The video game industry has pumped out countless accessories over the years. Most are functional but forgettable, the Ray Romanos of the video game world. Some, like the NES Zapper, are iconic. And then there are these ten, which make absolutely no sense. Maybe they were good ideas that went awry, or maybe they’re shameless attempts to cash in on fads. Or maybe they were designed by a team of drunken monkeys. We’ll never know.
10. Kinect Game Boat
The Game Boat adds a whole new level of realism to all one fifth of the Kinect’s boat themed games. Who would buy an accessory that’s only intended for one portion of one game? Especially if all it does is make the game more awkward to play? The Amazon listing even says it’s “the first accessory for the peripheral which doesn’t need any.” It’s an impediment to fun. Asking a clerk for a Game Boat is like asking a pharmacist to poke holes in your condoms.
The boat looks so poorly designed it would have been rejected by Titanic evacuees. And the box’s crudely translated slogan of, “Enjoy the emotions of the best games in the reality of your home” suggests that the Game Boat was made in a country where video games rank behind trying not to starve to death as the number one pastime. So not only will purchasing the Game Boat announce to the world, “I have no concept of fiscal responsibility,” it will probably support slave labour, too.
9. Wii Baby and Me
Baby and Me is the perfect game for parents who don’t want to waste any time ruining both video games and the idea of reproducing for their children. By adding a Wii Remote to the doll the baby itself becomes a controller, because nothing says “realistic childrearing simulation” like splitting open a baby’s back and jamming a hunk of plastic inside.
Cries, giggles, gurgles and more emerge from the remote, thereby “bringing the baby to life.” Although we’re not sure how having tinny sounds pulsate from an infant’s chest while its cold, dead eyes stare unblinkingly at you could be considered lifelike. Maybe they meant “unlife.”
Once you’ve turned your doll into a cyborg you can play all sorts of exciting minigames with it—everything from rocking the baby to sleep to clapping is included! And several of the minigames are even compatible with the Wii Balance Board, because that’s a wonderful lesson to teach future mothers—the best time to test your balance is when you’re clinging to your newborn child.
8. Wii Cooking Kit
The Wii has more food preparation games than scientists say can theoretically exist, so it makes sense that somebody would try to cash in on this baffling, nature defying market. The only problem is that exactly zero of those games are played with motions that even vaguely resemble cooking. Trying to make pan fried lobster in Cooking Mama is like trying to mime a howler monkey assassinating the pope. Attaching a plastic frying pan won’t make it any more realistic, it will just look like the monkey stopped off at a Home Outfitters.
The demographic of “people who like cooking enough to buy accessories for cooking video games, but not enough to cook actual food” is limited to nerdy anorexics and anyone who’s so fat they can no longer wedge themselves through their kitchen doorway. And the latter works up a sweat just turning on their television—asking them to flip a plastic frying pan would be like asking them to have a heart attack, assuming they didn’t get desperate for a snack and eat it first.
7. Wii Slip Proof Gloves
Are your Wii sessions so intense that you constantly find the controller flying out of your hands? Are you still having difficulty getting the hang of using your thumbs? Or do you just sweat more than Lil Wayne at a paternity test? Whichever it is, the Wii Slip Proof Gloves are the product for you, you disgusting, uncoordinated nerd!
For a mere $12.99, you can purchase the video game equivalent of a special kid helmet. Look, if you need gloves to play video games, you’ve suffered too many concussions to know what video games are. Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to wear these would choke to death on them when they tried to put them on. Buying these for your children is like admitting that their mother chain smoked during pregnancy. If you need gloves to help you hold a piece of plastic you either lost your fingers in a chainsaw slapping competition or you produce so much perspiration that your pets drown every time you forget to put on deodorant. You’d have to be pretty dumb to buy these, is what we’re trying to say here.
6. Wii Bowling Ball
The Wii Bowling Ball is meant for people who want to spice up the thrills of virtual bowling by making every frame a chance to put a hunk of plastic through their television. It comes with a safety strap, but anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to buy the ball will mistake it for a tail.
The ball is advertised as having, “additional silicone finger slots to accommodate smaller fingers.” That sounds like a feature a sex toy would have, and using this as a sex toy might actually be a safer idea. The quote, “perfect for the gamer looking for something new to conquer” only reinforces that notion, because the only time we’ve heard “conquer” used to describe plastic balls is when they’re intended to enter orifices. And that would probably look less ridiculous than using this to pretend bowl—the image of the Bowling Ball in action looks like it was taken by someone who mistook bowling for rhythmic gymnastics.
5. Wii Inflatable Racing Cart
This inflatable cart features a steering wheel with a slot for a Wii remote, giving players the ability to embarrass themselves in a wide variety of racing games. It looks like a cute idea for kids until you realise it’s impossible to control any game from that position, unless your goal is to crash into walls repeatedly and lose. But don’t take our word for it—check out this hilariously bad promo video, where the picture in picture gameplay clearly doesn’t sync up with what the actors are doing.
That’s a pretty serious design flaw, although if you expected any better from a company that thought it was a masterstroke of artistic design to put “racing” on their racing cart you have nobody to blame but yourself. The cart’s website notes that it was “designed in the style of the sports car,” which only raises further questions. Either this is the most poorly designed sports car in history, or they don’t even know what product they’re selling. And if those are the only two conclusions you can reach about an accessory, you shouldn’t pay money for it.
4. Sega Action Chair
The Sega Action Chair comes from an era where every accessory, no matter how mundane, needed a rad adjective in front of it, like the Nintendo Power Glove, or the Siemens Xtreme Speculum. It also comes from an era where every accessory was an overpriced piece of crap that didn’t work.
In theory, players would sit in the chair, grab the handles and pull themselves around, and the game would react to their movement. But you needed Herculean strength to move the chair just a single inch, and by that point your virtual character had long since died. Trying to play a game with the Action Chair was like trying to make your car turn by leaning over; and the inevitable four car pileup would still be more comfortable than sitting in this monstrosity. Add in the hundred dollar price tag, and the only people who owned an Action Chair were rich kids whose parents passive-aggressively hated them.
3. Sega Activator
The Activator was Sega’s attempt to introduce motion control to the world of video games, but it was about as successful as an attempt to introduce sanitation to New Jersey.
Players used the Activator by standing inside the octagon and having a seizure. Each of the eight panels represented a button, and to “press” that button you waved your hand or foot over it. If it worked, and it often didn’t, you soon discovered the Activator’s biggest flaw—even the simplest combination of moves required an insane motion. Want to perform a special attack in Street Fighter? Punch to the left and right simultaneously while kicking straight back. Trying to rip out some dude’s spine in Mortal Kombat? Kick both legs back at once, and punch backwards and forwards at the same time. Just want to pause the damn game? Do a spinning jump kick while head-butting sideways.
Playing a game against someone with a real controller was like a paraplegic fist fighting a gorilla. By the time you remembered what three directions you needed to punch to shuffle forward they’d already finished kicking your ass. An Activator player’s only hope was to flail at random, and that was only effective if they “accidentally” hit their opponent in the face. After five minutes with the Activator, they’d be angry enough to do it.
2. Wii Car Adaptor
Buying a Wii Car Adaptor is like buying a traffic accident. No matter how safe and responsible your passengers are, sooner or later one of them is going to stick a Wii Remote in your eye and you’ll be running down pedestrians while Mario music plays. And since the sort of person who would buy this would also buy the Wii Bowling Ball, you’ll probably be unconscious while it happens.
The only people who think it’s safe to use this don’t know what cars are. It would be less irresponsible to install a minibar in your vehicle than it would be to let people play Wii Sports while you drive. If you were pulled over by the police and they saw you had a Wii Car Adaptor installed, they’d legally be allowed to beat you. It probably comes with a disclaimer stating that the manufacturer can’t be held responsible for your vehicular manslaughter. The only upside to the Wii Car Adaptor is that anyone who uses it shouldn’t be contributing to the gene pool anyway.
1. Rez Trance Vibrator
Rez is a rail shooter set to electronic music. Vibrators are sex toys set to vaginas. Combining them was so obvious.
Produced only in Japan (of course), the Trance Vibrator pulsed in time to the game’s soundtrack. The official story was that you were supposed to hold, pocket or sit on the vibrator while you played, and the sensation would “extend the game’s synaesthesia.” The idea behind Rez was that everything, from the graphics to the gameplay, synced up with the music, and the vibrator would bring that synchronisation to a player’s sense of touch. There was just one tiny flaw—everyone used it to masturbate.
And we’re not just jumping to perverted conclusions—for one thing, the use of the word “synaesthesia” makes it sound like they would have packaged a hit of acid with the game had it been legal, so it’s hard to believe their intentions were pure. As further evidence, check out this quote from the game’s creator: “You can put it anywhere—your foot, your back, your waist. It’s up to our customers’ imagination.” He didn’t explicitly add “Jam it up your butt if it makes you happy,” but the implication is there. Did we mention the vibrator was designed to be washable?