The Raspberry Pi 3 is currently flying off the shelves around the world, and we've had a terrific response to our unique PIK3A retro gaming table hack. It even made it onto the front page of Lifehacker!
And now it's officially Pi Day, it's your turn. We want to spread the good word about retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi to the world of STEM, and we want all the teachers and educators out there to help us do it by joining in with the element14 Global Arcade.
The Global Arcade
The facts are these.
Just like video games, the element14 Global Arcade is intended to bring students together in the spirit of fun, electronics, and killing pixelated aliens. We're putting together 10 arcade kits that we'll send out to educators and their students with the best ideas for a retro gaming project. We might expand that number, depending on how good the project ideas are, but 10 kits will kick things off.
You don't have to recreate the PIK3A table, or build a traditional arcade cabinet. The Global Arcade kit will just provide the foundations for your classroom's project, but we don't want to dictate what to make or to cramp your imagination's style.
Go crazy. Reinterpret the arcades and games of yesteryear in any way you want. Maybe it'll be a GPS-driven game of Pac-Man that's played on the streets of your city, or an online game of Space Invaders with each of the 55 attacking aliens controlled by your school's Twitter followers. Maybe it'll be a perfect recreation of a Gauntlet cabinet hewn from solid granite. It's entirely up to you and your students.
A Shared Experience
Gaming didn't used to be a solitary activity, and there are massive educational benefits to joining in with a collaborative project like this. Arcades were busy, lively, communal places. So we want you to work in a team of like minded students, and that you're willing to share your gaming creation with the world in a Global Arcade STEM open day.
This will be a great way for schools, colleges, universities and educational groups to get some excellent promotion (which we'll be pushing out worldwide) and recruit new members, while also having a lot of fun.
To Take Part:
- Find your team members.
- Make sure each individual member of the team has registered here at element14.
- Create a blog post (or posts) telling the world who your team is, what the team's called, and what you intend to make. Tag your blog post with Global Arcade so we can track it.
- If you're one of the lucky 10, we'll send your team the Global Arcade kit.
- Get to work on your project, blogging the build on here as you go.
- Invite the gaming public to come an play your Global Arcade project on 1st May while all the other Global Arcade teams do the same.
We can create your teams in the Community gamification system, which we'll do once you're all registered. You can then add all your team mates to it, and win some group badges as you build your project.
But the element14 Global Arcade isn't about winning. It's about playing, and that includes putting your project together. We want to remind the world that hacking and making is fun, and that gaming can be a powerful, creative, educational drive.
We'll be announcing the teams that get the Global Arcade kits at the beginning of April, so you can start bringing your students together right away, and formulate your awesome retro gaming project ideas .
The Global Arcade Kit
The 10 teams will each receive the following if their team and project is chosen:
- The Brains: A Raspberry Pi 3
- The Controls: Two classic ball-top joysticks
- The Buttons: Fifteen 28mm arcade buttons (that's six per player, player one start, player two start, and coin -- although that's not an obligatory setup).
- The Interface: Two Arduino Leonardos
- The Display: A 19" LCD monitor
- The Sound: A set of 2.1 active computer speakers
- The Bits and Pieces: A couple of USB cables, an SD card, wire kit
You don't have to use all these parts, or use them in the way they were originally intended, but we'd like the Raspberry Pi 3 to work as the brains of your game. And feel free to add anything else needed to make your retro gaming vision into a reality.