Forget playing games for cash -- if you really want to raise the stakes, try losing your actual blood when you lose in the virtual world. That's the concept behind Blood Sport, a crowdfunded project that modifies game controllers to drain your body when your character takes damage. Their Arduino-based technology turns a gamepad's rumble signals (which often indicate that you've been hit) into commands for a blood collection machine. In theory, every digital punch or gunshot draws some of the red stuff from your arm. And before you ask: Blood Sport limits transfers based on your age, medical conditions and weight, so you won't pass out just because your gaming skills aren't up to snuff.
The Blood Sport team wants to use its invention for a donation drive, and the amount you pledge determines just how soon you get to play. Forking over $10 Canadian gets you a spot on the cross-Canada tour starting in June; $25 gets you into a live Battlefield Hardline test run in Toronto on March 17th, and shelling out $100 or more lets you try a single-player version weeks in advance. There's no word of an American tour, but it could be worth contributing even if you can't go. You'll be helping improve blood supplies, and it'll be interesting to see how people play when their life (even if just a small part of it) is on the line.
Update: Well, that was fast -- Kickstarter has suspended the campaign. The crowdfunding outfit typically doesn't comment on why it freezes campaigns, but it's easy to see why it would get squeamish about something that's potentially quite dangerous, even when there are plenty of precautions.