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Playing Simon. Photo: Richard Kelly

 

Growing up in the 1980s meant having a lot of exciting electronic gadgets. One of my favourite electronic games was “Simon”, an addictive memory game. Simon is a saucer-like, round disk featuring four buttons in red, yellow, green and blue that would light up and beep in a random sequence. The player’s task is to memorise the sequence and play it back in the right order.

My old toy promised to be the ideal cruft to work with in the scope of the first project in the Interactive Digital Media Technology module in Autumn 2012, as our task was to build an interactive digital media controller from recycled equipment.  Although the original electronic version is a single player game, the concept of Simon is based on a multiplayer children’s game, the suitcase game, in which in every turn one of the players adds another item to a virtual suitcase. To re-establish a similar kind of interactive memory game building process was one of the aims of the project. Another goal was to establish a remote network of devices and players, loosely based on the idea of the “internet of things”.

The prototype that I implemented consists of two modified Simon electronic toys that allow playing the Simon memory game remotely and wirelessly with multiple players. The devices are remote controlled and wirelessly connected to a base station using an XBee radio network.

 

Interactive Digital Multimedia Techniques | Queen Mary University of London | Autumn 2012 | Instructor: Dr. Andrew McPherson | TAs: Christian Heinrichs, Evan Morgan