China says it built a working laser gun, bringing us one step closer to a real BFG

Lasers are a mainstay of shooters. From Star Wars: Battlefront and Destiny to Doom and Wolfenstein, everyone loves a good laser rifle (at least, in videogames). But according to Gizmodo, China loves laser guns the most: it's only gone and made one. The country's ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle can result in "instant carbonization" of targets a kilometer away, reports claim, burning human skin and igniting flammable materials. The South China Morning Post adds that researchers say the laser can "burn through clothes in a split-second" and cause pain "beyond endurance." Yay, science. 

That being said, we're not quite at BFG levels of laserdom just yet. An official report describes the ZKZM-500 as a non-lethal anti-terrorism tool which could, in theory, "temporarily disable" targets in the event of a hostage situation, and from the sound of things I reckon it would disable the shit out of 'em. And because the gun is silent and its laser is invisible, researchers believe it could also be used in "covert military operations," just in case this gun wasn't sounding Deus Ex enough.  Speaking of which, just look at the thing:  

Image via Gizmodo 

Image via Gizmodo 

Granted, it doesn't look much like the BFG, and the BFG isn't a particularly covert weapon, and OK sure it's also better known for, erm, permanently disabling targets. But if this thing can carbonize human flesh, it can probably do the same to demons (which may well be necessary).

On another note, modders from Thailand have already made a PC out of a damn gun, and modders from Japan turned a pile of guns and lights into a beast of a rig. I have the utmost confidence that China's modders can and will turn the ZKZM-500 into a gaming PC, and that they will RGB the laser. 

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.