Video game controller reconfigurability
In The VoodooIO Gaming Kit: A real-time adaptable gaming controller by Nicolas Villar, Kiel Mark Gilleade, Devina Ramduny-Ellis, Hans Gellersen (Proceedings of ACE 2006), the authors propose an interesting idea for innovating about game controllers:
Existing gaming controllers are limited in their end-user configurability. As a complement to current game control technology, we present the VoodooIO Gaming Kit, a real-time adaptable gaming controller. We introduce the concept of appropriable gaming devices, which allow players to define and actively reconfigure their gaming space, making it appropriate to their personal preference and gaming needs. (...) Ad hoc controller adaptation during game-play is the pinnacle of physical configuration in game controllers. Not only can the game controller be configured to suit a particular task for a given user but it can also be reconfigured while the user is still playing to meet any changes in task demand. (...) VooodooIO is a malleable platform for physical interaction, which allows users to construct and actively adapt the composition of their physical interface. Rather than being an interface construction kit for users, the platform is concerned with enabling and exploring the ability of the physical interface to be customized and reconfigured after its deployment into use.
A pertinent affordance for real-time modification of the game controller is that controls can be arranged to depict the intended use-sequence:
Why do I blog this? this is a very innovative idea for expanding on the idea of game controllers that would be more user-centered. Besides, the paper is very complete and shows a proof of concept using World of Warcraft; the usage study is also welcome! I like this idea of DIY gamepad, it's really part of the trend (DIY games, players' participation in the design process...)