Gaming hardware creators have to stop playing it safe. So many of the common, mainstream videogame controllers released over the years are just watered-down, vanilla versions of the supreme greatness they really could be. They don’t inflict pain, get you high, cause intense public shame, stimulate your erogenous zones, or let you get your freak on in other ways. Fortunately, we found some that do. Welcome to the seedy underbelly of videogame controllers. Check your inhibitions at the door and brace yourself for some of the weirdest, most extreme and craziest gaming controllers and accessories around.
Boot Fetish Pong controllers
Have you been a bit naughty? Yes, we thought so. This kinky boot-fetish Pong controller will smack some sense into you. Devised by a British inventor with a taste for the bizarre, this masochistic two-player device lets you and a pal engage in a standard game of pong – by groping a stiletto-heeled black leather boot. Miss the ball, and you’ll have to taste the whip. Each point scored causes an electrical impulse to trigger a hearty whack to your opponent, delivered by a motorized riding crop. Nice.
Above: Photos from BBC News
Oddly enough, this is quite possibly the least dangerous or potentially fatal of James Larsson’s peculiar DIY gaming inventions, which seem to frequently involve high voltages and other life-threatening hazards. However, if a moderate whack isn’t enough to deliver the punishment you so desperately desire, a “severity of whip” dial lets you up the dosage of physical discipline. Somehow, we think this one’s not likely destined for the mass gaming market any time soon.
Emotiv’s Epoc Mind Control Headset
These are not the droids you’re looking for. Well, not quite. Gaming’s future may very well become less of a hands-on experience and more of a minds-on activity, if the Emotiv corporation’s cool hardware venture is a success. The company’s freakishly cutting-edge, über-chic Epoc headset lets you control videogames with your thoughts and expressions. As weird as it sounds, it actually works. The headset device measures the electrical impulses from your brain as well as facial movements and translates that into control input that ties directly into games and computer applications. You may look a little funny wearing it, but who doesn’t want to be a virtual Jedi?
Imagine furrowing your brow and clenching your hand into a clawed fist to make your onscreen character leap forward and shred a foe to bits. Intense thought and minor physical movements, like pointing your hand to direct a rock to float off the ground and mentally willing it to do so, actually work in true Force-like fashion with the unit. It’s very cool, and has our minds racing with the limitless possibilities.
Hey kids, feel like getting loopy? Distraction, comfort, and sedation: we dig the motto. This unwieldy-looking plastic medical tool could very well make playing the old-school Game Boy actually fun again.
Essentially a strange cross between a pair of headphones and an underwater breathing snorkel, the PediSedate connects to any old Game Boy and delivers a steady stream of nitrous oxide to the patient/player while also monitoring respiratory functions. It was, and possibly still is, only really used in the pediatric offices of doctors and dentists to help kids stop from freaking out about getting poked and prodded, but imagine the potential recreational applications. Good luck getting your hands on one of these babies and a tank of nitrous to go with it, though.
The Paradox Mouse
What can you make out of old 9mm bullet shells, scraps of wood, various metal doodads, a few rusted gears, some electrical wiring, and the bones of one very dead rodent? The most badass steampunk PC mouse ever built, that’s what. This actual, working PC mouse was custom made by a highly talented steampunk hobbyist to match an equally insane computer monitor and keyboard he cooked up.
The grisly design incorporates the actual dried-out shoulder blades, tail bone, spinal column, and hollowed-out skull from a once-living mouse. For that extra-creepy vibe, the skull lights up in a demonic red hue from embedded LED lights. Now that’s our kind of PC mouse. Pro-tip: to make your own, you apparently have to soak the animal bone in warm water for a short time to soften the tendons and bend it into place. If medieval necromancers played videogames, this is how they’d pimp out their rig.
Rez Trance Vibrator
Ah, what an infamous little device. A special Japan-only version of Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s super psychedelic musical PS2 shooter Rez came packaged with a conspicuous, mouse-like USB peripheral that responds to the game’s heavy, pumping techno rhythms by vibrating copiously.
Delving deeper into the game, the music becomes more intense and dynamic; the Trance Vibrator’s throbbing power follows suit. Though its creator has gone on record stating the device was not necessarily intended for use in an adult manner, and that “you could put it anywhere - your foot, your back, your waist. It’s up to our customers’ imaginations,” the thing comes with a washable slipcover. C’mon now. We know why it wasn’t officially released by Sega in North America. Use your imagination.
Above: Or you can just try it for yourself with extra controllers on the Xbox 360 version