A: Yes, you need a CRT (cathode ray tube) TV rather today's LCD (liquid crystal display) models.
The Zapper was a key element in the Nintendo "Duck Hunt" game that was included with the NES console when it was introduced in 1985. When the Zapper was fired at a CRT, the screen reacted faster than the eye could see.
First it turned completely black, then the parts of the screen displaying ducks flashed white. If the light sensor in the Zapper saw white, you were given credit for a hit. If it saw black, you weren't.
But this technology depended on exact timing. The Zapper's light sensor allowed for the "lag time" -- the time between when the trigger was pulled and the CRT screen reacted. When LCD TVs were introduced, they had different lag times than CRT TVs. As a result, the original Zapper pistol no longer worked. ("Duck Hunt" was modified for the Nintendo Wii video game console in 2014, but the new version didn't use the original Zapper pistol.)
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