There’s no denying that games are bloody. As players, we paint scenarios red quite often. And we are equally stricken, bleeding to death. And the name that many put on the bars that symbolize the life points of the characters in the games? “Blood”, yeah, we’ve been losing blood in the games for some time now. Can you imagine if all that blood we lost in the virtual world were brought to the real world? The Canadians of “Brand & Grotesque” imagined and took this idea very seriously in the project “Blood Sport: The Ultimate In Immersive Gaming“. Despite having everything to be a satire, the thing seems pretty serious.
As the project’s developers themselves admit on their Kickstarter page, it’s a stupidly simple scheme and involves a modern blood-drawing machine, a video game controller, an Arduino board, and some wires. As practically all video game controllers currently have some vibration system, and most games make the controller vibrate when you are hit, they redirect the signal passed through the vibration system to an Arduino board that has two functions: 1. relay this signal to the blood collection machine and 2. control how much blood is being withdrawn so that the system is deactivated before withdrawing an amount that makes the player pass out.
How much is needed to do all this? 250 thousand dollars. A value that seems absurdly expensive for something so seemingly simple. The project page has an attempt to justify this; First of all, thanks to the gods of common sense, no matter the amount, by contributing to the project you will not receive a Blood Sport in your house. The idea is to tour Canada promoting competitive events with Blood Sport across several states, in partnership with the necessary organizations from the gaming community and the medical community. The page even encourages contributors to tweet some youtubers and celebrities encouraging them to participate in matches on Blood Sport.
Also according to the project’s Kickstarter page, the developers state: “We are not a charity and we are not a gaming company either. We are simply creating hardware that allows gamers to think about more important issues while doing what they love.” The money would therefore go to buy the necessary material and cover the transport costs of this tour. All blood drawn at these events will be donated, and the only benefit for those who help the most will be to be able to test the machine before the tour start date (March 17, in Toronto, taking advantage of the launch of Battlefield Hardline). And if you donate more than $1,000 the guys will buy you dinner (but without the travel costs).
It’s not the first and probably won’t be the last time something weird like this appears on Kickstarter, nor is it the first time the duo from “Brand & Grotesque” does something like that. In 2010, they ran a bizarre online reality show called “Prank House” in which viewers could control ways to “torture” participants with things like electric shocks and paintball shots, in an obvious critique of shows in this genre,
Blood Sport seems like a really strange but well-intentioned idea. If you don’t have problems with needles, check out the video below that shows a little of the prototype working.
Source: Polygon, Kickstarter.