back to article Gamers gun down Half-Life

If you hold the view that violent videogames encourage real-life violence, then stop reading now. Because Register Hardware’s discovered news of some US gaming geeks playing Half-Life with real guns. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Waterloo Labs - a group of engineers and “other nerds” from Texas …


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  1. Ian Sawyer 1


    What a load of old bollox. I'd like to use a real gun on those twats.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not there yet...

    ...when the drywall shoots back, then I'l be impressed

  3. Chris Simmons

    Good grief...

    does the woman in the video have a patent for her mouth?

    Yes it has false teeth and lots of condoms in the pockets (double strength)

  4. alan 39

    I want one

    See title

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Verrry interesting...

    Idea: Adding projectors and accelerometers to an indoor paintball arena, then writing games designed to adjust itself to the floor plan. OTOH, I can also picture Nintendos next add on for the Wii.

  6. Hermes (nine inch) Conran

    Oh no, nerds with guns!

    I for one welcome our speccy overlords!

  7. Lottie

    Alpha geeks!!!

    I'm very impressed.... I wonder if it'll work with a pocket projector and my work colleagues.....

  8. Stu

    Oh yes!

    Bring it!

    A freebie side effect - with a pistol, you even get real(istic) reloads where you could end up getting hit by a bad guy whilst you're physically reloading!


    Next step- a 360 degree panoramic game environment using multiple 'stitched' projectors and accelerometers - make u feel like you're totally in the game.

    Can even throw in motion, you'd physically stay stood in the middle of the circle, then use the iPhone 3Gs digital compass readings (mounted on a hat) the system would know which way you're facing, you'd press a button to go forward/backward that direction.

    And to go ridiculously further - in-game pickups can be simulated by having some machine drop real ammo clips at your feet from some kind of makeshift dispenser above the players head.

    How kewl would that be!?


    More discussion over beer...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to think....

    ...I gave her that pearl necklace!!!

  10. Lionel Baden


    nice idea cool to watch


  11. OmniCitadel

    With something of less stiffness

    Like a sheet or cardboard one would be able to use airsoft or bb guns to accomplish the same thing. Purely irresponsible to demonstrate this with a real gun.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Come on you limey wus's

    I understand your normal abhorrence of stereotypical American gun culture, and their high murder / suicide rates, but give me a break! That was the coolest science / engineering experiment I've seen in a long time! And it was conducted completely responsibly in a controlled environment!!!

  13. Joel

    The girl..

    Has literally the most annoying voice in the world.

    But cool science, will definitely try this out some time!

  14. Annihilator

    Good and bad

    Good news: First steps towards the holodecks - woohoo!

    Bad news: They loaded up Quake 3 and tried rocket jumping

  15. Pyros


    Wouldn't it be better to ask Midway for a copy of Time Crisis 3? At least you don't have to worry about moving--you can execute a "stop time" for reloading and a secondary sensor to tell if you're under cover.

    Grenade launchers makes everything better, IMO. :D

  16. Scott Herter

    Tears of jow

    That is the coolest thing EVER!!!

    Now, where is the sniper mod...

  17. 3kids2cats1dog


    Labview, Check

    Accel'ometres, Check

    PC, lots

    guns, nuts! Sub using fire axe, tools or lab stools....

    Friday afternoon of fun in the lab while the boss is on vacation!

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Even with this game, as it still stands, the only good thing that comes out of their gun culture is population control.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How dare they make a science project that can connect with normal people! Burn them!

  20. OmniCitadel


    Until some kid uses their source code, and daddys gun to recreate it in his back year with the back drop in line of sight of the neighbors home... I bet he gets off a few hundred rounds before the cops take 15yr old junior out

  21. Anonymous Coward


    what does it give you (apart from using a real gun) over, say, gun-mounted-laser and camera systems? Or Wiimote based systems? They're just as good (at least a decent set-up is, a wiimote-based one might be a little laggy), nowhere near as destructive and nowhere near as dangerous. Plus you can use them in the UK without gun licenses. Just a single Portal-style warning that you "do not look at the operational end of the device" and away you go.

    Also, with a laser-based system the weapons can be light enough to allow you to carry multiple guns- so you're not using a pistol to control an RPG or a crowbar. How do you right-click with a pistol, anyway?

    And it wasn't HL2 they were using, it was a flash file using pictures from HL2. There's a difference. If you don't believe me, I've got an unpainted beetle-engined Ferrari replica you can have for a cool £half-mil. Looks basically similar to the real thing, but they're not anything alike!

    And before anyone tries to shout me down, yes- I have done better; laser shooting range was rigged up for a works party and I completed HL2 with wiimote, stereoscopic HMD and a Wii Balance Board. Both of which were pretty damn impressive if I do say so myself!

  22. Ian Sawyer 1

    Sceptic Tanks

    Why bother with the game just give me those yanks a gun and some ammo

    and i'd have more fun than playing any video game.

    They are just too enthusiastic for my liking. Those stupid games you used to get in seaside arcades where you get a little rifle and some video footage to shoot at has more going for it than this bunch of dimwits.

  23. steogede

    Silenced Pistol?

    What's the point in using a real gun if you don't get the noise. Might as well have used a BB gun - would have been safer.

  24. Brian Miller

    Last system used lasers, no accelorometers

    A local shooting range had a video system which used a laser grid to track bullet position. The images were projected on a rubber screen. The system didn't work well, so they took it out after a while. I'd like to play with something like that again.

  25. Gil Grissum


    Do it with laser tag gear and there is no need for live weapons, possible injury or death, or arrest and incarceration. Legal problems avoided.

  26. Reverend Brown
    Thumb Down

    Gnashing of teeth

    No comment on the content, I can't stand these people.

  27. Jon 51

    Seriously brits?

    I read these comments and I have to ask: why is the mother country is so afraid of little guns? They're very safe, and very easy to use; it's a point and click interface... basically don't point at what you don't want destroyed and never click until you've read rule #1.

    No wonder bunch uppity drunken colonists drove the tyrannical megalomaniacs off the island... It seems the red coats showed up with laser pointers and airsoft guns and were greeted with a hail of lead from Gordon Freeman.

  28. Hombre sin nombre

    As an American gun owner

    I've tried systems like this before, usually done indoors with a CO2 pistol, and while most work reasonably well, they are not worth the time and effort yet when compared to an IDPA or similar live-fire course with popup targets. This sort of thing would be just as fun with an airsoft or laser tag gun, which really makes it just a graphical upgrade on Duck Hunt.

  29. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down

    the neckless girl with the annoying voice

    does she also wear her sunglasses at night?

  30. adnim

    Too safe!

    As a teenager myself and a few pals used to don parkas and goggles and use some derelict farm buildings as shooting range. Armed with .177 air pistols we would shoot each other. deathmatch, Team death match and a type of capture the flag games were played, we did this for a couple of summers before getting bored with it. No serious injuries, just lots of fun. No head shots though, we didn't think that was a good thing, it's surprising how sensible one can be even whilst being completely wreckless.

  31. Ben Tasker


    They're very safe, and very easy to use; it's a point and click interface... basically don't point at what you don't want destroyed and never click until you've read rule #1.

    There seem to be a lot of Yanks who don't understand your two rules. Or worse, understand the rules, but don't care that they are taking a life. IMHO we are better off without them, but there will be those who disagree.

    Re: Adnim

    We used to do something similar, same sort of experiences as you, though we did have the Police arrive on a number of occassions. We also got hold of some 6mm Paintball pellets designed for use in BB guns. Now they made things fun, especially when there was such a mix of 'weaponry'.

    We even went to the extent of making smoke grenades from Film Canisters, Potassium Magnate and Glucose.

    Wish I could get away with doing it now to be honest!

  32. E_Nigma

    This... Is...


    Sorry, I had to do it just this once. :)

  33. Anonymous Coward


    I want this :)

    As a recent Limey import into the US, I have to remind my fellow Americans that the Brits are so convinced that objects themselves have the capacity for evil that stab-proof knives (yeah, right) were invented there - and their crime-rate beats even that of South Africa, as recently published.

    Poor brainless sheep - Orwell would be proud.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Author FAIL!

    It's not a silenced pistol, it's a air pistol.

  35. Bumpy Cat

    The funniest thing about the anti-gun comments ...

    ... is how many of them say "Give me a gun and I'll kill all those guys!" ...

  36. Hombre sin nombre

    @ Bracken Dawson

    You are incorrect. Perhaps you missed the part where it ejected shell casings when fired, was referred to in the video as a "firearm," and decided to jump to ill-informed conclusions before even taking the time to look it up.

    I would guess that their reasoning for using the suppressed pistol was so that they could still talk with eachother and hear the game sound without having to bother with hearing protection.

  37. Dana W

    Who could afford it?

    Fun idea, but who could afford it? With .22 maybe......

    Ammo is REALLY expensive. I only get to shoot a few times a year for carry permit profiency.

    As a hobby, this would make cryo-cooled gaming rigs look cheap.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    Stop moaning that it's a flash version. The author said : "a Flash version of Half-Life", so we already knew that. Perhaps you should read the article properly.

    @the author : That's not Half Life, it's Half Life 2.

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. Winkypop Silver badge

    We need more guns!

    Here in the US we need more guns. Many more, 1000s, no 1000000s in fact!

    After about 5 years we would have weeded out the betas and the slow/old.

    Problem solved!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up



  42. Anonymous Coward

    Like gun control actually works...

    Washington DC has tough gun control laws and a high gun crime rate. Gun crime in this country actually went up after gun laws were tightened up by the NuLab junta.

    Bad people who wanna do bad things with guns will really not be bothered whether the gun they have is illegal or not. Remember, 'guns don't kill people, rappers do.'. Also, the first thing a dictator does is ban private gun ownership and hunting. Ask Hitler and Tony Blair.

    As for the game, very cool, though where do I lay my hands on a BFG?

  43. Andy Enderby 1

    the mrs asks....?

    Why ? errrr obviously they are Texans which may modify their out look a tad, because they can, and because it was clearly a laugh.....

    You might get the impression that I don't agree with private ownership of firearms from previous posts. It's irresponsible gun owners I disagree with.....

  44. Scott Mitchell

    She's pretty hot

    ... shame about the voice!

    If I was on the nest I think I'd put something in her mouth to keep her quiet.

    Any more details about Anita B and her impossibly gleaming teeth?

  45. ContentsMayVary


    Quote: "As a recent Limey import into the US, I have to remind my fellow Americans that the Brits are so convinced that objects themselves have the capacity for evil that stab-proof knives (yeah, right) were invented there - and their crime-rate beats even that of South Africa, as recently published."

    I see. Perhaps sir would care to peruse this:

    You plonker. :)

  46. Reg Sim
    Thumb Up

    Damm it, I want one.

    I know I should'nt, but I want one....

    You could use it in a nursery and have kidds with foam hammers playing 'wack a mole'. or maybe somthing more educationial.

    If fact if you put it horozontal, and projected one of them 'mind games' the sort where you need to put blocks in the right place or cogs in the right order to make a 'machine' work. You could do that I suppose, although I like the gun idea.

    I can see many comercial applications for that board as I suspect its quite cheap to make.

  47. Haku
    Thumb Up


    I've been pondering how to get a computer to quickly & easily work out where an arrow lands on a target - can you imagine playing a version of Space Invaders, Duck Hunt or the like with bows and arrows?

    It's illegal to hunt with a bow+arrow in the UK because it's effectively a silent weapon compared to guns, a system like this could bring some fun into the sport beyond traditional target shooting.

  48. jnievele

    Old stuff

    A similar system (but based on microphones, and not compatible with HL2) is available already via - basically you shoot at a video with anything from an Airsoft gun to a heavy machinegun, and the microphones in the corners detect which point you've hit.

    Requires the blackbox from Aircine, a laptop, a beamer, and a large framed screen.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh my

    These Merkins and their penis-replacements......

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Aliens <!> Humans in Rubber Suits

    Not sure of the advisabilty of using real firearms with live ammo but this is actually a rather good idea - why not use Airsoft guns instead? Much safer for multiplayer games and you'd be able to play using'weapons' that look like and feel like the real thing but with less risk.

    Except here in the UK of course, where possessing an imitation weapon that fires little plastic balls at a rate (that's muzzle velocity, not rounds-per-minute) that might cause a bruise if it hits bare skin is considered to be worse than really shooting someone in a nightclub or run-down council estate...

  51. Dana W

    @Anonymous Coward

    You have got to be kidding. Funny, I carry a gun and I don't even have a penis. Don't want one either.

    Who is sicker? Me for defending myself, or you for equating genitalia with weapons?

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Is it just because I'm a geek...

    that I got excited when the young lady said "piezoelectric sensor" and actually knew what she was talking about?

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