Retro games and a retro joystick

A lot of people of a certain age (cough – that’d be me) have been using their Raspberry Pis to play the games that we wasted spent endless 10p coins on down at the arcade when we were kids. MAME (the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a really popular download for the Raspberry Pi, and you can run an increasing number of games on your Pi as developers in the community work on recompiling for Raspbian. Below, for example, is the most excellent Metal Slug 3. (If you want a MAME download for your own Raspberry Pi, Shea Silverman has a handy little tutorial on his site along with the relevant binaries.)

I don’t know about you, but I find that what controller you use has a massive impact on the satisfaction you get from a game. Sure, you can use keyboard commands, but a joystick built for the game is a tremendously cheering thing. And sure, you can use a modern USB joystick – but where’s the fun in that?

Chris Swan thinks so too, and has hacked a lovely 1980s Competition Pro 5000 (hurrah for eBay) to work with the GPIO pins on his Raspberry Pi.

Competition Pro 5000

The Competition Pro 5000 - back in the day, the Amiga user's joystick of choice. I'm looking at my DualShock3 PS3 controller and experiencing feelings of vertigo.

If you want to adapt your own retro joystick, there are hardware instructions and Python script to get everything working on his site. Frankly, the whole thing has me feeling like a 9-year-old with a bad haircut and twitchy thumbs again. Thanks Chris!