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Makey Makey

This Kit Turns Anything That Conducts Electricity Into a Game Controller

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Makey Makey

From joysticks to touch pads, the controllers we use to play our favorite games have evolved a lot in the past 40 years. Now, a new product from two MIT graduate students allows players to make controllers out of familiar objects you can find around the house, WIRED reports.

Makey Makey is a kit that consists of a circuit board, alligator clips, and a USB cable. It doesn't look like much when you first take it out of the package, but by assembling all the pieces, you can transform anything that conducts electricity into your personal game controller. The clips connect to different computer keys, and attaching them to conductive objects creates interactive buttons. A pencil drawing of Pac-Man can be used as the right cursor, while a banana can stand in for the space bar. In addition working with food, plants, water, and even Play-Doh, the kit can even be used with parts of the player's own body.

Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum came up with the kit at the MIT Media Lab. They wanted to design a product in line with the maker movement that encourages kids to get creative with how they interact with technology. "Makey Makey is a device for allowing people to plug the real world into their computers," David Ten Have of JoyLabz, the product's manufacturer, told WIRED. "We want people to be able to see the world as their construction kit."

Versions of Makey Makey can be purchased online starting at $24.95. To see how the kit can be used to make a banana keyboard or a Play-Doh Super Mario controller, watch the video below.

[h/t WIRED]

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Spéciale
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Improve Your Chopping Skills With This Knife-Cutting Board Hybrid
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Spéciale

Chopping ingredients properly is an impressive skill, and for those who haven’t mastered it yet, this part of the cooking process can be a pain. Luckily, it is possible to do your slicing and dicing without the awkward hand positions and frequent slip-ups. All you need is a knife that stays attached to the board where you’re doing the cutting.

Spotted over at Mashable, spéciale is a high-quality walnut cutting board that comes with a 17-inch Damascus steel knife built in. Whether you’re breaking down fruits, vegetables, cheese, or charcuterie, the blade can rotate across the board as you cut while the tip stays fixed in place. This leaves one hand free, so you don’t have to pause to put down your glass of wine before the chopping starts.

The designers focused on aesthetics along with functionality, so when the board is not being used in the kitchen it doubles as a serving platter. And after you’ve had a chance to enjoy the fruit of your labors, you can pop the knife off the board for easy clean-up.

Spéciale recently wrapped up a campaign on Kickstarter where it raised more than $150,500, and prior to that it debuted on Indiegogo, where it raised nearly $170,000. The product is still available to order through the Indiegogo page for $195.

[h/t Mashable]

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Retro Games Limited
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The Commodore 64 Will Return as a Mini Console With Dozens of Games
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Retro Games Limited

Today’s video games may be more innovative than ever, but that doesn’t stop many from returning to the old-school games that remind them of their childhood. Following Nintendo’s massive success with the NES Classic in 2016 and the SNES Classic in September, the Commodore 64 is set to be the next vintage gaming device to get a miniature makeover. As Nerdist reports, Retro Games Limited will release a plug-and-play version of the 1982 bestseller in 2018.

The C64 Mini will be half the size of the original Commodore 64 computer and will feature 64 retro 8-bit titles, including Impossible Mission, Armalyte, Paradroid, and California Games. The kit will include a joystick, an HDMI cable for hooking up the console to your TV, and a USB power cable for charging it.

The console will have two USB ports that can be used to connect an extra joystick or plug in a full-sized keyboard to use the C64 Mini for simple coding. This could be especially useful when you get bored of the pre-loaded games and want to program a new one of your own from scratch.

The C64 Mini is set to retail for around $70 when it hits shelves in 2018, making it $10 cheaper than the newly-released SNES classic. Retro Games also plans to revive a full-sized version of the original Commodore 64 to sell in 2018. For an idea of what that might look like, check out this classic Commodore 64 how-to video from 1982.

[h/t Nerdist]

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