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Videogame History Frozen in Time - Literally

| 11 Mar 2011 19:27
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Designer Roger Ibars turns 100 legacy gaming controllers into alarm clocks.

If you're like me, you have about a bajillion old gaming controllers sitting somewhere in your house/garage/dumpster. Apparently, designer Roger Ibars had the same problem, and also apparently needed a clock. 100 of them, in fact. So from the lemons of gaming's past, he made lemonade in the form of digital alarm clocks.

The complete collection features a smorgasboard of old controllers including those from the Atari Jaguar, Sega Mega Drive, an array of outdated PC joysticks and some from devices I'd never seen. Each listing describes how the controller is used to manipulate the timepiece as well as detailed notes on the origin of each device.

The Bandai Family Trainer dancepad-like device for the Famicom, for example, is controlled by stepping on the various numbers, while The NES Zapper clock (pictured) uses the Zapper to change time and alarm settings by tilting the Zapper and pulling the trigger. A similar lightgun made by Konami uses the trigger for the snooze button on its clock, effectively juicing up your morning by allowing you to shoot the crap out of your alarm. It's a wonder someone didn't think of this sooner.

Ibars started his project in 2002 creating "a collection of vintage electronic devices - alarm clocks and game controllers - in which two cultures of interface blend: the computer gaming culture and the home appliance culture." Aside from clocks, he has made kitchen appliances, like toasters and dishwashers, joystick-operable and teaches workshops in Switzerland, Japan, India and the UK.

Ibar's website states that he occasionally makes his pieces available for sale via Ebay and other avenues and holds the occasional showing, but chances of any of them being commercially available any time soon are practically nil. Still, if that Zapper clock showed up at my local Target, I'd buy three of them. Just sayin'.

Source: Fast Company.

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