I have a fondness for tricks, be they of the mind or slight of hand. The things people can pull off amazes me. Sure there is science behind every one, there is no magic in these at all. That was a bummer to learn as I reached my teenage years. Still it doesn't take away from how amazing some of the individuals who practice this can be. Take for instance Derren Brown, he's been around for a bit now and the man can trick you into thinking the zombie apocalypse has started.
Well let me take that back, he could fool a small percentage of us. Not everyone can fall into a hypnosis deep enough to pull this off and that's one of science parts to most of the tricks we see. It's up to the performer to single out people in the audience to help him work his magic. These people are easily led by suggestion, that's part of the smoke and mirrors. A true master has to understand psychology, they need to be able to read body language, and they need to have a commanding presence when necessary. There is an entire formula to work out when performing these feats. So even when the curtain is pulled back it's still pretty fantastic what they can pull off.
For example I've seen Derren Brown pull of convincing someone to be an assassin and shoot Stephen Fry. He's convinced a man the world was infected with zombies and it lasted over 24 hours, in that he took a man with no goals and turned him into a hero. Another experiment he had a man convinced he had killed another person at a convention. He does stage shows as well but it's these experiments that really suck me in. It's also these tactics that great game developers use to suck us into their games. It's all about pulling the right emotional strings or evoking base reactions. Keep that in mind next time you cringe, jump, or even cry when playing a game. But for now watch Derren perform a simple trick below.