Arcade didn't have keyboards

Arcade Didn't Have Keyboards was a fast-built and easy-to-move indie games exhibition originally commissioned by the Théâtre de l'Agora, Scène Nationale d'Evry, France in 2011 to the collective One Life Remains during a residence. While arcade cabinets were very familiar objects among any retro-gaming amateur from the 1980's, the independent game scene uses them a lot to easily display games during event or exhibition (e.g. Babycastles cabinets or Winnitron initiative). With One Life Remains, we brought this idea to revisit this gaming platform and its traditional arcade controllers such as buttons, trackballs and joysticks by looking for games which had a very special relation to... the keyboard!
All the cabinet furnitures, were built in very light material using aluminium shelf and robust cardboard to cover it. Each keys which weren't used on a game were removed from its keyboard in order to guide the player (the only keys available were the ones to use to play) so he knows what button to press, just like a regular arcade controller). The DIY aspect of the cabinet was reinforce by . The exhibition was restored and exhibited two more times since the first public event, one time at the artistic establishment the Centquatre-Paris during the event "Mais que refaire?" in 2012, and during the digital art festival SIANA in Evry, France in 2013.  

Exhibition description and communication text was co-written with Marion Coville.
Adrien Vannier did collaborate with us to quick-paint one arcade cabinet.


Images by One Life Remains & Simon Bachelier. Creative Commons with attribution.

Curated works

Chase Goose by Hideous
Dinosaurs didn't have keyboards …but if they did, they wouldn’t break (like yours is about to) by Sophie Houlden
GIRP by Bennett Foddy
Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf by Cactus (Jonatan Söderström)
pOnd by Peanutgallery