Like all respectable video game journalists, we here at Hardcore Gamer operate on top of the line gaming PCs. We’re always looking to get a step up on our competition, so we keep our eyes peeled for all the latest peripherals on the market. My eyes, however, are on something else entirely while I’m playing something on my computer: my useless, good for nothing feet. My hands and fingers are both working desperately on the task I’ve assigned them to, but my feet just sit there contributing absolutely nothing. At times I pause the game and just stare at my feet. Observing them. Resenting them. Hating them.
“WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING?” I yell out.
“Shut up, I’m trying to sleep,” my wife responds.
It is really hurting our marriage. I can’t get my feet to help me with my computer gaming habit, no matter how hard I’ve tried. I’ve plopped the lazy suckers up there on the keyboard, but last time I left my shoes on I knocked off the “f” key. Taking my shoes off works slightly better, but now I keep getting athlete’s foot on my hands. I had almost given up foot-er, I mean hope, but then it arrived.
What you’re looking at is called the Stinky Footboard, a device that allows you to game with your feet and who’s name was outsourced to the first group of ten year olds the developers came across. While it might not be readily apparent, Smelly Gross Footboard actually has four separate buttons, located on the top, bottom, left, and right of the aparatus. The major selling point here is that it will let you allocate a specific hotkey to each of the four buttons, supposedly giving you better reaction time and limiting the number of complex button combinations you have to allocate to the keyboard. The designers also promise that by combining the foot controls with certain keys like shift, you can map different actions to each portion of the Putrid Awful Footboard. This means that pressing down and pressing down while holding shift will trigger two separate responses giving you sixteen unique controls that you can operate via your feet. The controls are supposed to be tight and responsive, meaning that the controller shouldn’t get confused as to which area you are pressing if you are careful. Also, all the frequent foot movements should give you an incredibly strong calf muscle with whatever leg you’re using this with, so you might want to switch up legs every once in a while or you could end up walking in circles.
I don’t know if I should praise its ingenuity or laugh at its silliness. This clearly isn’t designed for me, as the games I like to play typically have fewer controls than I have keys on my keyboard. However, if you’re looking for something that might shave a couple nanoseconds off your reaction time, this might do the trick if you’re willing to get used to the learning curve. The current price point of $120 basically means you are paying $30 per button on this Foul Smelling, Death Stenchboard, and if you were to extrapolate that out to typical qwerty type keyboards then those would sell for around $3000. In order to justify this price point, the final product will have to be incredibly well polished in both appearance and utility, so we’ll withhold final judgment until we actually see it in action. They aren’t quite on Kickstarter yet, but they anticipate starting one up shortly. If you are eager to game with your feet, then you can sign up here to get notified when their Kickstarter project goes live. The rest of us plebeians will have to settle for using only our hands and fingers to game.