An amazing new piece of video game merchandise goes on sale this month: an officially licensed Portal gun.
For around the US$150 mark you can get a beautifully detailed full-scale Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device that lights up blue and orange and makes the authentic sounds from the game.
It's a gorgeous replica, but of course what we all really want is the real thing. I suspect that every gamer who buys one of these items will hold it in their hands, pull the trigger to make the noise, and wish fervently that it was actually functional.
That said, there are plenty of other great gadgets in the video gaming universe that I would love to have in my every-day life. Following is a short list of some of my most-wanted items, but please add your own wishlists in the comments below.
Long-fall boots, from Portal - I will freely admit that a real live portal gun would be great, but it would quickly lead to a premature (though probably quite awesome) death without Portal heroine Chell's widely unrecognised accessory: the long-fall boots. Those odd leg braces Chell wears are actually high-tech devices that allow her to fall from any height without injury. Their life-saving potential is so great I doubt I would ever take them off.
Wrist grapple, from Just Cause 2 - The supremely fun blowing-stuff-up simulator that is Just Cause 2 is made unique by the addition of two remarkable transportation devices: a backpack full of an infinite number of instantly-deployable parachutes, and a wrist-mounted grappling hook with an unlimited length of cable. If I can have my Portal boots I won't need parachutes, but that grappling hook would have limitless real-world uses.
Dagger of time, from Prince of Persia - Some might consider this to be a cheat, as it's not so much a gadget as a magical artifact, but this is my wishlist so I'll put what I like on it. While the eponymous Prince uses it to undo his many deaths, in our less-lethal lives a magical dagger that can rewind up to 30 seconds of time could be used to solve countless problems. It could even be used to relieve stress: shout at that idiot at work, and then rewind!
Gravity gun, from Half-Life 2 - Just the thing the next time you need to move house, the gravity gun (or more correctly the "zero point energy field manipulator") can move objects around as if they are weightless. You could shift the fridge on your own with this thing, but be careful of the alternative fire - you don't want to go shooting your fridge through the neighbour's wall.
Mako reconnaissance vehicle, from Mass Effect - The Mako cops a lot of flack, but I've always been a fan. I always preferred trundling around on a planet's surface to the boring orbital scan-and-probe mechanic that replaced it in the sequels. Still, there's a reason why I want one in real life: it can climb near-vertical surfaces, and it never seems to roll onto its roof. I'd love a gigantic six-wheeled armoured car that can go almost anywhere. Wouldn't you?
Healing station, from Half-Life - Lots of games have all-purpose healing widgets, such as Mass Effect's medi-gel (why even have a doctor on board when you can cure anything with a handful of KY Jelly?) but to nominate one that works as a "gadget", I've chosen Half-Life's wall-mounted healing stations. If Gordon was ever injured, he could simply stroll up, press a button, and be completely healed.
Jetpack, from Dark Void - Finally, you have to be able to fly, and a good jetpack is the best way to do it. Dark Void had its issues as a game, but its jetpack is the best in gaming. Combine it with the boots from Portal and you wouldn't even have to be good at landings!
- James "DexX" Dominguez