Octopad is an eight-player controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System that turns single-player games into multi-player parties!

Instead of one controller with eight buttons, what if there were eight controllers with one button each? Instead of a single-player experience, what if Tetris was a team sport? The Octopad is an alternative interface for the Nintendo Entertainment System that transforms classic titles like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Tetris (or Yo! Noid, Gremlins 2, and Hatris) into cooperative puzzles and multiplayer parties for 4 to 8 people!

Inspired by the treasure trove of photoshopped interfaces that Richard van Tol and Barrie Ellis posted on the Game Accessibility Forums over ten years ago, the Octopad reimagines a historic platform in the paradigm of one-switch games designed by and for people with limited manual dexterity. Rather than thinking about accessibility as a single-player problem, this controller engages the social, political, and environmental aspects of videogames to change the way we play.

Next the Octopad will be at IndieCade at The Music Center from November 10-11 in LA. Previously exhibited at:
  • El Club Del Cyberciaujed at the Centro Cultural Kirchner (July 15-16, 2023 in Buenos Aires)
  • GDC After Party at Shovels (March 24, 2023 in San Francisco)
  • Control Alt Play at Etopia (May 12–November 12, 2022 in Zaragoza)
  • Weird Media at the Laird Norton Center (June 24–26, 2022 in Winona)
  • We Throw Switches Party (February 24, 2022 in Glasgow)
  • Video Game Get Down at the Museum of Science (May 14–September 14, 2020 in Chicago)
  • Alt Ctrl at BitSummit (May 9–10, 2020 in Tokyo)
  • Alt Ctrl Party 2020 at the Minna Gallery (March 20, 2020 in San Francisco)
  • JEF Festival at the Medialab (February 13–March 1, 2020 in Antwerp)
  • IndieCade Annex at The North Door (January 15, 2020 in Austin)
  • NAVE Arcade 2019 at Game Ever Studio (November 30, 2019 in Buenos Aires)
  • Game On! at the Centro Cultural San Martín (November 22-30, 2019 in Bueno Aires)
  • Extending Reality at the Eugenides Foundation (November 14-17, 2019 in Athens)
  • Out of Index 2019 at the Seoul Innovation Park (October 26, 2019 in Seoul)
  • BitBash at the Museum of Science and Industry (August 17-18, 2019 in Chicago)
  • Develop 2019 at Hilton Brighton Metropole (July 8-11, 2019 in Brighton)
  • Feral Vector at the Birchcliffe Centre (May 23-25, 2019 in Yorkshire)
  • Night Market at Freeplay Games Festival (May 11, 2019 in Melbourne)
  • DAiCon 2019 at UC Davis (April 27, 2019 in Davis)
  • Now Play This! at Sommerset House (April 6-14, 2019 in London)
  • Leftfield Collection at EGX Rezzed (April 4-6, 2019 in London)
  • alt.ctrl.party at GDC2019 (March 22, 2019 in San Francisco)
  • alt.ctrl.gdc at GDC2019 (March 18-22, 2019 in San Francisco)
  • Video Game: Cohabitant at the Animation Biennale (Dec. 10-12, 2018 in Shenzhen)
  • Beta Public at the Camden People's Theater (November 19, 2018 in London)
  • Different Games at Worcester Polytechnic (October 12-14, 2018 in Worcester)
  • IndieCade at Santa Monica College (October 11-13, 2018 in Santa Monica)
  • SAAM Arcade at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (July 22, 2018 in DC)
  • Neural Nets at the Worth Ryder Gallery (April 5, 2018 in Berkeley)
  • alt.ctrl.party at GDC2018 (March 23, 2018 in San Francisco)

A photograph of the Octopad's eight one-switch controllers alongside a Nintendo Entertainment System. A photograph of a hand holding the START and SELECT controllers with the other six in the background. A close-up photograph of the Octopad's eight one-switch controllers in a pile on the ground. A crowd of people playing together at the DiGRA 2018 academic conference in Turin, Italy. A family casually playing together in a livingroom in Denver. A group of people playing together at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art's annual arcade in DC. A crowd of people playing together at the 4th Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale in China. A group of people playing together and pointing at the screen at IndieCade 2018 at Santa Monica College. People playing the Octopad together in a bar for alt.ctrl.party at GDC 2018. A cat sitting by the Octopad.

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