Michael explains DIY: Crowd Sourced Gaming to the crowd

Written by on May 14, 2013

Pop! Phoning it in for fun at the SLO Mini-Maker Faire

Grownups, children and makers of all ages used their smart phones to play a game inspired by carnival clowns at the first annual San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire on May 11, 2013.

The Kennedy Library and Cal Poly Science Café were delighted to partner with the SLO Mini-Maker Faire to bring an interactive, crowd-sourced game to Mission Plaza.

With the manic pressing of a virtual button on our phones, we were able to control the amount of air that filled the red, yellow, green or blue balloons on stage.

Pop! You control the balloons

Which color would pop first? Could we keep one from popping and focus on another so that it would catch up? The event was called DIY: Crowd Sourced Gaming. Michael Newman, the creative director, interactive developer and teacher who designed the game, said it was a “less scary alternative” to the carnival clown game, the one where you inflate the balloons by squirting water into their heads.

Photo of phone playing DIY: Crowd Sourced GamingReal world + Virtual World

Using the virtual world on our smart phone to impact the physical world in front of us turned out to be a delightful merge of the two worlds in which most of us now live. The crowd shouted and cheered as they watched the balloons respond to their collective pressing. Michael, by leveraging PHP, the internet, an Arduino and some really orange cables, custom-designed the game for the location and event, just as he had done the year before at Kennedy Library. It was interactive, visual and fun.

Open Source

Michael will share his notes about how he made the game in the next couple weeks. We’ll make an update here once they’re available. Stay tuned for a how-to video, too! (Update: It’s live, and right under this sentence!) More photos are on our Flickr.

The San Luis Obispo Mini-Maker Faire was a hit! There were so many moving parts of the machine working together. We were thrilled to be a part of it. See more photos at the SLO Tribune.

Watch a video of Quin, a 12-year-old maker also at the event. Video by our very own Victoria Billings!

Read more on Cal Poly Science Café, diy crowd sourced game, Michael Newman, and san luis obispo mini maker faire.

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