8 Most Embarassingly Stupid Video Game Accessories Ever Sold
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There is an art to the perfect video game accessory. There are immortals like the Guitar Hero guitar, Dance Dance Revolution mats, and the Rumble Pak. Things that, when hooked up to your system or plugged into your controller, just take the whole experience to another level. And then, there are hunks of plastic so goddamn worthless and stupid that it makes you wish that video games were never invented in the first place. Devices, peripherals, and add-ons so completely unnecessary that you long for a reality where society took one look at Pong, scoffed, and moved on forever. There are accessories that are that bad. And then, there are these massive piles of gaming garbage ...
Resident Evil's Chainsaw Controller
Where? How? What? Look at this thing. Where do you even begin to think about gripping this chainsaw controller?
There's arguably not a single item at Home Depot that would make for a WORSE controller than a goddamn chainsaw. It does make you kind of long for a scenario where this thing took off, and other gaming properties tried to fashion controllers out of their own trademark qualities.
I'd love a Duke Nukem microdick joystick to pinch between my index and thumb as I move around and blast alien space pigs. Honestly, maybe just a line of video game character hog joysticks could do the trick. There's no doubt that the LuigiPipe would be a showstopping centerpiece for any living room.
There was an era a ways back when video game accessories looked completely irresistible in advertising. Because you'd have absolutely no way to really tell how it would actually work, you'd see something like the RocketNipz for the NES, and it would be an ad of a guy with two grey nipple clamps on, zapping laser rockets out of them into his TV with the promise that you could nipple rocket your way through both all NES games, and life itself. The Konami LaserScope lived in this world of overpromised marketing garbage.
Designed as a headset with a laser sight and a microphone that would pick up your "FIRE!" command to kill enemies on screen, it simply had no real functionality within the system at this time. You'd just end up in your living room looking like the whackest little Terminator of all time.
Game Boy Handy Boy
You know what was cool about the Game Boy? That it was one of the first genuinely portable, nearly-pocket-sized gaming devices around at the time. You know what's cool about the Game Boy Handy Boy? Somebody bolted the entire contents of a Radio Shack onto your Game Boy, and you have to have the hands of the Mountain from Game of Thrones to both lift, and play, your handheld device.
Speakers, magnification, joysticks, the Handy Boy looks like what happens when Soundwave from Transformers takes a horrible salvia trip and ends up stuck in this parallel universe, cursed to live out eternity as this chunky, miserable device.
Kinect Game Boat
Xbox Kinect was an irredeemable piece of crap. But on some level, you almost have to admire the absolute laziness of this add-on to an already-terrible add-on. The Game Boat … is a boat. An inflatable boat to drop into your living room and sit in while you play some doofus raft game on your Kinect. That's it. That's all.
This is like if God of War came with an add-on to just give you an orphaned child to sit in your room while you play and follow your ass everywhere. There's no added value here. In fact, it's a detraction. You have to find a way to explain to any house guests what the hell is propped up in the corner behind the TV.
"That's my, uh, that's my Game Boat. That's my boat for games. Well, for one game. It's my one game boat thing that I sit in while I play my Kinect raft experience. I hate myself, and the reason I invited you over here today was to please drown me. PLEASE."
Gaming accessory creation for the PC in the '90s was the absolute Wild West. It felt like there was a new garbage chunk of plastic aimed at shooter fans every day, and you couldn't walk through an electronics store without seeing some new device that looked like it had more use on the set of a Hellraiser movie than on your computer desk. The Thrustmaster Fragmaster is this moment in time in a nutshell.
I truly don't even know where to begin to understand how you would control a shooter with this thing. The real fun in making all of these must have been in the naming. When gaming terms and lingo were still so undefined, they would just throw a boatload of "gamer" phrases together and run it. Somewhere beside the Thrustmaster Fragmaster, you surely had the Quiflord ZapperTrapper and the Butttronics Butt Blast Max, and you'd be faced with the absolute toughest decision of your life figuring out which one of these ripoff pieces to take home and become wildly disappointed in.
Wii Car Adapter
Remember when the Wii was hot, and you'd see news stories and warnings about flying remotes destroying TVs and knocking out grandmas in living rooms across the country? Well, with this little bad boy, you can take that show on the road.
I'm not sure a single video game console or device has been more poorly suited for a car ride than the Nintendo Wii. I'd feel a lot more comfortable on the freeway if I looked over to find the driver beside me had a Virtual Boy strapped to his head and was sitting atop a full PC rig than to look over and see a family of four playing Wii Tennis on the open road. It's dangerous enough out there without dad working on his new high score in Wii Bowling while merging onto the freeway. Forget the little wrist straps; if you're the kind of family that is packing up the Wii for a road trip, you need a backseat entry breathalyzer for your kids because little David has been sucking back the Everclear again.
Video Jukebox VJ
The joy of a cartridge console in the '80s and '90s was the mess that built up around it. A glorious pile of games, controllers, and wires in this beautiful rats nest that lay in wait like a childhood IED for a vacuuming mother. The Video Jukebox sought to end that beautiful setup with this cartridge "jukebox" for the Sega Genesis.
Just about triple the size of the console itself, the Jukebox VJ would let you insert six games for easy loading, taking away one of the singular joys of gaming at this time. The moment of grabbing the cartridge, slamming it down, flicking the power button on, and seeing it boot up on the first try. The Jukebox VJ tried to take away the incredible feeling of driving a cartridge down into your system and feeling it lock into place, the young child's gaming equivalent of driving a sword through the heart of a mythical beast.
Atari Stick Stations
Perhaps no single medium in our lifetime makes it easier to spot the progression of technology than video games. The quantum leaps that have been made in graphics, fidelity, hardware, and EVERYTHING are almost impossible to comprehend. The same goes for video game accessories, where just a few decades back, at the dawn of the birth of the home console, there was wood.
A plank of wood. With a hole in it. A hole where you could put your controller. To turn your controller into a controller that's now attached to a plank of wood. To become a wooden plank controller. We should all be excited about the future of gaming because no matter what, we will never go back to a time when people were sold lumber extensions for their controllers.
Top image: Konami