A World of hurt is the Painstation

Retro Ramblings News

I recall reading about this when it was first released many years ago, and call me sick and twisted but it always stuck in my mind as a cool concept with many social issues rooted deeply in its ideology. So without further ado I bring you the ultimate in sadistic gaming; The Painstation. The arcade gaming console (which has NOTHING to do with Sony and the Playstation brand), is an interactive device first designed by 2 student s in cologne and having several upgrades since, that delivers various degrees of pain to opponents while playing a simple Pong based game. Sounding cool yet? Well it gets better.

Players place their hands in the PEU or Pain Execution Unit (Yeah sure I’d put any body part in something called a Pain Execution Unit but anyway), which provides sensory feedback and can administer heat impulses, electric shocks and comes complete with a miniature wire whip. Removing your hand from the device counts as an automatic forfeit.


According to the team, initial legal issues as well as design flaws made a commercial unit hard to produce but they eventually got there adding various features and twisted benefits along the way. Safer whips have replaced the old wire mechanism which left large open welts on players (although much to their delight), and intensity meters can change the electrical output. The unit has also become more comfortable to players and taken on a more current feel and look.

One could only imagine the consequences if this unit made its way to the retail sector, I think DOCS and related child services would need to increase their staffing. Yet it does push the boundaries between what some might call pleasure and others would refer to as sick deprivation. Would you give the painstation a go or do you think its creators need a psychiatric evaluation?

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  • Jessica Barabas-Bui

    Personally I’m not into putting myself through pain unless I’m getting something more out of it than just winning a game. I am quite competitive, but not that much.

    But, having witnessed my fair share of pain-inflicting games, I have a feeling that this would do really, really well in some circles. Especially if you gave it to a bunch of drunk people.

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