So my son turned one year old yesterday! We got him a videogame console for babies.
Now I dare you to look at that thing and not immediately think "Baby Pop'n Music." It is obvious that the giggly Baby Einstein "smartridges" (Seriously! That's what they call them!) are only of limited interest. I'd originally thought that it might be interesting to write software directly for the unit, but it soon became clear that I would have to do a LOT of reverse engineering work -- something I don't have the time or experience to do properly before my son grows out of the thing.
Then I realized that the interesting thing is not the system itself, but the controller. The controller is a very simple IR transmitter, like a remote control. And you can pick up IR receivers for PCs for under $10 on eBay.
So if I pick one of these things up, and write a simple program to convert these IR signals to keystrokes, I could very well make videogames for my 1-year-old son in Klik & Play. For that matter, so could all of you! Kirk just DID!
You guys, you have no idea how exciting it is to think that you could make toys for your child that aren't obnoxious. Every toy on the market has a sound chip in it that talks to my son in a sing-song voice about how fun counting is, and about how fun the alphabet is, and about how fun opposites are, and about how fun manners are. They repeat themselves endlessly. They stunt the imagination. Some of them even tell my son they love him. I have inanimate objects in my house that tell my son they love him!
I can do better. This is my next project.