The team at Brand & Grotesque have previously showcased their appetite for bringing real-world scenarios in digital applications. But this time around, the quirky designers have really taken things to the ‘bloodthirsty’ level with their aptly christened Blood Sport contrivance. How so? Well, the contraption in question here wants the gamer to feel the consequences of his virtual environment, by drawing real blood from his hand every time his character gets shot in the game.
The working scope of this Blood Sport is pretty straightforward – it utilizes the existing rumble mechanism of console controllers. In a conventional scope, the controller rumbles when those virtual chunks of bullets hit your character’s body; and the nifty rumbling feature is achieved via an electric signal sent to the joystick. The designers/hackers have been able to re-route this same electric signal so that it can be used for activating a blood collection machine.
This ever-important connection between the controller and the blood collector is done through an Arduino board – which not only maintains the signal, but also keeps track of how much blood the machine is receiving from your body. This latter attribute is obviously a safety trigger, and as such the machine automatically shuts off before the user encounters potentially risky levels of blood loss. This automated side of affairs depends on the input that the machine receives before commencing with the ‘blood sport’ – and this info contains crucial data about your age, weight and existing medical conditions.
Now, the question remains – why go to ‘grim’ levels for your innocuous actions in the virtual realms? According to the designers, the Blood Sport can become a handy equipment to have during blood donation events. As their Kickstarter page proclaimed –
We are not a charity and we are not a game manufacturer. We are simply creating the gaming hardware that will allow us to get gamers thinking about more important issues while still doing what they love.
Wait, did we say Kickstarter? Well, Blood Sport was all up in the crowd funded platform. But unfortunately (or may be fortunately), you wouldn’t have been able to purchase an entire blood suckling video game peripheral; rather the user was to be given an opportunity to try out the gory contraption under supervision from the creators. And in case you have noticed our usage of past tenses, quite unsurprisingly, given such sanguine credentials, the project is currently on the suspended list in Kickstarter (since 11 hours – as of writing this post).