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Inventions that would make gaming better

1.Time machine.
2.Star Trek-style transporter.
3.Cigarettes that won't make us dead.

Yeah, it's pretty unimaginative, but anyone that doesn't have a time machine and Star Trek-style transporters on their list is just trying to be a smart ass. Anyway, being big fans of inventions, we thought we'd brainstorm some ideas for gadgets and gizmos that would - in some way - make gaming better.

Illustrations by Mark Mitchell

One of the big turn-offs about playing online is that it can be a pretty hostile environment full of hateful knob-ends mouthing off caustic, ear-offending verbal nasty. Skills are viciously derided. Sexual orientation is questioned. Mothers and/or sisters slandered. We don't want to hear it.

And we wouldn't have to with the offensive to non-offensive headset translator. Simply fix it to a headset and the translator would intercept any incoming foulness and instead fire sweet words of happy joy into the wearer's auditory canal. Kind of like a catalytic converter to reduce toxic mouth emissions.

So instead of your ears being unpleasantly polluted like this:

You'd get an altogether greener cleaner ear hole experience:

This seems like such an obvious idea we had to make sure that someone hadn't invented it already. No one has. Yet. But energy harvesting is an area of ongoing research and development, so it's only going to be a matter of time before we're playing with wireless controllers that can function without the need for batteries. Batteries cost money. Hand heat is free.

And check out this biomechanical energy harvester - surely something that could be used for keeping Wii-motes nicely juiced up. They just need to make it a bit smaller. And sexier.

Gamers exhaust a lot of air and words bitching about reviews and how rubbish reviewers are and how they're wrong and bent and biased and wrong. So we thought it would be a step towards World peace if all the flesh and blood reviewers with all their stupid souls and feelings and personalities were retired from service and replaced by an omniscient artificial intelligence. We came up with this:

Feed it a disc and the guaranteed 100% infallible robot head would algorithmically calculate review scores with zero possibility of error. Objective. Unequivocal. Definitive. It would be the end of all debate. No more need for Metacritic. Infallible robot head would be the single source for incontrovertible review scores. And if anyone disputed a score? They'd be vaporised with laser eyes.

Online gaming is great and everything, but we really miss the thrill of split-screen multiplayer sessions. Four gamers in close proximity. The jostling. The banter. It's a beautiful thing. But how rare a treat it is nowadays - dividing your picture into quadrants just seems a bit cramped and not cool.

So a way to enjoy split-screen multiplayer without having to play in a down-sized portion of screen would be the best thing ever. Right? The TV screen would still be divided into four, but each player would wear a pair of special glasses. Special glasses, as we all know, are cool.

The special glasses would identify the picture specific to the wearer and separate it from the other images, giving the impression that it was the only picture on the screen. So, via the unspecified magic of the glasses, to the wearer the TV screen would look like this:

Presto. Four gamers in close proximity. Same screen multiplayer with no annoying play area shrinkage. Jostling. Banter. Special glasses. Good times.

We'd rather not think about the number of times we've been made sad by playing a game that we loved from our childhood only to be crushed by the reality that it is - and probably always was - a lot of bum dump. It happens a lot.

But it wouldn't with the rather awesome nostalgia helmet. By converting negative thought pulses into positive ones or something, the misplaced, rose-tinted memories for shitty old games would remain safely intact. Players would experience that same special essence of excitement as if they were back in the 80s playing the game for the very first time. Literally awesome.

March 05, 2009

Good for more than just swinging

Major build-ups and let-downs