I feel like if the mechanism of shooting the balls for a huge shock explosion is a reference to anything, it is a reference toGaige's skill "One Two Boom", where Deathtrap fires an electric orb which, when shot by any player, releases a large electrical exlosion. Perhaps the in-universe explaination is that Gaige was inspired by the Min Min Lighter to develop the One Two Boom cannon?
The shock explosion from hitting the laser projectiles, along with the One Two Boom skill, are both references to the Unreal Tournament series' shock combo, produced by the ASMD/Shock Rifle. That weapon has two firing modes. One is an instant traveling shock beam, the other fires a slow moving ball projectile. Hitting any of the ball projectiles with a shock beam will cause an explosion. See: http://liandri.beyondunreal.com/Shock_Rifle TheKillerAngel (talk) 22:10, March 27, 2015 (UTC)
- It's not a reference - it's a game mechanic. The reference is made clear by the name and the flavour text (indicating the min min lights). The fact that the weapon repeats a game mechanic previously used by something that we generally agree was a reference to the ASMD (because that had both the effect and the supporting name to indicate the reference) is nothing more than a coincidence. -- WarBlade (talk) 04:31, March 28, 2015 (UTC)