Back in the 1980s, the NES Zapper was primarily used to play games like Duck Hunt, but in 2018, the peripheral was used to rob a bank in Mexico. A man who has yet to be publicly identified by police was recently arrested in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico after robbing a bank using an NES Zapper wrapped in tape.
Anyone familiar with the NES Zapper would know that it doesn't look like a real gun at all. Its color scheme matches that of the NES itself, and it is shaped more like a science-fiction blaster than it is an actual handgun. To compensate for this, the robber covered the device in black electrical tape to hide the fact that it was really just a harmless toy.
After the robbery, bank tellers were able to describe the man to police, who successfully tracked him down to Hermosillo. The man is reportedly wanted for a total of 15 crimes, including the incident with the NES Zapper.
Now while the NES Zapper itself was purposefully designed to look harmless, that hasn't stopped people from co-opting the look when creating actual weaponry. Notably, a company named Precision Syndicate modified a Glock pistol to look like the NES Zapper, complete with the Nintendo logo emblazoned on the side. This real world pistol made waves on social media a few years ago, and sparked a debate about whether or not its creation was appropriate.
It's doubtful that NES Zapper creator Genyo Takeda expected his device to be recreated into a working gun or used to rob a bank. Takeda, who retired in 2017, was responsible not just for the NES Zapper, but also played a role in some other major Nintendo innovations as well, such as creating back-up batteries for NES cartridges to let players save their games, developing the analog stick for the Nintendo 64, and working on the highly successful Nintendo Wii.
Here's hoping Takeda's other creations aren't used in any robberies or violent crimes.