DISRUPT: simple controller hacks with Louie from Bar SK

Produced as part of Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

Ran from 8 September 2018 to 24 February 2019

More about this Exhibition

DIY arcade scenes have been emerging all over the world, from Montreal in Canada to Cape Town in South Africa. Experimental videogames are being played in unexpected locations from nightclubs and galleries to bars and backyards, connecting with a new wave of hacker maker creators, whose creations are often ridiculous and always resourceful. Crafting handmade arcade cabinets from almost anything they can find, they repurpose old hardware and technology in new and surprising ways.

Louie Roots is a curator and game developer who runs Bar SK in Melbourne, the first gallery space dedicated to interactive art in Australia. Louie is known for creating bespoke controllers that add a tactility and accessibility to the games he exhibits.

Louie has developed two simple controller hacks, especially for the V&A, that you can follow in the YouTube tutorials below and make at home. Please make sure you are supervised by an adult as these hacks use hot and sharp materials.

Share your hacks and tag us on Instagram using #DesignPlayDisrupt for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the exhibition Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

Hack no. 1: How to make a unique twin stick box from an old gamepad

For this tutorial you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Gamepad
  • Small wooden box
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with spade bit
  • Small nuts and bolts
  • Fabric (or other decoration)
  • Tacks (or other fasteners/glue)

Hack no. 2: How to turn a toy into a controller using a cheap mouse

For this tutorial you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Wired optical mouse
  • Stuffed animal toy
  • 2 x switches/buttons
  • Wire
  • Soldering iron
  • Screwdriver
  • Knife
  • Small piece of scrap wood
  • Safety pins (if you want your toy to look punk)