Yes indeed, get your testosterone flowing ‘cuase its time to Armwrestle-Tetris. Building off my “Arduous Button” last week, I decided to infuse the same struggle into one of my favorite games: Tetris. There is something interesting about having to work for an action that usually comes so easily. No longer is pressing a button about the result… its about the process.
Now instead of just making a hard, and probably annoying, Tetris, I wanted to make playing the game worth the extra effort you would have to put in. I figured bringing another person would do the trick by adding a health level of competition. After thinking about all kinds of physical actions… crunches, jumping jacks, bike riding… I rested on arm wrestling. Although arm wrestling is traditionally a masculine sport and therefore may leave out some people, it provided a tight, personal interaction between two people, and the right number of controls.
So this is how my Tetris mod works: I built a ‘game board’ with positions for each player to assume the conventional arm wrestling position. Near each player’s forearm are two angled paddles that move their block right and left. Wrestle your opponent to the left and your block moves left. Also placed flat on each side of the board is a button to rotate your Tetris shape. And thats all you really need. The controls are simple… too easy if you are playing by yourself, but if you are (as intended) playing against a person the game becomes extremely difficult. You are tied to your opponent. If they move their arm to the left, so does yours; and thus the great struggle begins.
Fabricating the game board was much more difficult that I had imagined. Turns out, people are really aggressive when playing and tend to break the thing. Its seems they forget the “this is ITP and we make fragile prototypes” when in the heat of battle, which is great I guess, but it does cause some wear and tear. But, I think I finally got everything robust enough to last many rounds of play so thats good.