Gunplay is a vital part of video games, but how will it work in virtual reality?
I was 11 years old when Jonathan Cott first brought a gun to school. It was bright red, or maybe dark blue – colours tend to fade first in the memory – and the paint was chipped at the corners. Cotty, as we called him, was always in deluxe kinds of trouble. Once, while we sat at our desks awaiting the arrival of a long-suffering English teacher, Cotty balanced a large cardboard box on the frame of the classroom door. When the teacher entered, the box fell over his head, trapping his arms in such a way that it took a good 15 seconds for the man to unsheathe himself by bobbing his head back and forth, fellatially.
Cotty’s gun fired potatoes, or, to be more precise, tiny chunks of potato. To reload the gun he’d simply plunge the barrel into a King Edward that he carried in his left hand, before squeezing off a shot. Potato fired from a spud gun hurts a lot more than you’d think – especially if it manages to find its way toward a budding bollock. At 11 years old I witnessed the mysterious power of the gun, and the way in which it transfers that power, instantly and sometimes irresistibly, to its holder.
So prevalent is the digital gun that some arms manufacturers license their weapons to games companies