LCD Hunt: a Tribute to the NES Zapper Gun (2019)

Game installation, as a tribute to old media. I revived the NES Zapper Gun and made a new-age Duck Hunt game for it.


In 1983 Nintendo launched the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) as its first in a series of computer game consoles. One of the most iconic NES accessories was undoubtedly the Zapper: the gun-like controller to play the 8-bit shooter games like "Duck Hunt". The Zapper made nifty use of the CRT TV's technical properties, relying on its very steady refresh rate and dependable response on an incoming analogue signal from the NES - in this case, a trigger pull from the Zapper. When the Zapper "fired", the TV would flash black for a split second, except for white blocks displayed at the locations of the ducks. If the Zapper, nothing more than a light sensor in armour disguise, sensed light (i.e. a white block) it was registered as a hit. Duck down.

But with the rise of LCD technology, the evolution of television took a different path and the CRT TV lost its place in the family living room. In contrast to its predecessor, the latency of LCD TVs is unreliable which ruins the crucial timing required between the Zapper trigger pull and the black-and-white display on the screen. Hence, the Zapper gun does not "work" on LCD TVs and thus is virtually rendered useless by this modern technology. And while other games and controllers were successfully revived by Nintendo in the past decades, the Zapper and its star-players were given a silent death. Therefore, one last homage to this vintage game controller with the game "LCD Hunt".

LCD Hunt is a Processing game, in which the Zapper stars from yesteryears can take revenge on the Zapper's destroyer: the LCD TV. As a parody on the classic Duck Hunt game, instead of ducks the players now shoot flying LCD TVs with the Zapper. Zap them all, take ultimate revenge, and the Zapper star will shine and conquer once again.

NB. A Wizard of Oz method for the presentation was performed, setting up a NES with two players and two Zapper guns for "multiplayer" mode, shooting at the screens on the screen. However, the "real" shots were fired by a third player behind the scene clicking the targets with a wireless mouse.