Light gun shooter

Light gun shooter

Light gun shooters are a subgenre of shooter game designed for use with a pointing device for computers and a control device for arcade and home consoles. [Jeff Haynes, [ Time Crisis 4 Review] , "IGN", November 19, 2007, Accessed March 29, 2008] [Wyman, Walt, [ House of the Dead 4 Special reaches arcades] , "GameSpot", Jul 8, 2006, Accessed March 29, 2008] [Chris Remo, [ Time Crisis 4 Review] , "Shack News", Nov 21st 2007, Accessed March 29, 2008]

The first light guns appeared in the 1930s, following the development of light-sensing vacuum tubes. It wasn't long before the technology began appearing in arcade shooting games, beginning with the Seeburg Ray-O-Lite in 1936. These early light gun games used small (usually moving) targets onto which a light-sensing tube was mounted; the player used a gun (usually a rifle) that emitted a beam of light when the trigger was pulled. If the beam struck the target, a "hit" was scored.

Modern screen-based light guns work on the opposite principle — the sensor is built into the gun itself, and the on-screen target(s) emit light rather than the gun. The first light gun of this type was used on the MIT Whirlwind computer. Some "light gun" games actually use guns mounted on joysticks, giving the illusion of using a light beam, but all control is transferred through the movement of the stick; notable examples of this include "" and "Revolution X". cite web|url= |title=FAQ:Games |accessdate=2008-03-28 |date=2007-08-05 |work=mamedev ]


In light gun games, ‘on rails’ movement refers to predetermined movement of the protagonist that the player has no control over. Unlike shoot ‘em ups, the virtual ‘rail’ is not necessarily a straight line; however the directions taken by the protagonist remain controlled by the game. Light gun games use a first person perspective, through the protagonist’s eyes. The player’s field of vision is thus also directed by the game; the player generally only has control over its aiming. ‘On rails’ movement significantly informs light gun shooter gameplay, as in the main the player’s defence (lacking the ability to dodge) is simply to shoot enemies before they shoot the player.

‘On rails’ movement will generally account for most of the movement within a light gun game. However, some games occasionally allow the player to influence the movement to a small extent by choosing between two paths through the level. The Time Crisis series allows the player to duck behind cover by releasing a pedal or button. Furthermore, some light gun games eschew ‘on rails’ movement altogether, providing the player with a means to directly control the protagonist’s movement.


See also

* List of light gun games
* Rail shooter

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