Competition Documentary Feature
The Power of Glove
Directed by: Andrew Austin, Adam Ward
USA, 2017, 65m
Talent in Attendance on April 10th
In 1989, Mattel released the Power Glove, the first gesture-based controller designed to work with Nintendo games. Lacking its own games and plagued by functionality issues, this introduction to the world of VR was a commercial flop within a year of its debut. With its origins based around the breakthrough technology created by Thomas Zimmerman and Jaron Lanier at their VPL Research company, the Power Glove’s earliest incarnation ignited the tech world’s imagination about the possibilities of virtual reality, but it was the late ‘80s revitalized video game industry that would bring the Power Glove and VR to the masses. Unfortunately, the Power Glove didn’t impress Nintendo, the critics, or gamers, who all saw it as a gimmick built more on hype (and bad Hollywood movies) than on quality. However, more than two decades after its release, the Power Glove continues to spark the imagination of video gaming and technology fans as it is utilized and repurposed in art, music, and other hacking endeavors inspired by the innovative promise of gesture-based technology. Packed with nerdy fun and awesome archival clips, once you put on The Power of Glove, “everything else becomes child’s play.”
Legions of New York City ping pong fanatics face off in the sun, rain, wind, and snow on two outdoor tables secretly provided by an ex-gangbanger.