Can this 'performance-enhancing gaming glove' help you become an Overwatch pro?

The Chnano LED gloves we learned about a couple of years ago seemed like an absurd, but perhaps inevitable, evolution of the RGB lighting craze that plagues PC peripherals of all kinds. But they weren't actually suitable for gaming: As TechReport said, "The fabric was somewhat slippery against the game controller, and gamepads without rubber inserts repeatedly slipped from our hands." Typing with gloves on wasn't a great experience either. 

The Flashe Gaming Glove is a different sort of beast. Where the Chnanos just flashed, the Flashe promises to improve your speed and accuracy with a mouse, while simultaneously helping to prevent injuries. Performance improvement will come in large part thanks to the teflon-coated underside of the glove, which reduces friction and "means that you can finally become one with your mouse and move it faster, easier, and with more precision than ever before."   

That sounds like basically a wearable version of the teflon tape you can stick to the bottom of your mouse to help it glide more smoothly—which actually works quite well, if you like that very free-floating feel. (I do.) But I think it also assumes that you're moving your entire arm quite a bit, rather than just your wrist. Your mileage may vary, but personally, my arm moves very little while I'm playing games—the action is all in the wrist.   

The injury prevention element ties more directly into that particular part of your limb, and may be a more concrete feature of the glove, which as far as I can tell is a bit of a misnomer. It's really more of a Razer-ized brace that locks your wrist into an optimal position, keeps your arm straight, and provides left-right "rotation support" during mouse movements, which the designers emphasize is a Very Big Deal. 

"Never before has something similar to this been presented," they wrote in the Kickstarter campaign pitch. "Our rotation support will most likely change the way we think and operate with a computer mouse worldwide, not only in gaming, but in general computer usage." 

And yes, the Flashe Gaming Glove is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign, which is already wildly successful: It's pulled in roughly $57,000 on an $11,000 goal (translated from SEK), with eight days remaining. (Take note if you're thinking of backing: The sub-$59 pledge tiers include only the Gaming Sleeve, and not the actual Gaming Glove.)   

I have no idea if the Flashe glove will work as advertised, and the Kickstarter pitch is notably lacking an ergonomics professional's explanation to back up its claims. But you can never tell when something like this will surprise you. I do know that repetitive stress injuries are a problem for people who spend extended amounts of time sitting in front of a keyboard—and that as esports becomes increasingly competitive, top-level players will be on the lookout for every possible advantage they can gain. For that alone, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see these, or something very much like them, turning up at major tournaments in the future. If it turns out to be a high-quality brace then its appeal could be much wider. (Minus the neon-veined sleeves in most office environments, I suppose.)

If you're curious, you can find out more about the Glove, the Sleeve, and the prices (but, sadly, not whether it will light up like it does in the promo video, or what that knob at the top is for) at The Kickstarter campaign runs until December 28. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.