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Quake First Person Shooters (Games)

Shocking Force Feedback Ideas 88

Erston writes "It seems as if this could really make it to market. Mad Catz is working on a game controller that will zap you with electrodes when you are on the receiving end of your enemies' weapon. The story is here. I hope the zapper will work without the controller- I'm a keyboard/mouse fragger myself. But the more senses that I can get involved in Quake, the better-- There is also an interesting trivia piece on the bottom of the page that talks about electroshock/bio(force)feedback and how it relates to a chimpanzee in the pre-manned spaceflight era of NASA. . . " I've been using similiar technology to train CowboyNeal to get me coffee/cookies/girls and so far it hasn't been successful, but this appears to be much more practical.
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Shocking Force Feedback Ideas

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  • If it's a silenced colt, you're already dead :)

  • Back in 1995 a friend of mine wrote a low grade FPS for the TI-85. For feedback when shot he'd send data down the calculator's TI-Link cable, the other end of which was placed in the player's mouth. It wasn't painful, but you definately felt it.
  • I mean, really, if you're going for as real an experience as possible, why not just skip the freaking games and go out in the back with a couple glocks and have at it. This is just silly.

    Two words: replay value.
  • This is just great until somebody decides to play a trick and modify the controller with a very large capacitor, just like those great friend I had as a child that would take a camera flash and hand it to me the evil-contacts-towards-me way, so that I suddenly became a happy GND for the capacitor in it.

    Ahh, the joy of childhood practical jokes.

  • That's okay. I got nausea after playing the original Doom, so it's not like there isn't prior art.

  • Yes, this device -- or something like it -- is a good candidate for use as a sex toy. However, the mild electric current used hardly puts such activity in the S&M category. I know, I have a TENS [] unit, and yes, I have put it on my private parts. You can turn it up to the point that it's painful. However, there's lots of interesting settings prior to crossing the pain threshold.

    A better comparison would be to a vibrator. I'm sure the range of intensity on this controller is far less than a TENS unit. In reality, the results would probably bore someone in S&M scene.

  • Well, actually Bond and Blofeld never met even once in that movie. Blofeld (Max Von Sydow) had about two scenes in the entire show, and then was never seen again. It probably would have been a much better film if he had been the main villain.

    The people developing this system had better be careful, though . . . it might be that Kevin McClory (the fellow with the Thunderball remake rights) could sue them for patent infringement. ;)

  • Remember that James Bond movie? Bond and some bad guy (Klaus Maria Bandauer?) were playing this nuke the planet video game on this big display that floated in space between the two players, and each time you got hit, you got zapped by the two joysticks you held. That was cool.
  • ...the laser tag-like game from the early 90's with the feedback helmet. When you got shot, it would shock your dome!
  • by austad ( 22163 ) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @11:45AM (#180131) Homepage
    Actually, using this will most likely improve your Quake, and other FPS game. Now you have an actual reason to avoid being shot, it hurts.

    When I used to play Laser Tag as a kid, I didn't care if I got shot. But when I switched to playing paintball, I became a much better player because it hurts like hell to get shot with a paintball (big red welts).
  • I do tech support for a major OEM computer company, and my buddies and I have often speculated that we need a way to send a shock through the phone line.

    I don't know if it would train our customers to be better at following directions, or help them right-click any better, but I do know that it should hurt to be that stupid.

    Technology: The cause of, and solution to, type L users.


  • First, people need to stop comparing this stuff to electroconvulsive shock therapy, in which a current is applied across one or both lobes of the brain as a treatment for severe depression and other problems, and which can produce confusion, nausea, and memory loss.

    ECT uses 1 amp at 160-500 volts, whereas this controller uses 0.016 amp at 1.5-4.5 volts (depending on how it's wired, I dunno.) So even if you connected the electrodes to the right spots on your head, you would still not be in the neighborhood of ECT treatment.

    Second, and this is more important:

    Good god! Has anybody thought of the psychological implications of this? Anyone who's played enough FPS's and other frenetic action games knows that it's not uncommon to have these games infect one's dreams -- you go to bed at 4am after several hours of Q3 deathmatches, and sleep to the din of rockets and shotgun blasts running through your head.

    Reinforcing every wrong move with an unpleasant electric shock cannot make this any better. This controller may make for better CS players, but it's inevitably going to produce a few hundred 'twitch' cases as well. Can't be good.
  • ...getting hit by 5 rockets at close range with the ultra damage rune in UT, as opposed to getting hit with a Single Enforcer. Or maybe the Railgun with quad as opposed to the machine gun in Q3A. Ouch.

    Personally, I'd not use this technology. I mean, really, even if it's not 'painful' it would fatigue bodily functions. Personally, I like being able to last as long as I can while fragging with my friends.

    I mean, really, if you're going for as real an experience as possible, why not just skip the freaking games and go out in the back with a couple glocks and have at it. This is just silly.


  • I suppose the electrodes could be on your chair, instead of taped toyour arms.. Four of them allow for flexibility.
  • This makes a lot of sense - an entertainment product that purposely delivers an unpleasant physical sensation to it's user without any supervision. No lawsuit bait there, naw...

    I can't find anything on the Mad Catz site about this. I think we should replenish our salt grain inventory.
  • by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @02:20PM (#180137) Homepage Journal
    My friend already did this...

    He made some simple source changes to quake and some electrodes that sit on the mouse. There are several ports for arm straps, nipple clips and whatnot.

    When you take damage, you take some electricity, it is quite painful. You eventually learn to not fight, but run instead. It really harms your game ;)

    This was/is his senior project in college.

    So, if they apply for a patent, we might have some prior art already.

  • "Oh my god, you've got NAS!"
  • Accck! Just when I ran out of my own points.<BR><BR>
    But on a related note... I just thaught of a good use for computer electroshock equipment: bad karma = *pain*
  • Also, it seems like the new method of cheating in those fully immersive massively-multiplayer environments will be simple -- don't put the electrodes on.

    There's definately a group neurosis when it come to on-line gaming and cheating. I can't see how using this controller would make sense outside of a console. "Yeah dude, the controlled dropped out of my hands" can be just as verifiable as "Yeah I'm 18, hot, and ready for you stud!" Not all things are meant for the on-line experience.
  • Ok, I agree that the more "into" a game you get the better, but can electroshock be considered a GOOD IDEA?

    What's going to happen to the first person with health issues that uses this joystick? Can you imagine the legal problems this company is going to have if it enduces cardiac failure in someone? I know that low levels of voltage shouldn't be a big deal, but this CAN'T be healthy, can it?

    This is all I need... some other electronic device I own that is slowly killing me.
  • Try using this controller with a pacemaker. I am sure with the electricity the fragged experience would be realistic enough. :-)
  • Next thing we know this is hooked up to some game with sophisticated AI which then tries to control you:

    CPU:"Alright, listen up human! You do as I say or I'll push the button! Go fetch me some more ram"
    CPU:"And a new cpu, and an orange juice now that you're at it. And don't even think about shutting off the power silly human"
    PLAYER:"This is an outrage, I wo" BZZZ! "AARGH!"
  • This idea, together with its realisation, is much older than actual force-feedback joysticks because the implementation is so easy. IIRC, with a small and simple extra device, the line printer port can be abused to deliver electric shocks to computer users, and quite a few people used that to implement their perverted ideas.

    (We probably won't see such a commercial product in Germany anyway because of strict consumer protection laws. ;-)
  • Does anyone else see a potential pr0n application of this? Depending on where you place the electrodes, you could get some twitches in some interesting places. Add some streaming media to this, and look out! Where do I sign up?

    The technology, called Bioforce, zaps players through electrodes on their skin when they've been hit in a combat game. It doesn't hurt, but at the highest setting a user's muscles will start to twitch. The first applications are expected to come through personal combat games.

  • They are mildly sticky, but don't hurt when you take them off. A physical therapist used the same technology on me when I was having wrist trouble. By the way, these things have very intense patterns that can be programmed. Wave, pulse, rythmic... combined with intensity. It would be interesting to see how programmers make use of different patterns of shock to indicate different events in the game.
  • Something like this: Force Feedback []?
  • There's already an iFeel patch for Quake, and one for Half-Life. None for Q3/UT though (yet)
  • The Aura Interactor [] was a previous step in this direction. It's a wearable subwoofer. Really feel that bass.
  • i have something like this already. use a poorly grounded electrical outlet. we were playing Ages of Empires at a lan party and periodically i would throw my mouse into the air because i had just recieved a painful shock to the head courtesy of my headphones.

  • by legLess ( 127550 ) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @12:10PM (#180151) Journal
    I went in for carpal tunnel testing last year, and this is exactly what it was like. They put sensors in various places on my forearm and upper arm, then shot electricity through my finger-tips to measure the nerves' resistance. Fucking hurt, too, and I couldn't pick anything up for the rest of the day.

    Hmmm ... maybe once these things come out, some enterprising /. reader can reverse-engineer it (ala :::Cue:::Cat::: []) to be a carpal tunnel testing device.

    I got my ass kicked at Quake last night, but that damn Mad Catz controller said my nerve conduction was at 87% nominal. I don't understand it, man - I've been ice-packing for days just trying to get it over 85%, but it didn't help my game at all!"

    Then we could create a mod to show nerve conduction next to ping. There'll be a black market in Multiple Schlerosis drugs and horse steroids as kids everywhere strive to get their conduction up 5%. FanBoi magazines will run articles, and for the first time in history vitamins will become popular amongst pasty white teenage game geeks, "This B6 complex increased my conduction, like, 1% last month, d00d! I'm saving up to buy the d-Alpha Tocopherol E next, man, that cut-rate d1-Alpha doesn't help much at all."

    question: is control controlled by its need to control?
    answer: yes
  • Does this mean that we have to play Quake wearing a dinner jacket and saying "Sho, Mishter Blofeld, we meetsh again." ?
    Only at really high class LAN parties.
  • Great. That would make EVERYBODY camp.
    -- Judas96
    "...don't take a nerf bat to a knife fight." - Joe Rogan, said on News Radio
  • maybe they'll build in a cool feature that will make a pair of them act like a defibrillator in case of emergency
  • Ok, someone at Mad Catz has been up too late watching old James Bond movies (can someone tell me which one it is? I've forgotten).

    How many of you thought that two person game with the shock handles looked like *fun*? Not me! Who wants to buy this thing?
  • Never Say Never Again, with Kim Basinger...

  • I've been using similiar technology to train CowboyNeal

    CmdrTaco == Homosexual S&M freak? I mean really, what the hell is with you and Cowboy Neal? His constant listing as a poll option, your electro-shock "training" of him... it really starts to make a person wonder after a while...

    < )
    ( \

  • Until those thrill theatre designs were brought into the general entertainment industry flow again. I mean who's to frown on the poor innovators at Mad Catz for picking up an idea that's over 30 years old. Not to mention marketing it to a peice of hardware that is often used for longer durations than two hours. We really need to give ourselves shock treatment? Sure it feels good but we'd need to mass prodouce diapers just to help out the people with problems controlling their bladders when shocked. Heh.

    Still, the whole shock thing can't be good. How many times could you be shocked if you get fragged, go down, and continue to be shot? This often happens in some FPS and MMORPG with force feedback controllers. Think about it.

  • Also think in a device that deliver small quantities of caffeine to the veins each time you press enter. Ill be great for midnigth coding...
  • As featured on Playboy that is.. not that I watch it. :-)

    You just read(watch) it for the articles(commercials), right? ;-)

  • You just know that some freaky moron is going to put those things on his nutz, sterilize himself, and then sue the pants of the manufacturer... =)

  • Yeah, I'm in class with the guy that did this already. I was one of his guinea pigs. Damn, I'll never "rocket jump" again. And in the first version of the device, he didn't have it checking for the pentagram. so even if you were invulnerable, it hurt like a motherfucker. we're trying to get him to build a cock-ring for the thing, but he's chicken. there's something like 10,000 volts coming out of the mouse casing when you get shot, and 10K volts on the dick would just about kill anybody......
  • A virus that exploits a device like this... Parents are just browsing that 'interweb' thing to see what child molestors were after their kids today when all of a sudden fifty thousand volts get passed through their soccer mom flesh. Har har! Why perhaps some mechanism could be engineered where those using l33t-speak would be fried upon typing the word d00d. =P
  • Come to think of it, it'd be good sniper training... any direct confrontation and you're going to be taking damage and pain. Run, hide, snipe.

  • The experience of friends who have used TENS and chiropractic electromassage equipment is that this kind of current will leave marks on the skin (and might not work at all) unless you use some fairly messy cream to ensure a good electrical connection.

    Any bets on how long it takes before someone decides to fasten the electrodes using rubber cement? ;)

  • by jeffy210 ( 214759 )
    So what would it do if you were telefragged?
    ------------------------------------ ---------------------------
  • We have a kind of this already. P.E.S. Electro []. They sell, uhm, adult playtoys. As featured on Playboy that is.. not that I watch it. :-)
  • >You just read(watch) it for the articles(commercials), right? ;-)
    What articles?

  • ouch - doesn't that stuff burn?
  • 1. Can I hack the power supply?
    2. How long does it take to put those damn electrodes on, and does it hurt like hell when you take them off? I don't want to have to shave my arms...

    On spacegear #3,
    1. couldn't a lot of this cause bacteria, et. al to become immune?
    2. Studies have shown that children who grow up in ultrasterilized environments are much more likely to get asthma and allergies, since they do not have the resistance that kids with normal environments will have. Will this happen with silver ions?


  • I've been using similiar technology to train CowboyNeal to get me coffee/cookies/girls and so far it hasn't been successful, but this appears to be much more practical.

    Yeah, well, maybe not for the coffee and cookies, but it'd sure give you a good comeback for when the girls say to CowboyNeal, "Follow you? I'd rather be electrocuted!"

  • whoops, the bond comment was a little redundant. I need to type faster.
  • I can just see an older brother setting it as high as possible and then setting the little brother/ sister up to get fragged every few minutes.
  • If you can move the electrodes around- the picture shows them on the guy's arms- then You could put one on your left/ right sides, front and back. I'm not a big Quake player, so I don't know if this is true, but for a game like Counter-Strike direction of shots really counts. It's possible to turn around and kill the other guy if they're not using a really powerful gun. However, if you don't have multi-directional sound (or they have a silencer) this shock system would be REALLY helpful. (I know they sort of show you where the shots come from on the screen, but that doesn't help me much).

    Even if they couldn't do this it would still be great. Anyone remember a Bond movie where he plays a game where you get shocked if something happens? Can't remember the details, but the concept is the same.
  • Personally I will not rest until I have perfected my own force feedback devices; mainly the FF Mouse and FF keyboard. When I hit those arrow keys I want to know that I am in the game! I want the mouse clicks to hit me back! and that scrollbutton better have somespunk when it resists my scrolling. future inventions: FF monitors, FF toilets, FF doorbells, and the coup de gras- the FF power supply!!

    ________________________________________________ __
  • Better yet, what if you had "bad drivers?"
  • why not make it truly realistic and have the controller shoot bullets at us...then you have to run around your room, too! so that means you can use Nintendo's powerpad, too! whee!

  • According to the article the controller uses voltages which aren't painful, so it's not like electroshock learning, where the whole point of getting shocked is that you want to avoid it happening again because it hurts.

    The experience of friends who have used TENS and chiropractic electromassage equipment is that this kind of current will leave marks on the skin (and might not work at all) unless you use some fairly messy cream to ensure a good electrical connection.

    Also, it seems like the new method of cheating in those fully immersive massively-multiplayer environments will be simple -- don't put the electrodes on.

  • Where do I sign up?


  • There was an Avengers episode in which whatshisname was strapped in and forced to play an arcade driving game in which he got shocked at increasing voltage whenever he ran off the road. (The game itself was quite farfetched for its day, but hopelessly primitive by today's standards.)
  • by localroger ( 258128 ) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @11:30AM (#180181) Homepage
    The human body has a fairly high electrical resistance. According to the article the current is limited to 16 mA, which is safe. It's at 20mA and above where a badly routed shock starts to seriously scramble your nervous system.

    The voltage it takes to push that 20mA through your skin can vary wildly. Human beings do not conduct electricity very well, and if you play with an ohmmeter you will be able to get skin resistances ranging from a few K-ohms (especially with contacts placed near one another on damp skin) to megohms (with distant contacts on dry skin). It is theoretically possible to electrocute yourself with voltages as low as 40VDC, but it's not easy to do and requires very good electrode placement, skin conductivity, and a weak heart. I am assuming that the game controller uses voltages lower than this so that no matter where you put the electrodes you can't pass enough current through a sensitive enough part of your body to do serious mischief.

    I'm sure they wouldn't dare sell this for such a trivial purpose if it weren't lawyer-proof. They must consider people who will put the electrodes on the wrong part of their body for whatever reason. (I predict this will be a hot seller to the S&M folks.)

  • Finally a masturbation device that I can enjoy while playing games.

    No. Really. I'm not shitting you. It's better then the "vibropack" machine-gun vibrator mode.
  • I REMEMBER there was a game that Bond played with a nemesis that almost electrocuted him in Never Say Never Again. Unfortunately, my boss won't play me in video games.
  • I've been using similiar technology to train CowboyNeal to get me coffee/cookies/girls

    So lemme see .....

    Priority 1: Coffee
    Priority 2: Cookies
    Otherwise: Girls

    Either Taco is doing strange stuff with cookies and coffee (maybe he thought limp bizkit said: I did it all for the cookie! ;)) or he's met some shocking girls in his time.

    And asking CowboyNeal?? He's to girls what Taco is to gay whales.

    CowboyNeal would curdle the coffee, scare the shit out of the cookies and bring back a girl which you need to inflate first!! ;)

  • A Tribes 2 Tker's dream. SHIT
  • This is something that I was thinking about for a SmokeScreen test for software engineers before checking in code, wire electrodes up to the chair. If a test fails... ZAAP.
  • hehe watch out for that ShockLance from the Tkers :D
  • Haven't I heard of this before? More correctly, hasn't my dog heard of this before?

  • Personally, I'd like to see it used on lawyers.

  • Actually there's good evidence to support your statement. Pain stimuli induce endorphines. Endorphines are the bodies natural opiates. Therefore, A) inducing a behavior with multisensory stimuli will reinforce a both a psychometric and physiologic dependency, B) as "tolerance" develops an individual will desire more stimuli to gain the sensation of the initial event - in otherwords they will need more juice to feel the high that they felt when they started. Yes, shock junkies. What a perfect marketing tool! Just hope no one with a pacemaker tries this - player death and lawsuits - the killer app turns into a company killer (and just a plain outright killer). They should run trials with a control group. The control group should be average players. The test group should be all the marketing and advertising execs at the company (or any corporation will do), preferablly those over 45 that lead a sedentary lifestyle.
    Ya, that's the ticket!!!
  • Logitch's iFeel mouse can do some force feedback like stuff I believe. How cool would it be if this technology could be programmed for Quake, UT, Tribes, etc...

    • Remember that James Bond movie?

    Never Say Never Again []? Does this mean that we have to play Quake wearing a dinner jacket and saying "Sho, Mishter Blofeld, we meetsh again." ?

  • This is reminding me of the computer games in the book Virus that kill you in real life when you die in the game. For some reason I kind of like being able to read the "game over" screen, but maybe I'm just a sissy.
  • "is similar to that used by physical therapists to rehabilitate atrophied muscles, explains Sandwisch" So could this be the next evolution of the Nintendo thumb? May we someday recognize seasoned Quake players on the street by the massive size of their forearms? This could save a lot of time in the weight room, just cover my body with electrodes and press "lift".
  • Somebody mod this guy up...
  • by zauber ( 321909 ) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @12:59PM (#180196) Journal
    See Brand's 1972 article on Spacewar! [] in the Rolling Stone:
    Within weeks of its invention Spacewar was spreading across the country to other computer research centers, who began adding their own wrinkles. There was a variation called Minnesota Hyperspace in which you kept your position but became invisible; however if you applied thrust, your rocket flame could be seen.... Score-keeping. Space mines, Partial damage - if hit in a fin you could not turn in that direction. Then "2½-D" Spacewar, played on two consoles. Instead of being God viewing the whole battle, you're a mere pilot with a view put the front of your spaceship and the difficult task of finding your enemy. (Perspective could be compressed so that even though far away the other ship would be large enough to see.) Adding incentive, MIT introduced an electric shock to go with the explosion of your ship. A promising future is seen for sound effects. And now a few commercial versions of Spacewar - 25 cents a game - are appearing in university coffee shops. Steve Russell still dreams: "Something which I wanted to do is get some interesting sort of fleet action. There are some versions of Spacewar which allow two, three ships, but as far as I know no one has been sufficiently clever to set things up so there are ships with noticeably different characteristics that could fight in interesting combinations."
  • I could see what would happen if the Script Kiddies of the world used the codes to send the shocks back to the controller through a trojan or a webpage...

    Working on a project
    (tap tap tappatie type type type)...

    Or what happens when your nine year old sticks them on his head and starts gaming? I see some warning, Not to be used as an ECT Device)
    ONU's Finest Computer Sciences Geek
  • Zap junkies, exactly. People can become addicted to anything, and pain isn't that far fetched. Soon people will complain that "they need the zap"... they need the "morning zap" and the "after dinner zap", and the "gotta sleep, one more-zap" will be everyday phenomena... people will soon zap their genitalia, and play around with the power source, zapping all day long... :D
  • You might be interested in this []. From who else, but the CDC.
  • After reading the number of 'pro' posts on this forum I've come to the conclusion that the straight S&M crowd is *much* bigger than I ever imagined....

    I mean, Jesus H. Christ! Shocking yourself *on purposes*!? Y'all are a bunch of loons....

  • Usually, in counter-strike, there's only one or two logical places in your spot where an enemy would be, and you see a lot of the screen. i, at least, almost always know where i'm being shot from.
  • I once wrote a really simple prog for a TI-85 which basically displayed a random tangent. The graph looked just like brain waves, and I would make it loop, using a different random number each time. I then took a white poker chip and taped it to one of a link cable. it looked just like an electrode, and I would give it to friends at school and say here-scan your brain. fun stuff
  • Ask him to document it... I'd imagine he could topple a number of patents =)

  • Now we get to play the fun games, and we get free electroshock therapy to prevent our hearts from turning dark in the dungeons of the Internet! (The same Internet which Al Gore invented, that subliminiinininbal bastard! ;)

    Gory^WGlory be!


  • when I put my TI-89 cable in my mouth, theres always seems to be a current going through. Also, how'd he get it to send data through the link without returning an error?
  • There was a book involving this situation, Killobyte, by Piers Anthony. I recommend reading it if you like science fiction and want a nice book to read. Why is green?
  • These electrodes may not be painful, but experiencing a muscle spasm severe enough to make you drop a controller certainly sounds uncomfortable. I for one would prefer not to suffer discomfort (other than carpal-tunnel syndrome, perhaps) when fragging some newbie after a long school day.

  • ...what the parents' take on this will be... Will they say this promotes violence more than normal games?
  • Force Feedback is cool and all, but I really feel that the hardcore gamer will NOT want this sort of thing. When it comes to Quake and UnrealTourney online competitions get serious and the last thing you want is your mouse shaking all over the damn place or getting shocked while trying to counter attack. This is a great technology and can really be great in a just for fun environment (isn't that what games are?), but lots of hardcore clanners will definitely not want to use this sort of thing.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian