This Kit Turns Anything That Conducts Electricity Into a Game Controller

Makey Makey
Makey Makey / Makey Makey

From joysticks to touch pads, the controllers we use to play our favorite games have evolved a lot in the past 40 years. Now, a new product from two MIT graduate students allows players to make controllers out of familiar objects you can find around the house, WIRED reports.

Makey Makey is a kit that consists of a circuit board, alligator clips, and a USB cable. It doesn't look like much when you first take it out of the package, but by assembling all the pieces, you can transform anything that conducts electricity into your personal game controller. The clips connect to different computer keys, and attaching them to conductive objects creates interactive buttons. A pencil drawing of Pac-Man can be used as the right cursor, while a banana can stand in for the space bar. In addition working with food, plants, water, and even Play-Doh, the kit can even be used with parts of the player's own body.

Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum came up with the kit at the MIT Media Lab. They wanted to design a product in line with the maker movement that encourages kids to get creative with how they interact with technology. "Makey Makey is a device for allowing people to plug the real world into their computers," David Ten Have of JoyLabz, the product's manufacturer, told WIRED. "We want people to be able to see the world as their construction kit."

Versions of Makey Makey can be purchased online starting at $24.95. To see how the kit can be used to make a banana keyboard or a Play-Doh Super Mario controller, watch the video below.

[h/t WIRED]