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Snake Charmer: control 'Snake' with the sweet sounds of a recorder

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Researchers have hacked the classic mobile game Snake so that the title can be controlled by the pitches from recorders.

Snake controlled by recorders
Snake controlled by recorders

The recorder tends to get a bad rap among musicians. Often dismissed as a kiddie instrument, the inexpensive woodwind is commonly linked to memories of elementary music courses and untrained squeaks and toots. One thing we don't associate with the recorder? Video games. Several young researchers from the Kitchen Budapest media lab dared to approach things from a new angle, however, and in doing so have converted the instrument into a pitch-sensitive controller for the beloved classic Snake.

Shifting control of in-game movements to a recorder required the group to hack a Nokia 6110i. Add some 5V relays, soldering, an Arduino, and Max / MSP programming to the mix and before long the snake's path was being determined by each note played on the instrument. No, it's not quite on the same scale as Snake the Planet, but when's the last time you saw a woodwind double as a gaming accessory? We've embedded the melodic demonstration video above.