We put our hands all over the weirdest game controllers of the year

SAN FRANCISCO—For years, we’ve put one particular item on our annual Game Developers Conference itinerary: the most elaborate and inconvenient game controller this side of a Japanese arcade.

Every year, international teams submit their craziest hardwired contraptions to GDC’s Alt.Ctrl Competition, and the winners get massive booth space to let passersby grab, smack, pull, and sit on whatever custom rigs the teams have dreamed up. (We’ve written about these exhibits a few years running.) Some of our favorites from that booth are in the above gallery, and their captions explain what’s going on in each game.

To be clear: most of these will likely never launch either at arcades or for home purchase. That’s not surprising, though I would probably pay for a Hellcouch conversion kit if it existed, just to mess with house guests. (A few creators hinted at releasing their work as downloads to be applied to build-it-yourself kits, but I didn’t find any yet released for the above games in my cursory search.)

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