Exercising isn’t always fun. Super Mario Kart, on the other hand, is always fun, so you could postulate that if you can combine the experience of exercising with Super Mario Kart, exercising would be fun more often, right?
That’s what a Canadian man must have thought when he modified an exercise bike to serve as a controller for the Super Nintendo version of Super Mario Kart. As reported by Engadget, the man, Brent Smith, simply installed a couple buttons on a stationary bicycle to allow for controlling turning, mapped the motion of the bike’s fan wheel to the accelerator button on the controller, and added extra buttons for handling special items and braking. With all that, he created a functioning controller for the classic game.
As you can see from the video and can imagine in your mind, it’s not as easy playing Super Mario Kart on the exercise bike as it is with just the regular SNES controller, but perhaps with further tweaking, Smith could create a more accurate and better functioning system that could later be applied to other racing games, or even sports games. Better yet, if a mass-market adapter could be created for current gaming systems, there could be another intriguing entry in the human activity controller space to compete with Playstation Move, Wii, and Kinect.
For now, however, exercise bike controller or not, I’m going to dig into my closet and find my Super Nintendo so I can have some epic balloon battles with my old Mario Kart friends.