Gina Vaynshteyn
September 25, 2013 9:00 am

Watch out, Wii: you’ve got new competition. A virtual archery game created by Japanese researchers at the Tokyo University of Technology, is the first game to incorporate an actual weapon and simulated targets. The Light Shooter uses a bow to hit digital people. That’s right. Instead of using a remote control, these guys want you to use the real thing so that you can truly experience Japanese archery.

The goal of the game is to shoot and kill pseudo “enemies”. The bow has sensors that measure how much it bends, whether the string has been released by the player, and also detects how fast the arrow is going. Essentially, you are shooting at a screen with moving figures without actually projecting anything.

It goes without saying that Katniss Everdeen could have definitely used this game when she was training for the Hunger Games.

But on a serious note, is this gadget taking things too far? The founders of The Light Shooter plan on putting a mobile laser projector and smartphone into the bow, which allows the player to have better aim.  Yikes. It’s one thing to have an archery app, but to actually be able to shoot virtual objects with real life precision? I’m really torn between how neat this project is and how potentially dangerous it could be.

So, like any normal person who is conflicted by a virtual archery game, I made a pro and con list.

The pros:

1. You get to learn how to use a bow and arrow. 

I mean, that’s freaking cool. I’m not sure how useful that is in this day and age with automatic weapons and all, but it’s like learning how to drive stick. You never know when that skill will come in handy AND you get to pretend you’re Merida from Brave and say, “Mam, but eet’s just me booow!”

 2. If there’s a zombie apocalypse, you will probably make it out alive.

The one thing I have truly learned from all the zombie movies, shows, and books, is that you need to learn how to use a bow and arrow. Guns run out of bullets and knife-throwing seems to be kind of tricky. With a bow and arrow, you are able to be super precise when shooting a zombie in the brain.

 3. You don’t actually have to kill anything.

Back when I lived in Minnesota and hunting was taken very seriously, I was offered to go on a hunting trip with some family friends. I refused, because the thought of killing an animal or even destroying a tree branch made me feel sad, and I guess I was only six. Why was someone asking a six year-old if she wanted to hunt, anyway? With this virtual game, you’ll never actually have to kill living, breathing things as you practice using a bow and “arrow”.

 4. This game is way more hands-on than any Wii game.

Sorry, Wii. I’m totally taking a dig at you today. Unlike “bowling” and “baseball” and “tennis,” this is as close to the real deal as you will probably ever get. It’s entertaining, fun, stimulating, and super realistic.

The cons:

1. I’m not sure if this concept should be introduced to our society.

As in American society.. As in the most violent first world country in the world. We already have a ton of crazy violent video games which include guns, arrows, knives, and more. Remember when an eight-year old shot his own grandmother after playing Grand Theft Auto? Maybe we shouldn’t add to the problem.

 2. Archery may not be enough.

What if people get bored with shooting stick-figures with a bow and want to move on to guns? What if this becomes a gun-shooting game? Is that the right message we should be sending? Refer to con number one.

3. This seems like an expensive hobby.

From what I know about weaponry is that it’s expensive.  Along with purchasing a bow and the simulation itself, I’m sure you will have to upgrade your bow every few months like an Apple product in order to keep up with the latest technological advances. Bummer.

4, The robots might take over.

The simulated targets could transform into real people and seek revenge for our practice shooting. This would ultimately lead to war and other sci-fi problems.

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