Alternative Computer Club

I’ve been building alternative controllers and game consoles for about the past five or six years. Project Libity, Big Data Outbreak, Thotcon 0x8, and Thotcon 0x9 are just some of the projects that I’ve worked on, often with my creative partner Rudy Ristich. My fascination with this has always centered around the idea that, if we could somehow break out of the three console paradigm, or change the way that we traditionally interface with games, we can begin to explore experiences otherwise unimaginable due to the inherent limitations of consoles and interfaces that are built for the mass market (and thus inherently built to be generic).

In the last couple years I’ve noticed a growing interest in this once-solitary fascination, which got me thinking: why not get some folks together who are making cool stuff to talk about our creative and design processes and why we do the things we do?

Thus, we have the Alternative Computing Club: Meeting 1 on November 16, from 7-10pm at DePaul University’s Idea Realization Lab (sign up here). During our first meeting, we’ll be talking about GDC alt.ctrl, the OSHW Summit, & Thotcon Badges.

Here’s a description:

Chicago game developers and hackers! Come on out to our first meeting at the DePaul University Idea Realization Lab. We’ll have a few short presentations from local developers on the platforms and controllers they’ve developed, followed by an open show-and-tell and gathering for people to talk about current, past, and future projects.

Short Presentations for our first meeting:
* Rob Lockhart – Hi-5 Heroes, featured in GDC’s alt.ctrl (
* Drew Fustini – Open Source Hardware Summit badge development (
* Rudy Ristich and Jay Margalus – Thotcon 0x8 and 0x9 games and conference badges (

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

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