It’s been three years since Twitch Plays Pokemon graced Twitch over a million viewers. It was a wild circus of crowdsourced playing of the Pokemon series, starting with Pokemon Red. The social experiment was successful, as viewers typed in commands. And on March 1, 2014, the game was completed after 16 days of continuous playing. The sensation of Twitch Plays Pokemon knew no bounds—as it spanned to additional games in the series, as well as other games entirely. But a clever anonymous programmer making a Twitch stream interactive isn’t the only clever way streamers have played games. So we made a list of some of the most delightfully innovative ways people have distorted how we play games—Makey Makey-powered or not
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on a Dance Dance Revolution dance pad
I’ve always considered myself an above average Dance Dance Revolution player. Not a professional by any means, but with a childhood spent frequenting a local pizzeria’s DDR cabinet, and myself owning an extremely flimsy dance pad or two for my Playstation 2, I got good, as the kids may say. But I’m not alone in this skill. On Twitch (and elsewhere), streamers are modding the dance pads for a new purpose, beyond mere rhythm games, but to, y’know, other games too. From Spelunky to League of Legends, players have danced their way through video game plight, but one rises above the rest: a face off with Ganon, DDR-mat enabled only.
Dark Souls on Donkey Konga's Jungle Beat Bongos
Dark Souls has a reputation for a lot of things, but most notably is its need for patient, measured action. It’s not a game of hacking and slashing, but a test in virtues. Because if you fuck something up, you suffer the consequences. Of course, that means that there will be the people that say, “yeah, but what if it was harder?” As they strap themselves in for a wild ride of alternative controllers, of mostly the Rock Band or Guitar Hero controller variety. But streamer gbbearzly took another instrument to task: with Donkey Konga’s Jungle Beat Bongo controllers, he drummed away at Dark Souls bosses.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with the kiss of death (lipstick)
In another exercise of “never look at the comments,” Lipstrike is an experimental channel where a capsule of lipstick itself is made into a controller. As the streamer, Chloe Desmoineaux, navigates a typical Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map the way everyone does, you’d be surprised to glance up into the box her webcam resides in on screen to see that she’s playing as she repeatedly applies lipstick to her lips. Or rather, by applying lipstick, she is playing. It's extremely badass, as if she's air-kissing her victims goodbye as she frolics into the horizon, stronger than them all the while.
Skyrim on potatoes
Well, at least they’re not mashed?
Playing as Winston in Overwatch with bananas
If anything can be said about Overwatch streamers, it’s that they get pretty damn clever. Whether it’s repurposing a DJ Hero turntable for Lucio, a real-life broom for Mercy, or modding their own Nerf bow for some prime Hanzo play, there is no shortage of innovative Overwatch plays out there. Though there are a few that reside as a cut above the rest, and one of them is of a Winston player, tapping a whole bunch of bananas. Real bananas. That control Winston.
Playing as Symmetra in Overwatch on a microwave
You know what they say about Symmetra: she’s a walking, talking microwave. She’ll fry anyone in sight, as her baby-sized turrets pelt you with their rays. To play Symmetra with a literal microwave seems like an impossible feat, but streamer Rudeism was up for the task. Above, you can see him build the alternative controller from scratch, before hopping into a game around 100 minutes in.
One streamer, ATwerkingYoshi, has seemingly dedicated his entire life to the cause of playing games via goofy means. He primarily dances his way through games with a dance pad, but every now and then he diverges from that path. He’s effectively the Streaming MacGyver, finessing his way to play any game with anything that crosses his path, be they snacks or racing wheels. The best part of it is that he always looks like he’s having the time of his life. I want to live the life he lives with as much joy as he emits, as he giggles while pumping Wiimote-enabled weights and simultaneously controlling the powerful Zarya.
Playing as D. Va in Overwatch on everyone’s favorite ~gamer fuel~
As a marketing team for Call of Duty might say, nothing puts video games and players together more than high fructose corn syrup and cheese dusted tortilla chips. To be a “hardcore gamer” like the commercials task you as, you must consume inhumane amounts of Mountain Dew and Doritos to reach your gaming peak; to “git gud” in life’s terms. ATwerkingYoshi understands this, and embodies it as he makes controllers out of Dorito bags and a Mountain Dew.
Playing Dark Souls on a Wii racing wheel
If I were to play Dark Souls, I’d want to channel my inner Speed Racer too. Which is why ATwerkingYoshi’s racing wheel playthrough of Dark Souls resonates so deeply with me. Why not just rush into the heat of battle, not weighing the consequences in advance? Why not just work against the ideals Dark Souls sets the player up with at the start? Why not just play the game with an unruly, untethered racing wheel? If I were to ever be serious in conquering a Soulsian game, a racing wheel might just be my best bet for pushing me over the edge.