13 September – 21 December 2019
How are artists and innovators changing the way we play computer games? From the DIY movement of controller hacks, modz and instructables to artists ingenious creations and Xbox’s own Adaptive Controller, we invited audiences to experience some of the cutting-edge game-changing devices that offer radically different ways to interact beyond fingers and thumbs.
On show at Hacked! were some of the latest innovations in adaptive design, from the mighty Microsoft corp’s accessible controller, to low-fi hacked alternatives and arcade machines and instruments re-invented by artists. This exhibition was co-curated by blogger and gamer Vivek Gohil and it captures a unique moment in time when games designed from alternative all ability perspectives could lead us towards an altogether more immersive future.
Titles included Blackbox – an arty puzzle game, solvable without touching the screen – one-button game Bubbles the Cat, the falconry platformer Eagle Island, and exquisite visuals of Horizon Zero Dawn. The exhibition also showcased the innovative work of organisations such as OneSwitch, an online resource for controller modifications, gaming charity SpecialEffect, and digital instrument makers Human Instruments, who are all pushing boundaries in hardware design.
Hacked! was also the world Premiere of “Mood Pinball” by BOM Fellows Ben Neal, Edie Jo Murray and Harmeet Chagger-Khan – a Virtual Pinball machine that allows players to explore noise data from a Neurodiverse perspective as they travel around a futuristic and alien Coventry.
Hacked! Games Re-designed was supported by Arts Council England and Culture Central’s Birmingham Weekender in Digbeth.
Mood Pinball was commissioned by the Open Data Institute (ODI) in partnership with the University of Southampton DataStories project, supported by the EPSRC, grant number EP/PO25676/1.