The first COVID lockdown shocked out-of-home gaming and the current second one can almost kill arcade clubs as we know them. Classic arcade gaming environment is based on intensive direct communication between players and onlookers( bystanders). Home\mobile gaming is another genre of digital entertainment and can not satisfied classic arcade fans .
It seems almost impossible to follow all sanitary requirements concerning classic game controllers in arcade cabinets. The only way is to make some great changes. At the beginning of 2020 I came to the idea to replace hand controls with foot-operated ones. Idea looked wierd but it works!
Here is a real example from Seattle(USA). Arcade club's owners took away all arcade cabinets and left only modified pinball. In pinball they replace push-buttons with standard foot-pedals.
And here is full clip.
But two foot pedals are not enough for any arcade game, even simple one. Thinking in the directions I have invented foot-operated game controller with rotating platforms. Visually it looks like X-box adaptive controller, which I found in the article in "NY Times".On photo I show the very first working prototype.
I made three games in Unity5 game engine.
The first was my version of the "Dance Dance Revolution " but in a "Twist"-style. Even Grannies can play it!
The second game is a simulator of table soccer ( kicker) that is also banned during COVID pandemic.
And finally I created a "Pong" clone for four players.
All these games work and are almost "COVID-safe" because are controlled with hands-free controller. In my "Pong" game test desktop works like a remote server and notebook works as a client's gadget . Client's gadget gets game data through WiFi UDP socket.
One problem still exists - the COVID-polluted air in the gaming room. Very expensive HEPA-class air filters will ruin any game club business. The only one way out ,IMHO,is to go outdoors with social distancing! This is how I see it in rendering.
This solution was filed as patent application and contains vandal-resist foot-operated platforms , user's gadgets as displays and remote game server connected with Player's gadgets through WiFi UDP sockets. The most amasing thing in my project is the fact that such system can work even when game club itself is locked ! Bigger screens may be installed in cabinets like in vending machines. In this way, exergame fitness may be sold like chips or Coke -).
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In December 2020 I made the 3rd variant of my foot-operated game controller.
I replaced Arduino Uno with Arduino pro micro. I tested this new controller with updated version of my arcade game " Twist Dance Machine for Grannies".
Such type of game controllers may be used not only by teenagers but by very old people too. In this clip I played/danced sitting at the bench. It mean that such game systems may be used for rehabilitation and\or fall prevention therapy also.
Minsk, Belarus, 2020.