A game controller made with fuse beads that looks like a fuse beads fridge magnet that looks like a Nintendo NES controller…
Vintage video-game aesthetics made a big come-back a few years ago. Fuse beads, with their “pixel” look, design flexibility and easiness of use (suitable for anyone age 5+), benefited from this trend and became increasingly popular as a craft and as a form of personal expression: from Super Mario coasters to plastic jewelery, Zelda-inspired street art, and fridge magnets representing cassette tapes or old-fashioned video-game controllers – such as the NES from Nintendo.
With this project, I aimed to push the whole computer-game geekiness of it even further by making an actual game controller that references fridge magnets that reference Nintendo game controllers. All using fuse beads (and Arduino). Although not actually compatible with Nintendo game consoles, the controller sends simple binary information through the serial port that can be read by regular softwares and be used in computer games, computer music or other types of real-time control of digital content, for example as an iTunes remote control. Besides testing out how to combine a particular crafting technique (fuse beads) with standard physical computing tools, the resulting controller aimed to leak some pixel aesthetics onto the physical world, all with a touch of old-school nostalgia.