I’m not sure what exactly causes it, or if it’s some combination factors, but gamers get subjected to some really weird stuff. Honestly, there could be about twenty-five items on this list and it probably wouldn’t be long enough. At any rate, here are my personal top 5 choices for weird or just plain terrible gaming accessories.
5. The Wu-Tang Controller
I have loved the Wu-Tang Clan since high-school, so when it was announced that there would be a Wu-Tang game, and that it would be a fighting game, I was ecstatic. As much as I love Wu-Tang though, and as much as love fighting games, it somehow eluded me that there was a version of the game that came packaged with a special controller created in the image of the Wu-Tang W. Sure, the Wu W controller lacked vibration and sure it lacked proper analog sticks like a traditional dual shock controller and sure it’s shape made it almost impossible to use effectively, but I would argue that the W controller serves to help sharpen young people’s gaming skills. After all, Wu-Tang is for the children.
4. Wii Car adapter
For some reason I feel like it should go without saying that you shouldn’t play Wii in the car. I’ll admit that, yes, there are games that don’t require seizure –like flailing to play, but honestly, we all know where this is heading. There is really only one demographic for this device, families who only own a Wii. Those who own any other console would almost certainly choose that to bring instead of the Wii, as it almost certainly has less parts and set-up. Furthermore, if you’re the type of family who only owns a Wii, you probably have kids with you. I cannot think of a worse idea than being locked in a car with small children who’ve been given the freedom to flail electronic devices around in the backseat. Oh, and also, where would you put the little bar thing that goes on the TV?
3. AlphaGrip AG-5
Yep. That picture is real. Billed as the “All-In-One Gaming Keyboard, Ergonomic Keyboard, and Ergonomic Trackball”, the AlphaGrip AG-5 is the perfect accessory for that PC gamer buddy who wants to play from the couch instead of the desk…and apparently has 42 fingers. First off, the thing has a trackball. Find me a PC gamer that uses a trackball in place of a mouse and I’ll find you a PC gamer who shouldn’t play PC games. Second, it looks about as ergonomic as a prison cot. I’m not sure who this device is designed for either, games are split pretty firmly among games that work better with a controller, and those that work better with a mouse and keyboard. Sure, Razer has done a pretty good job of selling us mice with 30 programmable buttons, or keyboards with 200 extra gizmos, but honestly, they’re still mice and keyboards. Oh, and if you want to use a controller at your PC, Sony and Microsoft are pretty happy to cover you in that department with their extremely well designed console controllers.
2. Chainsaw Controller
As part of a Resident Evil 4 bundle, Capcom released the chainsaw controller. Not only does the controller work, but it even comes with some extra features. Apparently, you can start the game using the pull cord and switch weapons by raising and lowering the controller. It also features rumble technology to give you that weighty, chainsaw sound. For the record, it does not function as an actual chainsaw.
1. Atari Mindlink
The Atari Mindlink was meant to read the players thoughts and translate them into movements in a game, or rather, that’s what they wanted you to think when you looked at the box. In reality, the Mindlink was controlled by the movement of the player’s eyebrows, as tracked by infrared sensors. During testing of the device, many players complained of headaches from prolonged usage of facial muscles. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), the Mindlink never came to be. It was shelved in 1984 before ever beginning its reign as the ultimate in video gaming technology. Good night sweet prince, though your reign was not to be, your legacy remains.