Game Geekness at the Makers Faire

In: Uncategorized by Edie Sellers

7 May 2008

If you’ve never heard of the Makers Faire, you’re missing out. Sponsored by Make Magazine and Craft Magazine, it’s a gathering of people who build cool things out of silicon, propane, wires and yarn. These are the people who overclock their processors just because they can.

Think one part Burning Man, one part Evil Scientist convention, one part Martha Stewart.

Want to know how to make a Diet Coke and Mentos fountain? Need blueprints for a guillotine? Need a “emergency party button“? This is the faire for you.

Of course, what would an event like this be without a heavy dose of gaming hacks, bots and mods? Nothing! Nothing, I tells ya!

Here’s what we found as we cruised California’s San Mateo Fairgrounds last weekend.

Want a classic Nintendo DS but don’t want to lug around all the games? How about making yourself a GameGrrl.

It’s a classic DS, but with a host of pirated games pre-loaded. LadyAda (one of the exhibitors of the floor) built it for under $75. It sports a 2.5-inch screen with backlight, an audio jack, and plays on four AA batteries. It takes about 10 hours to build, according to her site. Inside, it holds about 50 games, which is more than enough to keep your fingers busy. Check out her site for details.

If you’re hankering for a controller that stands out from the rest, think about converting a model airplane into a shoulder controller.

Inside this nifty looking craft is an accelerometer, so you can control the game by raising and lowering the nose of the airplane-controller or rotating it from side to side.

It has the accuracy of a Wii controller and the comfort of a shoulder rocket-launcher. Actually, much lighter… or SO I’VE HEARD.

It worked very well when we tested it, and it was surprisingly accurate. There’s no website for the creators, but you can email Garrett Mace, one of the guys who spent almost two years putting it together and making it work so well, at this email address.

Want to turn your moble-gaming technology back about a century? Turn your PSP into a stereoscope. Rather than lugging around all those bulky, flimsy, delicate picture cards around with your stereoscope (phhssst… analog!), load them into your PSP. You can even play your PSP games in 3-D using this technique. All you need is a vintage stereoscope.

For details, check out this site.

Finally, our favorite find at the Makers Faire comes by way of one of our favorite games, Rock Band.

Yes, we’ve all seen numerous descriptions and pondered untold number of specs on how to mod your instruments into Rock Band or Guitar Hero controllers.

The Guitar Zeros, a four-member band from San Francisco, takes it one step farther. Or maybe that’s one step in reverse.

They modified Rock Band controllers into instruments, which they play live and delightfully well. This is no pseudo-band riding on a gimick. Sure, the draw for me was their novelty. But that quickly dissapated as I realized this band is no joke. They’re real musicians playing real instruments that just happen to be modded controllers. Check out their music here. Their website includes instructions on how they hacked their controllers.

If these guys play in your area, don’t miss the opportunity to see them.

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1 Response to Game Geekness at the Makers Faire


Platform Nation » Blog Archive » Game Geekness at the Makers Faire

May 7th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

[...] (more…) CommentSubscribe You may also like… Video Game Jocks Episode 63In this episode we talk about Console Makers’ Quarterly Financials, Edge Magazine’s Nintendo Rumors, the New PS3 Chipset, Will Wright and Nolan Bushnell’s Comments onGameHounds Deals of the Day: April 23It’s been a while since we’ve done this, but there’s some fairly tasty deals out there for the sharp-eyed video-game consumer. And that would be you,You can’t give a bad review. YOUR FIRED!!!!!  I am not sure if all of you have heard this story yet, but I am sure some of you have, so I well tell you anyway.  As Comments There are no comments just yet, why not be the first? Leave a Comment Required Required (Will not be published) [...]

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