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.

The Octopad was selected for Alt.Ctrl.GDC! See it at the Mascone Center on March 19-22, 2019! Previously exhibited at:
  • Video Game: Cohabitant at the Independent Animation Biennale (December 10-12, 2018 in Shenzhen)
  • Beta Public at the Camden People's Theater (November 19, 2018 in London)
  • Different Games at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (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 Shenzhen. 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. People playing the Octopad together in a bar for alt.ctrl.party at GDC 2018.

Watch the Video       Download the Presskit