With the continual release of new models of mobile telephones and the subsequent drop in value of any model more than two months old, young people have found a new use for an otherwise useless chunk of circuitry. The old Hacky Sack footbag game, they find, is perfectly suited to more interesting objects, and the cellular phone provides some unusual variations for beginners and advanced players alike.
Besides being slightly more challenging (depending on whether you use the iPhone 6, second generation Moto X, or Samsung Galaxy S6), these phones offer a wide variety of moves which were never possible with traditional footbags, such as the Behind-the-Head Flapjack, the Waffling Snowman, the Black-Eyed Swordfish, and the Underwater Pork Chop, to name a few. Also, the hardness of the phones allows a more offensive strategy, which can include sharply striking an opponent’s face with the edge (the Black-Eyed Swordfish), or giving him a good chop on the knee reminiscent of martial arts and Olympic figure skating (the Underwater Pork Chop).
Johnny Brigston, a skinny secondary school lad from Suffolk, says he likes Moby Hacky Sack because, “basically, all my friends do.”
A friend of his, Jeremy Borden, who notably shares the same initials (except for the middle), adds, “It’s gobs cheaper than buying a real Hacky Sack. I mean, we just pick these things out of the rubbish and start a game.”
While some see this behaviour as punkish, environmentalists and mobile phone manufacturers hail it as an excellent way to reuse and recycle electronics. “The youth are good at finding new ways to do things, which is just what we need,” says Timothy Whelon, a self-proclaimed environmentalist and manager of marketing at a mobile phone retailer. “Also, this way we don’t need to find and destroy all the old models ourselves,” he adds.
Whether this is just a passing fad, or Moby Hacky Sack will grow to encompass tablets and desktop computers, only time will tell. Certainly, the extreme sports crowd will want to try the latter, if they haven’t already.