Any video game enthusiast can buy a home theater system and improve their playing experience, but it takes a real group of
obsessive lunatics fans to build a simulator that hurts you just to make the game more realistic. The Gadget Show, airing on Channel 5 in the UK, recently embarked on creating the most true to life simulator for first person shooter games ever built. They succeeded with flying colors...and bruises. Their custom rig incorporates a plethora of immersive technologies including a nine meter dome, five HD projectors, an omnidirectional treadmill, 800 LED lights, a Kinect 3D sensor (of course), and four paintball gun turrets. That's right, if you get shot in the game, you get shot in real life. With this impressive setup The Gadget Show brought recent blockbuster game Battlefield 3 to a new level of realism. Watch the incredible construction and testing of the ultimate first person shooter simulator in the video below. This setup was so immersive it enthralled UK national hero and soldier, Sargeant Andy McNab of the SAS. How much closer to war do gamers really want to get?
The Gadget Show steps you through each piece of equipment they use in their extraordinary simulator. It's all pretty incredible stuff, but you can skip to 9:45 if you want to get right to the action. Don't miss Andy McNab's trial of the ultimate gaming experience starting at 13:55. When it passes his inspection, it's clear that the simulator does an amazing job:
While it's cost is high (£500,000 or $650,000) The Gadget Show's rig uses well proven technology that is commercially available. Igloo Vision provided the nine meter dome with its 5 HD projectors. MSE Weibull brought the omni treadmill and IR body-tracking cameras. Extra Dimensional Technologies hooked up the 800 color changing LED lights and rigged the paintball guns to fire. Most of the other equipment was stuff you could buy in any major city. The Gadget Show's ultimate immersive first person shooter experience is extraordinary, but in as these devices become cheaper and more widely available, the whole experience could get a lot more ordinary. Who's going to want such an involved, and painful, setup? Trust me, gamers will try anything.
[image and video credits: The Gadget Show]
[source: The Gadget Show Press Release]