By Andrew Liszewski
Even though the furminator dates back to 2004 it’s still an interesting concept. What you’re looking at is essentially a pinball machine that’s mounted so the player’s eyes sit right behind the flippers, giving them a first person view of the table. The player’s head also sits inside a force feedback helmet and that combined with the lights, sound effects and vibrations from the table help to create an immersive environment. And since the view of the table is a bit limited from behind the flippers the inside of the furminator also has 5 cameras and 3 small LCD screens allowing the player to see parts of the table that are obstructed.
According to the designers the goal of the furminator was to create an immersive gaming experience that didn’t rely on computer graphics which are usually very artificial and do not effectively stimulate all of the player’s senses. By putting you at the level of the table and allowing your whole body to actually tilt and move the pinball game the player becomes more involved than they would be standing over a traditional pinball machine.
Oh and the furminator name is a combination of the design group responsible for its creation (fur) and the fact that it’s based on an old Terminator 2 pinball machine.