“Press play” … “button-mashing” … the very criticism of digital music is often directed at the button or switch, even as the cult hit monome spreads arrays of buttons like a virus.

Well, we’re still interested in what you can do with a button, so to fully focus you, we’re only giving you one button with which to play. The challenge of limiting interaction to one button has already spawned an explosion of entries from game designers, who have fought their way through intense competition for the legendary Gamma indie/experimental game competition. We’ll see the winners at the Game Developer Conference next week.

But we want to see what people can do with a single button and sound. Friday, March 12, sonic (and game-based, and other) objects involving a single button will converge at San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation, in the midst of GDC.

The deadline is officially today, March 1, but as I follow up on entries, we’re extending that to Friday, March 5, by the end of the day NYC time. There are already some terrific-looking submissions, but we’re willing to entertain the possibility of more, at least for a few more days. (if you have something you want to share online but can’t ship, let us know that, too)

How to enter – simplified rules:

It doesn’t have to be a game. (But it could be.)

It does need to do something – make noise, make lights, move, or otherwise interact.

It needs to operate on its own. We have to be able to plug it in and have it function, without the addition of a computer, etc.

It needs to be shipped to California for March 10 arrival, to be ready for the opening Friday, March 12. It will then be shipped back to you.

Send submissions, as detailed as you can, to:

Party + Hack

Part of the beauty of the one-button limitation is that it encourages quick hardware hacks and simplified designs. It’s a design you can make even if you’re out of time. We’ll be having a party to finish off creations in NYC on Saturday afternoon, building last-minute creations for Handmade Music Monday night (details forthcoming) and the One Button Objects show in San Francisco. If you want to get your own little hackday going between now and then and join us online from your local hackerspace / studio (anywhere in the world), let us know in comments. Here are details for those of you near NYC – plus some music for everyone to listen to while you solder/code/build:

<a href="http://music.goatslacker.com/track/muscle-museum">Muscle Museum by goatslacker</a>

Handmade Game Objects Hackday + Party


Babycastles teams up with Handmade Music Night for a hacking afternoon. Come make crazy new video game objects, art, and controllers with us! We’ll have a jungle of fun stuff like dentures and gloves (high five to play!), but you should bring some fun things too. No experience at all necessary! (Bring soldering irons, tools, etc. if you’ve got them.)


Adam uses a gameboy with LSDJ and a lot of alcohol! We assure you that his name is not just all talk, he does in fact “get awesome.”

Zen Albatross »>
Zen Albatross make stuff with pixels, Game Boys and ancient spirit magick. He also blogs about art, airships, bleeps, bloops and other swell things.

Goatslacker »>
Goatslacker is Florida’s Josh Perez who promises to fill you up with high octane chip music.

and curry by chef Syed Salahuddin

And yes, that music lineup includes Goatslacker, who did the MUSE covers in 8-bit. It’s the sort of high-energy music that goes well with trying to keep your brain on hardware hacking.

Seriously, if anyone wants to switch on a webcam or IRC chat while you work on your submission, let us know and we can co-hack internationally.