Packman, by Sean Dockrey in collaboration with Fiona Whitton, is a modified version of the game PacMan in which five joysticks combine to move the single PacMan. If three people move their joysticks upand two people move theirs down, then PacMan will move up. If one person moves left and one person moves right, PacMan will do neither. The software remains essentially unchanged, although it runs much slower (to account for the speed of group decision-making) and graphics have been added across the bottom of the screen to communicate what each of the joysticks is doing at any given time.


The installation consits of five beanbags; five custom-built joysticks that use MIDI cables to communicate with a microcontroller, which then sends information on to a computer that’s running the original Puck Man ROM; a projector and speakers.

Listen to people playing the game (culminating in frustration and disappointment) + animation.

Reminded me of Collabolla by Nathan Waterhouse, Simone Pia and Jennifer L. Bove: two players share control of a single character’s movement to play Pacman. The joystick is replaced by two space hopper balls – one for the x axis and one for the y axis. Players can use the space hopper balls however they wish – bounce, roll, rock back and forth, one moving pacman up and down, and the other left and right. Players have to communicate and cooperate with each other to move pacman around the screen.