March 14, 2008 We hear a lot in the papers about senseless violence in video games. Thanks to Mindwire, violence no longer has to be senseless at all! Mindwire has designed an electrical muscle simulation kit that gives gamers direct sensory feedback - so every time your onscreen character gets a whooping, you get a shock. The £99.99 Mindwire-V5 plugs into any second-generation console through the game controller port, and though it might not suit everybody (its not for use by anyone under 16 for a start), the add-on is sure to give a more intense, more immersive playing experience for anyone game enough to plug it in.

The system is based on technology originally used for muscle toning therapies, and delivers a gamut of sensations ranging from a short, sharp shock to a more pleasurable tingle. The haptic feedback is synchronized with the force feedback levels of the game, which regulate controller vibration. This means that catching machine-gun fire, being on the receiving end of a punch, or crashing a car will punish the player with a series of proportional electrical jolts.

Up to five self-adhesive pads can be applied to arms, legs and the stomach, allowing localized sensory feedback. The system works in both single and multi-player mode, with the latter especially appealing to competitive gamers. The Mindwire is so far available only over the internet, (along with a list of precautions and rules for safe use) and complies with EU safety standards.

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