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In the centre of the Earls Court exhibition hall, surrounded by a sea of wide-screen plasma TV’s, interactive violence and scantily clad booth babes, the stand for Special Effect was easily one of the most subdued displays at Eurogamer Expo 2012. It wasn’t advertising a brand, trying to sell a product or holding a competition, and yet it often drew crowds as big as any game at the show.
They (and I) were drawn by the sight of an incredible young man named Isaac, who was warping around Portal 2’s test chambers using only his feet.
Isaac was demonstrating what is known as the split controller, which expands the classic button, trigger and stick layout of an ordinary gamepad into multiple smaller controllers that can be placed apart from each other. It looks like an extremely complex interface, reminiscent of a flight-simulators’ cockpit layout, but it’s one designed around its user’s needs, and demonstrates exactly what Special Effect is all about.