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Photo Series Documents Evolution Of Video Game Controllers

Arts & Culture

Spanish artist Javier Laspiur creates a gaming-centric trip down memory lane by capturing the essence of old video game consoles

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 8 august 2014

Whether it was an Atari, Sega, Nintendo, or PlayStation, if you grew up in the era of video games, you never forgot the first controller you ever held. Gripping its frame throughout hours of gameplay, frantically mashing at buttons in an attempt to beat the level, these controllers and those that came after them were the portals into another world, filled with whimsy, wonder and that one final boss it took you what felt like an eternity to beat.

Madrid-based artist Javier Laspiur manages to capture not only the quickly changing shape of controllers, but also the nostalgia of the players in his photo series Controllers. Each photo features the signature controller for each system in the hands of a gamer along with the model console it belonged to and the year it debuted, starting with the 1983 Teletenis game system to the PlayStation Vita in 2013. There have been some more evolutions since Laspiur series, like the new Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles that recently arrived on the gaming scene, but since these images only represent the console he has personally played, the oversight of these most recent generation of consoles is understandable.

While the posters are a pleasant trip down memory lane for those in the gaming community, it is only by perusing these images can you seen how much the gaming world has changed in the last 30 years. From the new crystal clear imagery of hand held gaming systems to the increasing complexity and roundness of controllers for larger consoles, it’s easy to tell when games started involving more diverse and complicated actions by the number of toggles and buttons available. After all, it would be pretty hard to play Link’s signature ocarina using the original NES controller players first used to explore the land of Hyrule or do insane car chases in Grand Theft Auto with the Atari 2600 joystick. It raises the question of just how different video game set ups will look after another 30 years have passed.

Controllers

[h/t] My Modern Met

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