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Making custom videogame controllers

Custom controllers are making a spectacle of the London indie scene @ Edge

Journeying into the hardware treasure trove that is the London Hackspace, a non-profit, community-run workshop where people can build videogame controllers and run demonstrations of accessible manufacturing technology, it’s hard to overcome the urge to lean around people to catch a glimpse of tech you’re never going to find on the high street.

Sat in the middle of it all is developer and event organiser George Buckenham, the force behind a great many interesting games, gadgets and talks. More pertinently, he’s the man behind The Wild Rumpus, an occasional night of booze, exhibition-friendly indie games and unabashed dancing. “It’s exciting to just see the object,” he says, “and then it’s exciting to watch people play [with it] – that’s totally what we dig.”

“If you’re a game designer, and if a thing contributes to the experience, and you can design it, then you should design it, or have a good reason why you’re not designing it,” says Buckenham. But where is the scene going? Should it expand, or is it forever going to be defined by a limited, one-unit-fits-many-events approach?

“I want more, of… everything?” responds Buckenham, laughing. “I want more diversity, for everyone to go off in their own direction. I would like more things like Wild Rumpus, more exhibition games, more crossover between people making games and installation artists, pervasive games… As that comes, and a larger audience are there, it means you can do more interesting things as well.”

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