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Interviews: Ask Ben Heck About Gaming and Console Modding 45

Benjamin Heckendorn, better known as Ben Heck, has become famous for modding consoles and game controllers. Over 10 million viewers worldwide have watched The Ben Heck Show to see him create something new out of old gaming systems every week. Been has agreed to leave the Ataris alone for a while and answer your questions about console modding and gaming in general. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
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Interviews: Ask Ben Heck About Gaming and Console Modding

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  • Closed ecosystem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @01:12PM (#45346525) Homepage Journal

    By attempting to inject openness into an intentionally closed ecosystem, do you see yourself as an enabler to that closed ecosystem?

    That is to say, open standards are the default on modular personal computers, and almost invariably not present on video game consoles. By giving people who want flexibility a means to use consoles, do you see yourself as inflating those markets and doing long-term harm to actual open systems?

  • Design Workflow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HideyoshiJP ( 1392619 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @01:16PM (#45346557)
    Ben, When you're generally designing enclosures for your hacked consoles, do you tend to start with an overall design first, or do you start designing around the mainboards and then attempt to make things look nice later in the design process?
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @01:19PM (#45346599)

    Ever get any Law suits / DMCA / banned issues with the hacks?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What new features or technologies do you do see missing from the current gaming systems that you believe would beneficial, and why?

  • What do you think it is the best input device that you used for consoles? why?
  • by martiniturbide ( 1203660 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @01:53PM (#45346941) Homepage Journal
    Which one is the weirder/non-common input device that you used? Any comments about it, why did you like it or not?
  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @02:16PM (#45347183)
    When adding functionality to existing products that are made of molded plastic, what do you do when you just don't have enough room?
  • Been has agreed to leave the Ataris alone for a while and answer your questions about console modding and gaming in general.

    Ben, when did you change your name to Been?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      After he watched Ender's Game

  • Minced profanity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Have you ever considered legally changing your name to "Ben Heck&darn"?

  • Other than me pissed there was mention of Bill Paxton pinball but no photos?
  • I looked into the Access Controller a while back for my mom (she doesn't get out much and she has a tremor in her right hand), it looks like it might be good for turn-based games, but the design doesn't seem like it would work well for anything requiring real time input on both analogs. I don't know if it's even possible to improve on that design in that way, but more generally, I was just wondering if you have any plans to go back and look at ways of improving some of the older hacks and designs you've don
  • I live about 2 miles from you. Yet I've never seen you at Bennets for breakfast! What gives? Where's your sense of community?!?!?

  • About the the "clay" you use for sculpting (I've always thought of you as an artist + sculptor): Any tech you wished was mainstream, or maybe soon to invented, that you'd like to sculpt with? Any older more retro components that are limiting what projects you'd like to do? p.s. Love your work, followed for a while here & engadget.
  • Ben, have you ever considered building Iron Man armor? Bonus points if it's an autonomic prehensile propulsion suit.

  • Computer hardware is tending to be more and more integrated and consolidated, not just within each console generation (the first PS2 eventually consolidated the GPU and CPU in one component) but between generations (the PS4 launches with a single component for GPU and CPU). Does this help you hack by giving you a smaller device, or does it hinder you by giving you less flexibility?

"Paul Lynde to block..." -- a contestant on "Hollywood Squares"