Matt Wilson, who has worked in games development for his entire career, was approached about building a large-scale version of the game Simon for a tournament taking place on Friday, September 13th through Saturday September 14th. After assembling a team consisting of John Hawkins, Lloyd McCracken, Emily McCracken, Paige Carter, and his son Aiden Wilson, they constructed a ginormous 20-foot wide game that is designed for a team of participants to play by actually standing on the buttons. An original Simon game from the ’80s was even added to act as the start button.
The new game uses a Raspberry Pi along with an Arduino Mega for control, and takes up all the GPIO pins on the Pi, and around half of the pins of the Mega. The buttons were reportedly the most difficult part of the build, which use load cells to determine how many people are on each button. Teams must place most of their combined weight on a button for selection, transforming what is normally a singular pursuit into very much a team sport.
Like many projects, this one initially sounded easy, but Wilson quickly realized that things are a bit more complex here at such a large scale. The device ended up costing over $20,000 and weighing over 2,500 pounds — and while it can be split up into eight ‘slices,’ each still requires special wheels for transportation. The gigantic came looks like a lot of fun, and you can even sign up to participate in the tournament if you care to test your memory skills!
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Author: Jeremy S. Cook