By Phil Harris
It's always a sad moment when you stumble across a Kickstarter which has already been suspended and Blood Sport: The Ultimate in Immersive Gaming certainly ticked all the boxes for something which initially seemed outrageous, ethically questionable but when all things were considered; made you think. Whilst we have seen a number of great campaigns to raise funds for good causes across the gaming community, Blood Sport represents something subtly different, clever and to the point.
Now, with Blood Sport, we're taking the consequences of the gaming world and having them affect you in real life. So every time you get hit in the game, blood will be intravenously drawn from your arm.
Players would be hooked directly to blood collection machines which would receive a signal from the controller every time they were hit in game. Take a hit, the blood starts flowing and you weaken slightly as your opponent gains the upper hand and much like any game which involves drinking, as the senses dull the more you're going to start loosing.
For those who are already aghast with horror, and we apologise to the squeamish, the concept behind Blood Sport is solid. To do blood donation drives across the country, enhance blood donations by effectively taking your mind off what you are doing, to have a fully monitored service and last, though of course not least, to limit the amount of blood you're taking – this isn't a sci-fi future sport… not yet.
To help promote the Kickstarter and the campaign Blood Sport also challenged backers to email celebrities to get involved in player versus Player combat – for the blood donations – and you have to wonder why the Kickstarter was unfortunately suspended when the message it was promoting was so strong and the methodology was hardly in question.
The two people behind this classic idea are Taran Chadha and Jamie Umpherson; digital creative experts and when you consider the previous projects the two have been involved in you know how serious the point they are trying to drive home is. Surrogaid and Shoot the Banker are both deliberately evocative but drive the point they are trying to make home with style.
Blood donations and blood drives are never well enough attended and hospitals are always in need of this valuable resource. As the end of their Kickstarter video makes clear, "Don't wait for Blood Sport to come out, grab your buddies, go down to the local donor clinic and see who gets dizzy first."
You can save a life.
Phil Harris (@PhilipGHarris) is a games developer and writer currently working with One Thumb Mobile on their MMORPG Celtic Heroes. He also helped design Nevistech's Pet Roulette for Android devices and is the story writer for Blazing Griffin's new space strategy game Distant Star: Revenant Fleet.