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Giant joystick, at nine feet tall, gets Guinness World Records recognition as world’s largest

It’s nearly 14 times the sixe of an original classic Atari controller. Dartmouth professor Mary Flanagan created it to celebrate her childhood love ofAtari 2600 video games.

Two girls operate the Giant Joystick at LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre.
Two girls operate the Giant Joystick at LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre.
Mary Flanagan via AP

HANOVER, N.H. — A giant video game joystick that’s nine feet tall and made of wood, rubber and steel has made it into the Guinness World Records 2022 as the largest game controller in the world.

At nearly 14 times the size of an original classic Atari controller, the giant joystick was created by Dartmouth College professor Mary Flanagan to celebrate her childhood experience of “maniacally” playing Atari 2600 video games.

She also wanted to see what it would be like when a single-player experience becomes collaborative. It takes at least two people to operate the joystick and push the button to play classic Atari games such as “Centipede” and “Breakout.”

“To have this common pop culture artifact just erupt in the middle of a space and allow people to play something familiar, yet not familiar, was exciting,” said Flanagan, an artist who chairs Dartmouth’s film and media studies program and holds the title of Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities.

The joystick, which recently toured Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, is now part of the permanent collection of the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.