How to turn IKEA products into video game controllers

You don’t need a $350 virtual reality rig to find a different way to interact with video games. 

 

Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Sep 27, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 12:34 pm CDT

You don’t need a $350 virtual reality rig to find a different way to interact with video games. A wooden ball and a plastic cone will do quite nicely.

Featured Video Hide

OpenControllers is a project from Marc Dubois, a student at ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland. The project combines objects from IKEA and uses their shapes to manipulate an iPhone’s gyroscope and camera.

Advertisement Hide

These controller hacks can be used for simple physics games, or to turn light itself into a control mechanism.

If not for controller hacks, people who can’t use traditional controllers due to physical challenges wouldn’t be able to play video games at all. Gaming accessibility is often tied to custom or specialized controller designs, by way of accommodating all sorts of players.

Dubois’s project doesn’t specify any intended purpose for his OpenControllers, but it demonstrates what can be done with some simple innovation, and a desire to challenge to dominant paradigms as to how we play our video games. We don’t have to be limited to mice and keyboards, or control pads.

Image courtesy of ECAL/Marc Dubois

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 27, 2014, 11:45 am CDT