Kickstarter project encourages gamers to give blood while they play

At first glance, this recently-launched Kickstarter project seems a little, well, creepy: some crazy Canadians are asking for $250 000 (that’s around R2.5 million) to create a gaming controller peripheral that will extract blood from you while you play games like Call of Duty. The idea is when it rumbles, indicating events like getting shot in games, the peripheral sucks a little bit of blood from your body to indicate the blood loss. Not so lekker, right?

Polygon writes that the project is called “Blood Sport: The Ultimate in Immersive Gaming” by Brand & Grotesque, a Toronto-based marketing company behind other rather bizarre stunts that include 2009’s “Shoot the banker“, which Polygon said involved “a paintball gun, controlled by Internet users, fired on someone dressed as a banker, assumed to be responsible for the economic collapse.” These people are clearly no strangers to weirdness.

Fortunately, there’s more to the “Blood Sport” peripheral than just this – admittedly-odd – concept. The idea is to use the money to create the Arduino-controlled peripheral, and then use it in a blood drive around Canada to encourage gamers to give blood. Basically, instead of lying on a stretcher with their blood pouring into a bag, participants get to play games while they donate, with the contraption sucking a bit of blood from them every time they get shot which will theoretically make the donation process more fun.

To be clear, this isn’t a Kickstarter that aims to ship these things off to gamers to hook themselves up to. “We’re not reinventing the wheel,” the creators say. “All we’re doing is hacking a pre-existing blood collection machine to take your gaming experience to the next level,” the creators say on their Kickstarter page.

The Kickstarter makes mention of the target amount, which on the surface looks like a huge whack of cash for such a strange idea, but which the creators say “…was the best we could do with a tour around Canada. Buying all the latest gaming equipment plus all new medical gear gets expensive fast, and then transporting all that stuff around the country with the help of professional staff isn’t cheap. But we think there’s enough hardcore gamers out there, that if we all pitch in a little, we can make this happen.”

I’m not so sure that’s true. The campaign has raised under just $3 400 at the time of writing, and even though there are still 39 days to go, that figure seems to say people aren’t in a hurry to back the project. The donation tiers promise early access to Blood Sport in a city of your choosing (as long as it’s on the tour circuit, that is), and should you donate $1 000 to the cause the creators will even treat you to dinner when they get to you.

Personally, I think I’ll stick to regular blood-donation procedures, thanks.

[Source – Polygon, Image – Kickstarter]


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