Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Game continues: 9-foot video game joystick holds record for size

Two girls operate a giant joystick at the LABoral Creativity Center on March 31, 2007 in Asturias, Spain.  A giant game controller made of wood, rubber and made by Dartmouth College professor Mary Flanagan, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 2022 as the largest joystick.  Flanagan created the controller in 2006 to celebrate her childhood experience with the Atari 2600 video game. (Mary Flanagan via AP)

Two girls operate a giant joystick at the LABoral Creativity Center on March 31, 2007 in Asturias, Spain. A giant game controller made of wood, rubber and made by Dartmouth College professor Mary Flanagan, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 2022 as the largest joystick. Flanagan created the controller in 2006 to celebrate her childhood experience with the Atari 2600 video game. (Mary Flanagan via AP)

Two girls operate a giant joystick at the LABoral Creativity Center on March 31, 2007 in Asturias, Spain. A giant game controller made of wood, rubber and made by Dartmouth College professor Mary Flanagan, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 2022 as the largest joystick. Flanagan created the controller in 2006 to celebrate her childhood experience with the Atari 2600 video game. (Mary Flanagan via AP)

HANOVER, New Hampshire (AP) – A 9-foot (2.7-meter) video game joystick made of wood, rubber and steel, is listed in the 2022 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest.

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Dartmouth College professor Mary Flanagan creates a giant controller – almost 14 times larger the original classic Atari controller in 2006 to celebrate their childhood experience of the Atari 2600 video game obsessively.

She also wanted to see what it would be like when single-player became cooperative: it takes at least two people to operate a joystick and press a button to play classic Atari games like Centipede and Breakout.

“It was thrilling when this shared pop culture artifact just burst through the middle of space and allowed people to play something familiar but not familiar,” said Flanagan, artist head of the Dartmouth Film and Media Institute and Sherman Fairchild. Emeritus Professor of Digital Humanities.

The joystick, which has traveled to Spain, the UK and the US, is now part of the permanent collection of the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.

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