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Buyer's Guide to Power Gloves

It's Christmas time again, and if you want to really impress the gamer in your life, then there's nothing like a Power Glove. Fortunately, the enduring popularity of this awful, awful controller means that you aren't limited to just the original. There are all kinds of interesting Power Gloves out there.

First off, the original and iconic controller from Mattel is not at all hard to find. You see them constantly on eBay, or even Amazon. It's also possible to occasionally get them locally at Game Over. Whatever avenue you take, be prepared to drop $100 on the accessory for a working one in good condition.

Lesser known since it didn't feature in The Wizard was Reality Quest's attempt to make a glove controller for the N64 called simply The Glove. There's no motion-sensing in the thing; it really is just a controller that straps to your wrist. By another measure, though, it does allow you to manipulate the game with one hand only. These generally run for slightly less than the Power Glove on eBay.

In 2006 an enterprising Japanese hacker decided to meld the classic Power Glove with the new Wiimotes and create a motion-sensitive updated version that looks beyond kickass. Unfortunately, all the original links to the maker, including his plans for better future versions, are gone. There is one man who can probably walk you through constructing one, though. Matt Mechtley, K.S.C., is an Instructible contributor who has worked with modifying Power Gloves and Wii peripherals before. If anyone can help you mesh the old and the new, it's him. Best part? Since all the Wii accessories will still work for the Wii U, it will still be compatible with the new system.

Suppose you're a PC gamer and not a console person. You're not because you read "Power Glove" and the headline and immediately rolled your eyes and made fun of me on Reddit, but just in case you're still here, I want to let you know that you too can join the fun. While Leland Flynn's glove lacks the retro futurism of the original glove design, it is more than functional and fully capable of gaming, typing or Web-browsing.

That about does it for functionality, but how are you stocked for pure damn awesomeness? Well, the Power Glove made more than one film appearance. No less a celebrity and glove enthusiast than Freddy Krueger used a version of his bladed weapon with video game compatibility to kill a victim named Spencer whose dreams had trapped him in a side-scroller during Freddy's Dead. You can pick up replicas of the famous prop courtesy of Ken Hastings of Dreams Created Evil. All the switches and lights work, though it's no use for actual gaming.

And since video games are now officially art, why shouldn't their origins be treated as such? Above is a wall piece created by an American artist named Jack Crowder. His simple but elegant mounting of a golden glove on a flat black backing both illuminates the brilliance of the original design while hinting at the golden cartridge of The Legend of Zelda...a series which coincidentally features Power Gloves as items.

Finally, the Power Glove inspired one of the great instrumental metal cover acts, Powerglove. They mostly play incredible versions of video game soundtracks and cartoon themes, like the Batman: The Animated Series video you'll see above. Pretty much everything they do is awesome, and I'm sure the gamer in your life would get a kick out of the music. Here's hoping Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man comes back into print one of these days. All you can get now is Saturday Morning Apocalypse.

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