Editor's note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week, she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting-edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her _ 5 Things From The Future! _
For the inner child in all of us, hangouts like Atlanta’s Joystick Gamebar and Portland’s Ground Kontrol have made a living out of making classic arcade games such as Pac-Man accessible for large crowds any night of the week. But what could make playing Pac-Man even better? How about playing a GIANT version of it on the side of a building?
In London, that dream has come true. Namco Bandai and “The Gadget Show” (a tech news/rumors/reviews show on UK’s Channel 5) have partnered up to create a game of Pac-Man like you’ve never seen it before.
At 7,280 square feet, London’s Millennium Mill building served as the screen and game grid. In fact, the game was so huge that it broke a Guinness World Record for “largest playable game projection.” And what do you play a giant game of Pac-Man with? A giant, custom-built joystick and controller, of course. I want to play.
There must be something magical about seeing our childhood games blown up to become larger-than-life, because we’ve been doing it a lot. Earlier this year in Brazil, a Sao Paulo building was rigged to become the world’s largest arcade machine. Using iPads as controllers, Brazilians were able to play Pac-Man, Tetris and even Space Invaders on the side of that building.
Last spring, some hackers at MIT turned a 21-story building in Cambridge into a giant playable Tetris game.
Also last year, a game director created a completely immersive, 360-degree 3D version of Ms. Pac-Man in New York. Just looking at that video makes me dizzy, but I still want to do it.
I’m loving this trend, particularly because it gets us to snap out of our everyday routines in such a spectacular way. It may take a building-sized game to re-create that sense of awe and wonder we all knew as children, but it works. Let’s remember to let our inner kids come out and play every once in a while; we’ll all be happier for it.
And here are four more things to be happy about: The rest of this week's amazing Things From the Future!
-- Pets are huge on Instagram. But this takes it to the next level: A wearable camera for your animal, to post their own Instagram pics.
-- Microsoft now makes a bra: Which is a weird thing to write. But this one aims to fight obesity by monitoring "emotional eating."
-- Keep in touch: New "Toymail" app is a creative (and pretty cute) way for kids and parents to stay connected.
-- Hi, Flight 844 to New York! Billboard interacts with the planes flying above it.