Game Show Controller 1.0

Great remix of the Wireless Game Show Poppers for the Classroom project in the Adafruit Learning System from JScottMO on Instructables. Thanks to JScottMO for sending this project in!

I teach at the University of Missouri, and I wanted a method to add some “Gamification” to my exam review exercises. There is a lot of evidence and research that using a game in class can help with student learning (it activates different pathways in the brain (social, reward, motor-sensory, etc.). For a quick summary, check out The Five Benefits of Adding Gamification to Classrooms. Gamification:

  • Boosts enthusiasm toward math
  • Lessens disruptive behavior
  • Increases cognitive growth
  • Incorporates mature make-believe which encourages growth and development, and
  • Improves attention span through game-centric learning.

So when I saw a blog post on the Adafruit site about using and modifying a set of cheap game show controllers ( Wireless Game Show Poppers for the Classroom! Pro Trinket + Hacked Duo Pop Game = Game Show Fun!), I thought this might be a great solution. However, as I played with this solution more, I decided that I needed something that would be free standing and not require a particular piece of software or computer connection to work. At that time, I had also started playing with the 16×8 1.2″ LED Matrix ( and loved the display and scrolling text that you could make. So, I set off to come up with a stand-alone Game Show Controller, that would use the POP IR transmitters, with four 16X8 LED matrixes that would display scores, status, etc.

Read more on Instructables and see more from J Scott Christianson on YouTube

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