Push the button: Kokoromi’s Gamma game challenge, which we saw earlier this week, challenges game designers to build an entire gameplay mechanic around a single button. What can be done with a single hardware object – a self-contained, one-button invention? We’re looking for creations that answer that question, inspired by games (and encompassing hardware games and hacks), but also extending into interactive art and musical and visual instruments.

I’m putting this on the CDMs partly because I’d love to see these sorts of objects from visualists. We have upcoming hackday events in New York, Amsterdam, and San Francisco which could be opportunities to begin work on these projects; stay tuned.

Here’s the official call:


DEADLINE: MARCH 1 (receipt)

What can you do with one button? In an age of ever-more-complex touch interfaces, we’d like to imagine what a single, tangible, hardware button can mean for a design.

To celebrate the arrival of their Gamma game event in San Francisco, art game collective Kokoromi is teaming up with Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion to launch a call for ONE-BUTTON OBJECTS. This call seeks to inspire unique hardware/software hacks that integrate playful, one-button interaction within a standalone machine or device. The curators are seeking circuit-bent gadgets, retro-fitted consoles, mechanical constructions, custom electronics, and other one-off creations. During the week of the Game Developers Conference, the Game Objects will be featured in an exhibit at the Gray Area Foundation, a new collaboration and exhibition venue near the Moscone Center, in the Tenderloin. A selection of these Objects will be shown at the opening night Gamma party, alongside the software-based Gamma4 one-button games, on March 10th at the Mezzanine in SoMa.

Submission Guidelines:

Your object must prominently feature a single button in its interface. The crux of the theme is making a single button meaningful and central to a design.

One-button Objects can be games, toys, interactive artwork, musical instruments – any self-made device that provides game-inspired user interaction.

Your object should be a self-contained physical construction. If it incorporates a display or computer, that hardware should be provided and integrated with the finished installation.

Objects may be electronic, mechanical, biological, digital, or a mix of media.

Creators must provide their own materials (all work will be returned following the show).

Creators or their representatives should be present in SF in order to install and remove the Objects at the gallery (exceptions considered on case-by-case basis).

If an Object has special requirements, (size, weight, transportability, safety, security, etc.), please contact the curators.

Submission materials:

Provide a single URL to a project site with video documentation. Include:

  • A demonstration video, of 5 minutes maximum length.
  • If you have photos, renders or diagrams, these may be supplied in addition to the video.
  • Size requirements for the installation, as well as whether your device needs power (standard 120V AC provided).
  • Describe your work and its relevance to the theme in a paragraph.
  • Specify name, contact information (email and phone).
  • Include links to where any supplementary materials are housed.

Submission deadline is March 1; send your project site URL to onebuttonobject@kokoromi.org

Incidentally, if you have an idea for an HID-compatible, one-button game controller – which would therefore work with the games from the Gamma competition – I expect that could be interesting, as well, if not strictly part of this call.