Part of the fun of using light guns to play video games is imagining that you're firing a laser beam at enemies on your TV screen. Thanks to a resourceful hardware hacker, a Nintendo Zapper — a light gun made for the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System — has been modified to fire an actual laser. Not just any beam, mind you, but one that can set fires and cause nasty burns if you're not careful.
As detailed on the North Street Labs blog, the Zapper was disassembled and outfitted with a 2 watt blue laser. To give you an idea of how powerful that is, a laser pointer is about 5 milliwatts. This homemade laser pistol is 400 times as strong.
In the video above, you can see the laser igniting matches instantaneously and actually cutting a surface from more than a foot away. It's powered by a replaceable battery pack and the pistol has a safety mechanism operated by a key to prevent it from being accidentally fired. That last part is crucial since even a brief burst can cause serious burns and almost instantly blind you.
It's the stuff of sci-fi movies and it makes us think that a future where battlefields are filled with blue and red laser bolts isn't all that far off. After all, we already have pain rays, vomit rays, and mind-control guns, not to mention frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams on their frickin' heads.
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