Treadmills, spell books, and masks: 8 bizarre new ways to control video games

Virtual reality is the talk of the show at this week’s Game Developers Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

But in addition to your VR headsets and your standard joysticks, there are a lot of bizarre controllers on display on the show floor. From treadmills to masks to spell books, here’s just a taste.

Biba teamed up with playground manufacturer PlayPower for a game where you ride a real-life tandem swing to make an alien shovel dirt into the mouth of a hungry robot. It's meant to get kids exercising.

Virtuix Omni has an all-directional treadmill that lets you run and gun to your heart's content in games like Call of Duty -- without knocking over any furniture.

Sixense plans to offer a motion-tracking system for virtual reality that keeps track of your body, including your hands. In this demo, players get two Star Wars lightsabers, controlled by a wand in each hand, to swing around.

HOMIES players wear masks while the screen instructs you to pick your nose or howl, depending on the level. It's an experiment by Baltimore artist Sam Sheffield.

Here, you move your hands around a glowing sculpture to control a spaceship in the game Nimbus. The controller is called DeodecaLEDron, and it's made by a game designer named by Alan Zucconi.

Book of Fate uses an actual physical spellbook to fight tree monsters and fire elementals. You play by opening the book to the right page and placing your hand on a magic sigil, which is actually a bunch of capacitive sensors linked back to the computer.

In Spacebro Justice Rocket, two players team up by putting on special elbow-length gloves and high-fiving, fist-bumping, and elbowing each other to the beat.

Two players. One mystery box filled with stripped keyboards and a multitude of mice. In Ferdinand Laboite, one very chaotic character is on a mission to make his way through his house and eat a nice meal, with players taking the part of his extremely strange and disorganized brain.

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