A very wise man who wore a hood and whose skin was practically melting off his bones once said, “Good! Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.” Probably, he was talking to a gamer about video games. Competitive games make people mad. There’s no getting around it, so you might as well embrace it. Mechanical engineer Eric “Insert Controller Here” Heckman has created a controller to make that process as efficient as possible.
Heckman’s controller, much like the internet, runs on salt. It’s very simple: The controller is a cup of water hooked up to an Arduino. If you’re playing Smash Bros, Overwatch, or League of Legends, you pour salt into the cup, and it automatically cues up the series of commands necessary to quit the above games. In Overwatch’s case, it even makes you spam “I need healing” before you quit, aka the premiere strat of MLG pro Genjis everywhere.
“One of the members suggested creating something based on salt,” he said. “The initial proposal was a salt shaker that you could hit/throw to quit the game—sort of in a fit of rage. But the idea for pouring salt came from me. I got the idea from an old chemistry class. The lesson was that distilled water is not a good conductor of electricity, but when you add salt, it conducts very well. That’s the principle behind this controller.”
When the player pours salt into the water in the cup, the attached Arduino microcontroller detects the change in electrical current and inputs commands into the PC or console, depending on which game you’re playing.
Despite impressive commitment to an idea rooted in rippling rage, Heckman says that he’s not particularly prone to rage-quitting himself.
“I generally don’t rage quit, but I did base the idea off the general toxicity I experience online,” he said. “The spamming of the ‘need healing’ in Overwatch and the general trash talk in League of Legends that I programmed into the controller is something that I see on a regular basis when playing matchmaking games.”
Heckman has been “playing around” with Arduinos for a few years, but he only decided to bring his passion to YouTube in December of last year. He hopes people will learn from his example—at least, when it comes to build stuff. Maybe not so much in terms of finding inventive new ways to rage-quit games.
“One of my goals with this channel is to teach people about coding/engineering,” he said. “So if they are interested, I have many resources available completely for free. I have parts lists, schematics, source code, tutorials and examples available. I also host sessions on Discord where people can ask me for help on coding their own projects.”
“I truly believe that anyone can learn to do this,” he said. Just as long as they don’t quit.