Hello, everyone! My name is Matthew Eargle; I am a helicopter pilot by training and an engineer by trade, but I find myself spending more of my time building interesting electronics projects, repairing gadgets, and teaching engineering principles to kids during summer camps and after school programs--and making videos documenting all these things for my YouTube channel, AirborneSurfer, and associated website, AirborneSurfer.com. Much of what I work on is done as a personal challenge to either fix something listed "for parts" or to find novel ways of performing a task with "unorthodox" equipment. I have a soft spot for older design aesthetics, and I try to either incorporate "retro" aesthetics into my designs or retrofit older tech with new components and capabilities. I have a degree in aviation technology and logistics, several instructor's certificates, as well as a rich background in electronics installation and repair reaching as far back as my childhood. When I'm not making videos about making things, I spend my time with my girlfriend and our two rescue dogs or I may head down to the local hackerspace to talk shop with a bunch of like-minded hardware and software hackers.


For this project, I want to build the handheld game that elementary-age me dreamed of. In 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy was brand new and prohibitively expensive (at least for my family), but manufacturers like Mattel and Tiger Electronics had already been in high gear pumping out handheld electronic games for 10 years! Granted, most of these games fell short on gameplay, sound, and graphics--especially "ports" of popular arcade and console titles--but with a $10 price tag, they were accessible! I intend to use one of these old handhelds as the shell and replace the internals as necessary to fully realize the goal that those developers had in mind! My goal is a device capable of playing not only the original LCD title, but also contemporary console and arcade titles within the franchise--complete with a customized front-end that evokes a hazy nostalgia for a device that never existed while celebrating a history that goes largely unappreciated in gaming circles.



Now for the obligatory bit:

  • I intend to make a video that shows me creating a working hand held, portable gaming device
  • I will post the video on the element14 Community by the submission deadline, 2-April-2018
  • If my video is one of the top 10 finalists I will receive $500 for my video