Valve engineer builds weird tongue and butt-based game controllers

Credit: Ben Krasnow

Gaming just got weird. Whereas Microsoft and Sony are perfectly content sticking to the tried and true dual-analog gamepad setup, Valve is all about experimentation. Just take a look at that oddball Steam Controller for its Steam Machines.

Making weird stuff is in Valve's DNA. Valve engineer Ben Krasnow knows a thing or two about making strange stuff: his lastest personal project includes two game controllers that are controlled using your tongue and butt. (We can't make this stuff up.)

The first controller is a retainer hacked with an optical mouse sensor that fits in your mouth. Moving your tongue across the sensor replicates controlling a cursor. Umm, okay...

If you thought the tongue controller was crazy, wait until you see Krasnow's butt-based controller. The "controller" is really just a hacked bathroom scale mated with an Xbox 360 controller that emulates a D-pad. When a person sits on the scale controller, they can rotate left and right to look left and right in the game. Additionally, if the user puts more weight on the front and back of the controller, they can make a game character move forward and backward. (It actually reminds me of the Stinky Footboard, but for your butt.)

The controllers themselves look ridiculous, until you remember Nintendo sold millions of Wii Fit boards (which are really just hacked bathroom scales) and almost released the Wii Vitality Sensor.

Although Krasnow's controllers aren't 100 percent accurate and aren't part of any official Valve projects, he thinks they could be useful for virtual reality (something Valve is wholeheartedly interested in).

As for me? I think I'll stick to the trusty ol' gamepad or keyboard and mouse setup for my gaming needs.

Via Eurogamer

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