Bloody hell! Gaming controller to harvest player’s blood when shot in-game (updated)

24 Nov 2014

Image via Blood Sport/Kickstarter

A Kickstarter project called Blood Sport is attempting to remove the barrier between gaming and real life with a gaming controller that will take some of the player’s actual blood when they are injured in-game.

While sounding like something from a dystopian fiction, players could soon be shedding blood as they play some of their favourite video games online, but the system’s creators have stated they intend for it to be used as a marketing tool to raise awareness for blood drives.

The system that operates the blood extraction is rather simple. The rumble pack installed in gaming controllers, that creates the rumbling effect when the player’s character is shot, is instead fed into an Arduino board that translates a rumble into an indication to extract blood.

With a needle inserted into the arm of the player, the blood then flows into a standard blood-extraction kit used by blood banks.

According to the Kickstarter page, which is asking for US$250,000 in funding, the aim is to offer its kit to gaming tournaments with the help of blood donation organisations to set up events whereby they could host blood-donation competitions.

The pair of advertising executives-turned-developers, Taran Chadha and Jamie Umpherson, aim to have the Blood Sport available by 17 March 2015 to coincide with the launch of one of next year’s biggest shoot ‘em ups, Battlefield: Hardline.

Speaking of their rather high target, the pair said, “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.”

Update 28/11/2014: Not long after Blood Sport had been placed on the Kickstarter site, the campaign was suspended by the crowdfunding site who have declined to offer a reason for its actions. However, in a subsequent interview, the campaign’s co-founder Taran Chadha has said they have ideas as to why it was taken on, “Our guesses are that perhaps it has to do with our tie-in to medical equipment or charity, or safety concerns since we’re not officially partnered with a blood clinic yet (but we’re working on that).” They have also vowed to continue to get their Kickstarter re-instated.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic