A modern game played on a vintage telephone switchboard #Telephony @lazerwalker

Em Lazer-Walker posts that she is an artist, not a computer scientist on Twitter. One can see this in her project a couple years back making a game which is played on an actual vintage 1920s telephone switchboard!

Hello, Operator! is a game played on a vintage telephone switchboard from 1927, a refurbished Western Electric 551-A. You’ll listen to callers using a vintage telephone handset, connect calls by physically connecting patch cables between ports, and receive feedback through a series of status lights. The game teaches you how to use the hardware exactly how it would have been used in 1927.

The game itself is a time management sim in the vein of Tapper or Diner Dash. You’re tasked with working a manual telephone switchboard in the 1920s. Connecting a single call is easy; managing a dozen increasingly-impatient customers while you only have three or four phone lines is much harder!

This particular switchboard was used at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio at least as recently as 1966. That’s like using a computer from 1977 computer today.

Read more about this in Em’s blog post and project page. And see the video above. Fun stuff!


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