Text: Jens Persson
It all started as a basic exercise during a model-making course
in the UID workshop eleven years ago. Playing around with materials
and machines during his very first weeks at the school, Daniel
Jansson got the idea to try to build a computer mouse in the style
of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
The video game console had by then become iconic in pop culture,
defining the youth of a generation. Daniel included. Now, he wanted
to pay homage to the legacy of Super Mario and his compatriots.
The original foam
model from 2008
"This was all the way back in 2008 when I had just started the
Bachelor Programme in Industrial Design at Umeå Institute of
Design. A prerequisite to start using the school's workshop was a
model-making course where we created somewhat simple models. The
aim was to try out various workshop techniques. I chose to do a NES
inspired computer mouse, to some criticism from our teacher", says
A viral sensation
After Daniel had created the foam model of the mouse he didn't
think much of it. It was not until the following year when he
posted some images of the one-off prototype on his website that
something happened. Almost overnight, the images of the NES mouse
spread across the internet. It's safe to say that it became viral,
before the term was even household. Tech blogs were raving about
Engadget described the NES mouse, perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek,
as "the most amazing piece of industrial design in the history of
humankind" while Gizmodo declared that this was "the stuff dreams
are made of".
"Little did I know that when I posted some images of it on my
website it would go totally viral. Within days, it appeared all
over the internet. So many people wanted it made. But I was still
in school and didn't have any industry connections at the time",
says Daniel Jansson.
The finished article
Some time ago the video game retro hardware manufacturer 8BitDo
reached out to Daniel with a proposition to get the NES mouse made.
This time, Daniel decided the timing was right. He collaborated
with the company over the course of a few years, making prototypes
and refining the design.
Today, it's finally on the market.
The mouse features a 3D touch scroll panel between the buttons,
and the D-pad on the side is not only for guiding Super Mario
towards Princess Peach, it's also for navigating websites.