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What if you could create a video game where the controller was cold as ice? I'm thinking this could be fun especially for player vs player games...who wants to win more? will you risk frostbite? on your tongue ? Maybe it's just the middle of winter and cabin fever has set in, but I think this would even be a pretty fun party activity

Regardless, this Instructable documents how you can control video games with icicles using a nifty invention known as the Makey Makey. Makey Makey allows you to get creative with the interface to computers, the device mimics a USB keyboard and mouse and lets you connect everyday objects in the place of a keyboard and or mouse.

Parts Needed:

  • Makey Makey - from http://makeymakey.com/
  • Computer - or other device that connects to a usb keyboard (Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, etc)
  • Icicles - (or you could use ice cubes)
  • Tin Foil - makes it easier to connect the ice to the Makey Makey
  • Tape -to hold down the wires during game play
  • Metal keyring - (not essential, but it's a handy way to ground yourself to the Makey Makey)
  • Video Game - Computer based video game, I used Space Invaders Deluxe

Step 1: Set It Up and Play!

There are other Instructables including this one I created that explain details about the Makey Makey. And Space Invaders is so simple I just had to set it up and try it out. Amazingly it works and even using your tongue as a fire button works as well! Makes me chuckle to think that "ice" can make a "fire" button!!

Controls required: Left and Right Arrows, Space bar to fire, these are all supported by the front side of the Makey Makey, just connect the supplied alligator clips to the contacts for the left and right arrow and the corresponding ice controller. Use a third wire to connect the space bar contact to the third icicle chunk. Connect another wire to the "Earth" contacts on the card...that wire is used to ground you...just hang onto it or use a metal key-ring and slip the ring on your finger. Finally plug the board into the USB port on your computer.

Originally I tried to "weld" the alligator clips on to the ice by using water and putting them back into the freezer...this would work great I imagine if you stuck the wires in an ice cube tray and frozen them in...grafting them on after the fact didn't work so well.Therefore as you see I ended up wrapping some tinfoil around the icicle. (Note you don't have to touch the tinfoil to activate the controller, touching the ice works fine). Another note, since the Makey Makey supports multiple, up to 18, inputs as the same time, you can use the left and right controllers and fire button all at the same time.

Check out the game play in the included video!



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