Video Game Controllers Are Art

The debate as to video games are art is tired. Either you think they are or that they're not. Turns out the controllers used to engage with games can become sublime too.

Who knew decades-old wired video game controllers could be so beautiful? The lines of insulated copper and aluminium — is that what they were made of? — that connected the Nintendo Entertainment System for the most part are a fond memory for most people. But artist Erika Iris Simmons made them into something extraordinary.

Simmons focuses on taking found objects and reconfiguring them into hypnotic images of people and things. I say hypnotic because I can't stop staring at the artwork she's made of NES gamepad wires. My eyes follow along the contortions that Simmons shapes into images of Mario, Link and Pac-Man. These constructions belong to a series of works called "Ghost in the Machine," where Simmons does stuff like unspooling old cassette and VHS tapes into details like Jules' jheri curl from Pulp Fiction or forming a portrait of late comedian Bill Hicks from old amusement park ride tickets.

If you're really into the NES wire art above, Simmons has those pieces up for sale at her website. Might make a great birthday/Christmas present for a special someone.

Via Reddit.


    That's pretty neat. I'm going to borrow this idea.

    I don't remember the controller cables being that long, I call shenanigans.

    Cool, but those are definitely modded controllers.

    Looks like liquorice!

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