There are but a few things that can improve on the standard gaming experience. A comfy chair, for instance, or the setup around you looking fine. Someone cheering you on from the sidelines is always a bonus and money spouting out of your disc drive at an alarming, yet ultimately pleasing rate is unlikely to put anyone in a sour mood. Or, you know, someone just giving you a massage while you play Street Fighter 2 would be pretty sweet.
While the money-spouting idea has yet to take flight, people have been on board with the massage one for years! Namely the people behind Massage Me, a massaging jacket that doubles as a controller for the original #PlayStation.
Massage Me With Your PlayStation Controller, Baby
Check out the Massage Me in action below:
Massage Me is the brainchild of two individuals, Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson. Working with KOBAKANT, the team managed to create their first prototype all the way back in 2007 — and it's come a long way since. While this product is certainly old, I think we could all do with extra games and massages in these stressful times. Here's the team on why they created Massage Me:
Thinking about all the motivation and energy that goes to nothing when an involved game player goes about pushing controller buttons on a mission to get to the next level, we wanted to appropriate that excess energy for another task.
Plus, what about the people not playing? Waiting their turn or just not interested. Combining the two, turing the innocent stander by into the massaged and the game player into a masseur seemed like a logical conclusion to both of us.
How's It Work?
For this concept to work, you'll need two people. Obviously. That's how massaging works. Anyway. One person wears the jacket, the other massages them but actually plays a game on the original PlayStation. Your back is magically transformed into a gamepad once you put the jacket on, as soft flexible buttons are embedded in its back.
Otherwise wasted button-pushing energy is transformed into a massage and the addicted game player becomes an inexhaustible masseur.
The buttons are made from layers of conductive fabric and connect to a hacked PlayStation controller. These buttons register the massage moves and interpret them before passing them on to the console as control signals. This allows the jacket to work with existing games, though it's primarily been used to work with fighting games like Tekken — it can be surprisingly intuitive. However, it may take some time to remember where all of the buttons are.
Obviously, in order to make the experience more enjoyable for the jacket wearer, players are encouraged to press a ton of the buttons. Wouldn't be much of a massage if you just played What Remains of Edith Finch, or Gone Home. But it's a really neat idea and a fun way to involve more people in single player games.
The team actually uploaded an entire guide on how to construct one of these jackets at home! But obviously you'll need a ton of resources to get one working. Still, might be worth it, no?
Let us know what you think of this jacket in the comments!
(Source: Massage Me)