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Complicated Rig for Playing FPS Using Old TV & Camera

Is it a Rube Goldberg machine? An electro-mechanical game? Even creator Johnny Henson himself doesn't know.

I've seen my fair share of bizarre but incredible inventions, and this curious setup by Johnny Henson, a.k.a. jawkn3ee, is among the most impressive. I'm still not quite sure how to describe this complicated contraption (and it's okay since the creator himself doesn't know as well,) all I can say is that there are some moving parts, an old camera, and a TV involved.

This tiny robotic arm shoots and reloads a simplified gun, and the lights around it add pretty realistic flash effects during each shot. All of this is recorded by a nowadays-retro camera and projected onto a CRT TV. To make the experience more fun and impactful, Henson exercised his acting skills inserting himself into the shot.

As for why he needed to use the camera and TV from the '90s, Henson explained that this combo has almost no latency, while digital cameras "have at least a few hundred ms which makes it hard to play the game. The low res also helps to composite the real and virtual elements more seamlessly."

The setup was inspired by old electro-mechanical games and the virtual production stages for The Mandalorian. As a result, we have some awesome homemade practical effects that might make it into a video game one day.

Check out Henson's creations on X/Twitter if you wish to see where this project ends and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitterLinkedInTikTok, and Reddit, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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