When the chair or your little sister become game controllers

Graduation show of the IDII in Milan, project number 6!

Control Freaks are devices that attach to everyday objects or living thing. They can sense the movement and sound of their host and connect that feedback to a local gaming platform, translating the manipulation of the host into game play commands on the connected game platform.


When Control Freak clamps onto a host, its sensors detect movement or vibration of the host object. If the host is a door, then Control Freak can sense it opening and closing. The device augments the behavior of the host allowing it to become the controller of a game. Swinging on an office chair can control the movements of Pong paddles on the gaming screen.

Two games were developed to demonstrate the Control Freaks concept: Brain Candy & Super Safari. Both are played in front of a big screen.

In the Brain Candy game, a Control Freak device is clamped to an ordinary office chair, and the player must swing the chair from side to side in order to control the movements of the Otzi Brain Monster on-screen. Swinging the chair side to side causes the Otzi Brain Monster to move left and right

11brain.jpg2supersa.jpgPlaying Brain Candy + Playing Super Safari

In Super Safari, the Control Freak device is clamped onto the player’s hip. When the player jumps, the Boris Monster character also jumps. Boris Monster must leap over poisonous mushrooms, avoid overhanging spiders and try to capture the little green monsters in the trees.

At the bottom of the project page, there is a scenario of how the Control Freak creatures might one day imbue our daily lives with play.

A project by Haiyan Zhang. Illustrations and character designs were done in collaboration with Myriel Milicevic. My images.