A rhythm game where you fist-bump and high-five a partner. A battle of wits played out with tiny robots. A puppet theater where the puppets are also controllers. These are a few of the projects at this year’s Alt.Ctrl.GDC, an annual showcase at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Alt.Ctrl.GDC features games with “alternative controllers” — from the simple, like a spray bottle or slappable rubber zombie head, to the elaborate, like a small tent where players role-play a unicorn with an office job.
Some of these games go on to commercial release, like the 2015 virtual reality title Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Others are one-of-a-kind art installations that get a chance to shine at GDC. With the series in its fifth year, here are a few of the projects at Alt.Ctrl.GDC 2018.
Photography by Adi Robertson / The Verge