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Plugged In

5 gaming oddities from E3

Plugged In

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There are a lot of really, really great games, hardware and accessories on display at E3 this year.

Then there’s this stuff.

Technology wasn’t exactly polite at this year’s show -- both Sony and Microsoft had notable problems at their respective press conferences -- but it sure got weird. Poke around the strange little corners of E3 and you’ll find all sorts of bizarre bits, such as these five:

Stinky Gaming Footboard

It’s one thing to control games by waving your arms and talking to your TV, but it’s another thing entirely to use your feet. The Stinky Gaming Footboard – yes, that’s really its name – is a new device for PC gamers which makes it easier to use keybinds. Instead of using your hands to access keyboard shortcuts, you’ll rest your foot on the board, then move it in different directions. It’ll go on sale this August for $100.

Force Feedback Headphones

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Headphones

Feeling the controller rumble in your hands as you play? Pretty cool.

Feeling it around your ears? Very weird.

Able Planet and ViviTouch are showcasing headphones with haptic technology that’s meant to increase the immersion of games. The companies say you’ll be able to feel the difference between a V8 and V6 engine in driving games and ‘feel’ the explosions in action titles.

Pair this with the FPS gaming vest from a couple years ago and you may need a bottle of Advil handy after a long game session.

Games for Seniors

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There have been plenty of studies showing the health benefits of video games for senior citizens, but that hasn’t spurred too many titles made specifically for the demographic.

Now, Nana and Granddad are getting a game just for them. Zoezi Park is an interactive exercise game that’s made specifically for people age 65 and up with a focus on reducing the risk of falling.

[ Related: Sonic Lost World screenshots ]

Cyberbike

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Console games get the spotlight at E3, but in some corners, you’ll find games for SmartTVs. And if you look hard enough, you’ll find peripherals for that niche market.

The Cyberbike is already available for the PS3 and Wii, but this version is meant for Samsung TVs. Ride as you play and ideally get in shape. Features include an adjustable seat, magnetic resistance and (natch) a holder for your remote control.

[ Related: Hottest Trailers of E3 ]

Lionel Trains

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In a show dedicated to new and flashy goodies, the last thing you’d expect to see is something so inarguably ‘old school,’ but Lionel Trains is motoring into the video game world.

The 100-year old company plans to launch its first iPad game this summer. Lionel Battle Trains may not have quite the same level of action as Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4, but it’s shaping up to be a bit more than you might expect.

Though details are still under wraps, the game promises to put you in charge of engineering a train (which may or may not be armed to the teeth) over 1,000 miles of track through perilous lands.

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