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Man Hacks Xbox and Keyboard to Control Video Games by Playing Piano

·Tech Columnist

Ever since the Wii’s motion-based controls re-established Nintendo as a gaming powerhouse back in 2006, video game designers have been rethinking the way we interact with our systems.

Now, a new hack of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and an electronic keyboard takes things to an extreme, letting you control the classic fighting video game Tekken by playing the piano. The project is clearly a labor of love, having taken its creator a full semester to assemble.

The piano sends a MIDI signal to an Arduino microcontroller, which, in turn, sends it to the circuit board of an arcade stick. The result is a fighting game controlled by tickling the ivories. And as Boing Boing points out, the creator (who goes only by the name Mc Cool) actually managed to win the round captured for posterity on his Vimeo page.

Is it practical? Not really. Is it musical? Not especially — unless you’ve been looking for someone to pick up where John Cage left off. Is it cool? Most definitely. And, hey, with a bit more tweaking, it could be a nice little trick to get the young ones to begrudgingly pick up a bit of musical skill — sort of a Mavis Beacon for the classical music/streetfighting set.

Mc Cool is clearly a multitalented guy — his previous video is an instrumental version of K-pop group TVXQ’s song “I Swear.” There’s no final score on that one, however, so it’s hard to say how he actually did.

Yahoo Tech is a brand new tech site from David Pogue and an all-star team of writers. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest.