Journeying into the hardware treasure trove that is the London Hackspace, a non-profit, community-run workshop where people can build videogame controllers and run demonstrations of accessible manufacturing technology, it’s hard to overcome the urge to lean around people to catch a glimpse of tech you’re never going to find on the high street.
Sat in the middle of it all is developer and event organiser George Buckenham, the force behind a great many interesting games, gadgets and talks. More pertinently, he’s the man behind The Wild Rumpus, an occasional night of booze, exhibition-friendly indie games and unabashed dancing. “It’s exciting to just see the object,” he says, “and then it’s exciting to watch people play [with it] – that’s totally what we dig.”
“If you’re a game designer, and if a thing contributes to the experience, and you can design it, then you should design it, or have a good reason why you’re not designing it,” says Buckenham. But where is the scene going? Should it expand, or is it forever going to be defined by a limited, one-unit-fits-many-events approach?
“I want more, of… everything?” responds Buckenham, laughing. “I want more diversity, for everyone to go off in their own direction. I would like more things like Wild Rumpus, more exhibition games, more crossover between people making games and installation artists, pervasive games… As that comes, and a larger audience are there, it means you can do more interesting things as well.”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.