Shocking new game concept

A small Texas company thinks it has a lock on the next breakthrough in video games--physical pain.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that VirTra Systems developed its technology for a military training simulator. The system replicates a number of modern combat situations, such as street gun battles and taking out suicide bombers. If the player/soldier doesn't shoot the enemy soon enough, the computer gets to shoot back, delivering a powerful electrical jolt to the player.

VirTra spokseman Steve Haag said the simulation encourages trainees to make quick, accurate decisions, even if they're hurting. "You have to continue to work through the pain and keep on fighting, as that is what you need to do--to keep on fighting even when wounded," he told the newspaper. "You have to regain your composure, shake your head, and get back in the fight as your life and your unit's life depends on it."

Haag said it's only a matter of time before the technology finds its way into an entertainment product. "This is ultimate shooter video game," he said.

Art mavens will notice that the concept sounds awfully similar to the PainStation, an art installation that experimented painful feedback in a video game.

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    David Becker
    covers games and gadgets.
     

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