May 10, 2008

A Swell (and Swollen) NES Controller

by Nick Montfort · , 2:24 pm

The NES coffee table in use. (Photo from Downes' blog.)

Ian Bogost writes in “The Rhetoric of Exergaming” that gross motor activity in the living room is inhibited by coffee tables. That seems to be true in many cases, but not when your coffee table is also a functional NES controller. Kyle Downes has built such a furnishing and functional piece of hardware, which also serves as a storage box. A glass tabletop places the unit in beverage-supporting mode. While playing the NES with this controller may not qualify as a fitness activity, it’s certainly a change and engages more than the player’s thumbs. If this trend of controller embiggenment, kicked off by Grand Text Auto‘s own Mary Flanagan and her [giantJoystick], keeps rolling along, we might be playing casual games on ginormous cell phones before too long. Oops – we already are. (Thanks to Hanna for the tip about Downes’ project.)

One Response to “A Swell (and Swollen) NES Controller”

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