Disk? Go? Machinegun!: GameGun! The Gamegun!

This is the sort of thing we wish Alec Meer would do. Plus, with the accent.

Check the timestamp on this post. Within the minute from then, Walker will be in my AIM window telling me off for using such a horrible grab-from-you-tube. But it’s too late! Too late! You’ll never catch me and there’s nothing else that can replace it. Ahahahahaha, etc. Er… Parkin forwarded this to me, which has been doing the rounds for the last couple of days. It’s a gent who’s made his own VR gamegun, by tying a motion sensor and a camera to a plastic gun. He turns, the game turns. He shoots, the game shoots. He speaks, he has an awesome accent, but that’s nothing do with the gamegun. You must watch, clearly…

And while we’re here, I’m mildly horrified by the pun-title intro. It’s based off Disco Machine Gun, an early single by the Lo Fidelity Allstars, which was later renamed Blisters on My Brain. Which is this:

Ah, those were quite literally the late nineties.



  1. cHeal says:

    That is very very impressive and excluding the onboard LCD, presumably something which could actually be marketable.

    How to do it without the LCD on it though?

  2. ...hmm... says:

    oh my.

  3. Tei says:

    I don’t know the first video. But the second one can double as a promotional video for City of Heroes. Why? you ask. Theres a emote on that game /boombox that reminds me that music. People waiting other people to enter a mission often /dance and /boombox, so is much like this video.

  4. Dave says:

    Wow! That actually looks pretty well done. Pity you might have to lurch around like a muppet as the guy in the video did.
    I don’t think I saw him “walk” forward or around in FEAR’s virtual world. If he did he had trouble moving fluidly.
    I’d be interested in something like this but only if the game had a really sensitive mouse look.
    Did he leave specs anywhere?

  5. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    I wonder if he’ll set up a garage business and start selling these online?

  6. Hornybeast says:

    Today I have seen the future and it looks good!

  7. IdleHands says:

    I foresee some very awesome gaming flashmobs in the near future

  8. Willy359 says:

    Dave, I’m pretty sure he’s got AWSD bound to buttons on the left-hand grip for movement. The motion sensor is just providing the mouselook.

    After I saw this a few days ago, the first thing I did was hit up a few website to price out the parts. Sadly, the only gyroscopic mouse I could find for sale was US$200, which is a bit much to spend on a homemade toy. If anyone can point me towards a cheaper alternative, I’d love to try my hand at this.

  9. Serondal says:

    couldn’t you just do the same thing by using a wiimote and sliding it inside the M204 grenade launcher on an real M4 Carbine then put a little trigger pad behind the real trigger so that when you pull it , it triggers the gun in the game and so on and so forth.

    I saw something on RPS a few years ago where a dude had a set up where he could shoot real bullets at the screen, this is nothing compared to that :P

  10. JKjoker says:

    yeah, its pretty cool, i think the on board LCD is necessary to aim (either that or googles but those give me headaches), i wonder how much it weights, my 22″ lcd weights a freaking ton

    the main problems seem to be that you need a lot of space to move and the thick cable can get annoying (then, bluethoothing the thing would force you to carry a lot of weight in batteries, maybe with that wireless power intel thingy ?)

  11. Jonas says:

    I would totally buy this. Actually he’s made a wireless version too, with a smaller LCD. There’s a video of that somewhere. I would totally buy that.

  12. Sir Digby says:

    I guess a wiimote could be a suitable alternative to the mouse…

  13. JKjoker says:

    did they ever release a wiimote-like pc controller ?

  14. Serondal says:

    you can hack wii-mote to work with a PC.

    you don’t have to have LCDS on the controller but they you’d need the camera in the gun and the LCDs on the screen instead. One way or another you need the LCDs in order to make this work.

    You could hack a wii set up or you could get TrackIR and work from there, the LCDs for a track IR are pretty light.

  15. JKjoker says:

    but i dont think IR tracking works for full 360°, you need to be pointing at a cone in front of the ir leds, dont you ?

  16. Metal_Circus says:

    That is extremeley cool.

    I wonder how expensive it is to make that?

  17. Serondal says:

    Track IR is like the backwards way a wiimote works. you set the camera on your desk and put the LEDS on your head ;P From there it can tell how you move your head. It has 6 degrees of freedom or something. IT can tell if you look left or right, look up or down, twist your head left or right, tilt your head forward or back and if you move closer or further away. In Black Shark from DC that allows you to lean over the flight stick and look behind it to see switchs back there and look out the window at the ground when you take off by leaning up and looking over and down O.o

    Of course it takes small movements of your head and makes them larger movements in the game so you don’t lose sight of the computer.

    It also works with Arm-a to allow you to look around corners and nod your head to give non-spoken messages (Which is pointless since the enemy can see you from 40 miles away and can’t hear your voice chat any how)

  18. Serondal says:

    Any how if you just put 3 LEDs on the gun and put the camera on the PC along with the motion detector in the gun itself it would give you a pretty good range of motion depending on the quality of the camera, the brightness of the LEDS and the quaity of the code processing everything together. Imaging if you could reach out with the gun in real life and tilt it to the right and in the game your character reaches out with the gun and points it around a corner allowing you to shoot blind without exposing anything but your gun. That’d be neat ;)

  19. JKjoker says:

    man, i want a damn holodeck, damn the hungry african kids, alternative energies and cancer, put all the research money into that -_- (or alternatively have microsoft stop wasting money on markets they would never win, both work i guess :p)

  20. Serondal says:

    I actually saw something on the internets a while back where they were in the process of developing a holodeck kind of game.

    It seems to me if you made a suit with LEDS in it or some other motion dedection device that a camera or sensor could pick up you could transmit that real time to a game then have the game render the rest of the game around you as a hologram. At the very least you could give the player a sphere around them that is a screne, have their body and mind be the input to the game and have the screens around them react to their movement and emotions.

    So say you get a dome above you and around you that gives you a 360 degree view of the area around you in Arm-A 2. The game tracks the movements of your body and when you pull the trigger in your fake gun it can get that input via wi-fi like wiimote. Then you really aim at the targets around you and it can know based on the elevation of gun ect exactly where you are aiming. Maybe the gun could have blanks and really give you some kick back, I dunno.

    all that would be extremly expensive though : P I really don’t see how you could make a REAL holo deck however, where it can create an entire world around you that you can explore. At the very least once you walk to the far way you should run into it, not through it ;) Unless the floor was some kind of moveable plate that moved as you walked so that you always stayed in the center of the room.

  21. Monchberter says:

    I’m more impressed by the chap’s shocking mullet.

    It’s going to be very niche but to be honest i can’t see the dedicated FPS player ditching the learned skillset of Mouse plus Keyboard any time soon.

  22. Wurzel says:

    Heh yeah, maybe if you combined it with a platform on the floor a bit like a segway of suchlike, so that it detected how you were leaning and controlled rotation and forwards/backwards movement that way.

  23. FernandoDANTE says:

    WHY hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Geez!

  24. Radiant says:

    If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes and went just by that chaps accent I would have called the lot of you liars.

  25. Radiant says:

    Actually there’s a lot of drive in that voice.
    I fully expect to hear:
    “Anti gravity – I have invented a anti gravity disc” in his next video.

  26. Bhazor says:

    Dude! Get an adjustable tripod already. My knees are killing just from watching that.

    Impressive and pretty fun but like with Project Natal it’s useless for any game that super human agility or moving from the spot. Still, it would be great for rail shooters and I’ll be very disappointed if the next arcade time crisis doesn’t have something similar.

  27. DigitalSignalX says:


  28. autogunner says:

    where is that video where the chinese bloke uses a stationary wii remote to make a full 3d room image?

  29. Alex says:

    I used to own a Gyration mouse, and the free-floating aiming was pretty flaky. Then the mousewheel stopped working completely. :I

  30. Muzman says:

    Good idea and very clever (albeit hacked from off the shelf stuff). It is another exciting product in the trend to make people look like a goose in their own living room.
    I like sitting down. Is there something the matter with me?
    How’s it do with audio, I wonder. You’d want a giant surround system I guess, only not using the screen, or a headphone jack on the thing, probably soaking up a good portion of the wireless traffic. Could work I guess. (I’m reminded of the bit in Snowcrash where Hiro hacks up the storage container he lives in acting out some VR sword fight he’s having in cyberspace).

  31. Jayteh says:

    That looks like heaps of fun!

  32. mike says:

    Rick Moranis is back!

  33. MultiVaC says:

    It’s a pretty cool gadget, certainly more promising for real video games than that stupid Natal thing.

  34. MrBejeebus says:

    TrackIR is overpriced even if it is neat you can use it in most game, I’d prefer 1 of these…

    Natal will just be a gimmick to be honest.

  35. Butler` says:

    ahahaha, i lold

    this guy is awesome

    and this is the game gun

  36. Rei Onryou says:

    If he can do this, why haven’t the companies with lots of money figured out how to make it work right?

  37. Gabanski83 says:

    Man, Lo-Fidelity Allstars were ace. I’ll have to go dig out my old album now…

  38. Stromko says:

    That is a really clever and fantastic setup I think, though really a great proof of concept more than anything. Integration with other products along these lines would really make it perfect though.

    ‘VR’ goggles (that is little LCD screens over the eyes + headtracker), a tracker on the gun to allow it to be separately aimed, and either a floor-pad or some sort of camera systems that can tell where your feet are in relation to the rest of you, could allow realistic interactions that are impossible with present interfaces.

    Imagine firing in one direction out a doorway, holding off xenomorphs coming down a hallway at you, in a sort of three-quarters crouch to reach over a makeshift barricade. You look behind you, keeping the gun blasting away in the direction of the aliens to check on your squadmates, and see more of the critters popping out of the vents. With a half-step behind you, your character backs up, moving in a kind of inverted circle-strafe as you turn around and hug the wall next to the doorway.

    Now how would any of that be possible with a regular interface, without ‘sticking’ cover mechanics that are built specifically to allow it, or a quick-time event?

    We could step back a bit and imagine a more limited, sensible version, maybe in an arcade somewhere (in those few places where they still exist anyway). A prop gun (with tracking) mounted on a (slightly padded) support that can telescope up or down to change the height, and the pintle-mount on top allows the gun to be tilted various ways. The support would be somewhat spring or air-loaded to support the weight of an LCD screen and ear-cups on top; shoulder the weapon and the screen and ear cups will be placed over the head so as to block out the outside world. A small circle of padded gym mats covers a space just big enough to allow the player to move around while shouldering the weapon, and placing one foot in a direction away from the center would carry the game character either forward or back, or strafe left to right, which would be tracked by a self-calibrating infared sensor motion detector dealie. Or get rid of that, and just port Lightgun games to it. Some lightgun games already include LCD screens, I think some of the Sniper Scope arcade cabinets had little screens for the scopes on the guns.

    Any of these more complicated, integrated things would likely require a game to be setup from scratch or modified to use them very well. I’m rather impressed with thefirst video and the thing’s use in a game that clearly isn’t designed around this home scratch-built solution.

    I think mouse and keyboard is fairly ideal for shooters, but I think that things like Guitar Hero show us that if you can make something just a LITTLE more immersive, the world will beat a path to your door. Wii-motes, Natal, and this homebuilt thing are showing real potential I think. They’re not QUITE there yet, I think this guy’s homemade gamegun is the closest thing to something I’d really want to own so far and it still clearly has limitations.

  39. Kong says:

    With a gadget like this I would buy shooters again.
    I would lose that 20 lbs fat that keep bothering me.
    I pray to the gods of digital heavens that Wii 2 (or whatever platform) will make my dreams come true.
    I played an arcade shooter game, where you stood on a platform and had to move in order to duck and lean. Quite a workout and big fun.

  40. Frye says:

    I’d love to try it out, but im not so sure this plays well. This isnt quite a VR helm of course. Forward will always be the direction you point your gun at, just like good old mouse control. You’d need custom software with double (triple?) axes; Movement direction, looking direction and gun point direction. I once wore a helmet of a military war simulator on an exhibition show with true stereoscopic vision. The illusion was so strong that the guy controlling my movement made me fall over, even though graphics were sorta quake3 quality.

  41. simon says:

    Um, guys, you’re missing the big picture. Mount a camera on the gun barrel in front of the LCD monitor and a GPS device and you have something made for AR, not VR.

    Imagine a massively multiplayer augmented reality game, played via WiFi (or other wireless broadband protocol) through the city streets. Enemy deathmatch combatants appearing on the screen radar, and a conventional laser tag mechanism to tally the score. Hell, if it doesn’t go commercial I bet the US military would be interested.

    I want a percentage though!

  42. Dr.Evanzan says:

    I second the Augmented Reality suggestion.

    Does anyone remember Ultraviolet (the British modern-day vampire series, not the terrible film)? The characters in that used handguns with cameras/LCDs mounted on top to detect vampires. If a person was in the ‘real world’ but didn’t appear on the LCD they were a vampire (as they didn’t have a ‘reflection’) and got shot with charcoal bullets.

    You could make a great AR game which was the opposite of this. Running around shooting ghosts or somesuch that were only visible on the LCD. Could be very atmospheric.

  43. PlaneSight says:

    You can’t do this with a wiimote because it only has accelerometers, no gyroscope, so it can’t measure yawing movement. That is, not until the yet-to-be-released upgrade.

    If you used Freetrack you could put a camera on the ceiling and LEDs on the gun and might be able to get something similar working.

  44. toonu says:

    buy a treadmill, and track your legs, put the treadmill on a space hopper, track that and you got a 360 degree forwards and backwards completly arsed up pc gamer rig.

  45. Telemikus says:

    I have wrong love for the lo fi’s, and this track in particular. In fact my old Quake handle was Discomachinegun as well. Kieran is demonstrating his good taste once again.

  46. MrBejeebus says:

    good idea toonu.

  47. Sam says:

    In echoing a few peoples’ comments, I think this has far more potential as part of an Augmented Reality based FPS, where various teams of combatants might roam the streets of major cities with these, but with the screens instead displaying what’s in front of them with an AR overlay highlighting other players, your health, geographical information etc.

  48. Serondal says:

    Yah that would be great people roaming streets with guns randomly pointing them at people. That sounds like an idea full of win. And once everyone gets used to it someone will shoot someone and no one will respond.

  49. OJ 287 says:

    What about a wii fit mat or three for movement? The tech’s all there :)

    The Daily Mail would love a Gameknife or Gamecrowbar.