The Blood Sport gaming device uses the rumble feature in a console's controller to activate a player-draining blood bank machine.
One of the biggest challenges that video game makers frequently face is finding new ways to up the ante when it comes to immersion. For some, the most recently promising solution to this issue are virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift. Others, however, are thinking less about gamers' eyes and more about their veins. After all, what could possibly be more visceral and immersive than a game that sucks out your blood when you get hurt?
That, at least, is the driving concept behind the recently launched Kickstarter for Blood Sport. Created by the Toronto-based duo of Taran Chadha and Jamie Umpherson, the device is designed to take "the consequences of the gaming world and [have] them affect you in real life." It works by plugging wires into the rumble function of a console's controller. When something in a game, getting shot for instance, triggers a rumble, Blood Sport sends a signal to a modified blood bank machine which then sucks a bit of blood from the person it's hooked up to."All we're doing is re-routing the same electrical signal and using it to turn on the blood collection system," said the team's Kickstarter page.
To keep Blood Sport from draining dangerous amounts of blood, users must input data about their height, weight and age to make sure "Blood Sport powers down before you do." The device will also be monitored by "a certified professional" during use and has apparently been tested by "medical professionals" to insure that it's safe. If Blood Sport reaches its $250,000 goal, Chadha and Umpherson intend to produce "a proper two-player unit" that they can use to launch a "nationwide Blood Sport tour." The goal of the tour would be to help raise awareness among gamers about the importance of blood donation. They aim to start the tour on March 17th in Toronto but have affirmed that delays might be necessary.
Now, obviously, blood donation is important and efforts to spread awareness about it are to be applauded. That said, I'm going to go ahead and say that you couldn't pay me enough to try out a Blood Sport machine. Blood, essential as it is to life, grosses me out like nothing else and while that might make me something a coward, I'm confident that I'm not the only one who feels that way. What do you think? Is Blood Sport a good idea and something you'd like to try, or does the mere thought of blood draining gameplay turn your stomach?