you think, Google?

Advertisement

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate Video assistant editor. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.