Forget Oculus Rift. Of course, it took Canadians to develop a true break-through in video gaming immersion technology: Blood Sport hardware. From Justin Bieber to Rob Ford, the world has recently started learning about the dark side of our seemingly gentle northern neighbor. Now comes gaming hardware that reroutes the electrical signal meant to trigger the rumbling sensation in the game controllers… instead, turning on blood collection system that is actually hooked into player’s veins.
In many shoot’em up gamess, the rumble system is used to signal tothat a player has been shot. With Blood Sport hardware, the result of carelessness or bad tactics is actual physical blood loss. The device apparently isn’t quite as sinister as it seems, or so its designers would have us believe. The ostensible goal of the Kickstarter project supporting Blood Sport is to create a cool way to connect gamers to blood collection drives that support blood banks.
Thoughtfully, the Kickstarter page for Blood Sport incorporates the following warning: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY BODILY HARM INCURRED AS A RESULT OF ATTEMPTING TO REPLICATE BLOOD SPORT’S FUNCTION.
The idea of the project is cool precisely because it seems creepy. Blood banks around the world are struggling with the public’s apathy that has resulted in persistently low blood donation levels in North America and Europe. The concept of “gamification” has been buzzed about for years, particularly in wellness, activity measurement and weight loss application industries.
No mainstream health/wellness product has been gamified successfully thus far. It would be invigorating to see the boring but important blood donation sector shaken up with gory horror game bloodletting.