This Kickstarter controller changes the realism of first-person shooters
Today, I set my eyes upon an item in Kickstarter that aroused mixed feelings in me. The item in question is the Delta Six, an open-source multi-platform gaming controller that looks like a battle rifle. With the Delta Six, gamers could control every action – movement, melee, shooting, zooming in and reloading – with the rifle, making first-person shooters more immersive than ever before.
Because you're holding what looks and feels like a real gun in your hands.
I haven't seen or used the Delta Six in person, so I only have the Kickstarter video to go off of. But just from that, I'm torn on my support of this product. While I think it looks impressive, and there's a lot of potential for its use (specifically combined with an Oculus Rift), I don't know how I feel about the product. I can see numerous problems that arise from it.
The most obvious one is that you'd be gunning down people while using a realistic rifle peripheral. Video games are already under enough fire from the NRA (no pun intended) and politicians. Simply put, video games are an easy target to place blame on as it is; imagine how much easier it'll get when gamers are using a controller that looks like an actual rifle. We're not talking something that's comparable to the Move controller, Wiimote, or even the NES zapper – this bad boy is in a league of its own.
For instance, let's take the airport scene in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In that particular section of the game, you walk through an airport shooting and killing civilians and security guards. But gamers did it with Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controllers. Does the digital act of violence take more meaning if you're holding the Delta Six controller instead? Do you feel any different? I don't have the answer, but I think we all know what politicians and lobbyists will say when they discover the Delta Six has actual recoil when you fire.
I asked other editors at GameZone what they thought of the Delta Six – their initial thoughts just from looking at it and knowing it's for first-person shooters. These are some of the responses:
It looks like trying to play Dark Souls with a Guitar Hero controller. - Andrew
I wouldn't use it, but I'd like to own one because it's something I'd display mounted on a wall. - Mike S.
I think it looks pretty badass, but I don't know if I would buy one. - Matt
Why use that when a normal controller does it better? - Tony
No. It wouldn't be responsive enough. - Mike M.
Interestingly enough, none of them had any concern over whether or not this controller takes realism too far. Or whether we need to be so immersed in games that we need to hold a lifelike gun controller in our hands.
As of this writing, the Delta Six controller is almost half-way to its $100,000 goal, with just over $48,000 raised and 28 days to go. If it gets funded, we'll see if this carves out a new uncanny valley in the discussion between video games, violence and gun control.
I've reached out to David Kotkin, the man behind the Delta Six, so hopefully we can pick his brain a little more.