SHIFT + ALT + CTRL: Why We Need Alternative Mechanisms for Control

This talk outlines a historical and theoretical lens through which to view contemporary game control systems. From keys, joysticks, buttons, and wheels, to accelerometers, photoreceptors, and body tracking systems, what does human computer interaction in games tell us about the game industry, our bodies, and ourselves? When do these mechanisms work and when do they disappoint? Can examples of artist-built critiques of these mechanisms – including those of speaker Isla Hansen, and other artists working in games — show us the necessity of our constant search for alternative systems of control?

Attendees of this session will take away a brief history of human computer interaction systems for games, as well as various theoretical perspectives, references to thinkers and artists. They will also leave with an understanding of the way in which we can view games and the way our bodies interact with them more critically, ideally inspiring more critical forms of making.


Featured Speaker

Isla Hansen is an artist engaging with game technologies to complicate the relationship between the human body and technological progress. She teaches art at the Ohio State University.

Isla Hansen

Department of Art, Ohio State University