Hacking a Mouse for Closet Light Start Button

Game Cabinet, How-to's & Tutorials, Ninja Shadow Warrior, Physical Computing

Ninja Shadow Warrior in its first phases used the Arduino to attach the Closet Light Start Button (modded with Normally Open Momentary Switch instead of On-Off Switch). It was being a bit unreliable, so I changed to just connecting it to a mouse — Syed from Babycastles suggested it! I used a Logitech Mouse that Syed had left over from one of his One Button workshops. Here are the wires I used to connect it to the Closet Light Start Button. I brought 4 back up start buttons to Paris, in case the start button busted during the show.

Ninja Shadow Warrior Cabinet at Game Innovation Lab Demo Day

Game Cabinet, Ninja Shadow Warrior, NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab

There is nothing that a little black vinyl, a vinyl cutter, some wood, a band saw, paint and a closet light hack can’t do!

This cabinet is sort of a bridge between the game and the physical space where it is located. Some questions I asked myself: How can I best communicate the content of the game cabinet to the physical space around it? How can I create a playful environment around the game itself, so that it encourages people to play and entices people to try out the game if they haven’t before?

Some design strategies used for the cabinet are:

  • Playing with the scale of objects to create whimsy (large scale button & throwing stars)
  • Very easy 1 button interface (large start button)
  • Combining 2 seemingly contrasting styles: cute & fierce bunny ninjas in action poses
  • Using ninja theme from the game for the decals — based in arcade cabinets of the 80’s, where there were a lot of action images of the characters of the games on the cabinet
  • Use of florescent lighting which makes photos look better by washing out facial details as on many Purikura kiosks — the idea here is that the better the photos look, the more people would want to play (although I guess, some of the poses are too silly for that!)