[NetBehaviour] Upgrade! Lisbon in March with André Gonçalves
silva.luis at netcabo.pt
Thu Mar 20 22:53:10 CET 2008
28.03.2008 @ 19:00: Andre Goncalves
Pong - the analog arcade machine (prototype #2: championship evening)
Arcade machine, 2 joysticks, 2 tvs, coin dispenser, 5 diy arduino
based network, 26 led score display, 2 motors, 2 fans, 4 optocoupled
h-bridges, 2 printer head mechanics, hair dryer, 2 infra-red sensors,
4 switches, 2 potenciometers, button, 220v 5v relay system, 2
fluorescent lamps, 8 power supplies, wood structure, tripod, video
Pong is an analog recreation of the 70's Atari arcade video game,
relating the new technologies available for developing artwork and an
investigation on physical interaction and natural processes. The
recreation of a lengendary game reflecting today's new media, post-
digital and diy art creation.
Made by Atari and released in 1972 the Pong game was the first video
game to achieve widespread popularity in both arcade and home
console. Since then and more lately history has been giving it full
credit for having launched the initial boom in the video game
industry. This game can be seen as the first world known digital
interactive experience, the artist's idea was to re-build it using a
different approach and excluding some of the stiff reaction that the
programming algorithms had, replacing them for physical ones, more
precisely the use of wind to control a light ball, for example, a
ping pong ball. For its operation method Andre Goncaves is using
mechanical hardware instead of being solely a digital piece.
In some of his latest projects Goncalves has been using a policy of
recycling old obsolete hardware, using "dead-media" as the basic
hardware for developing his projects. For Pong the most important
parts in the operation method are old A3 printers, taking advantage
of their mechanical sliding axis system, and replacing the printer
head with a 12cm computer fan which is being used as the raquet that
pushes the ball forth.The motors and most of the sensors and switches
used were also taken from old printers. The arcade machine was bought
cheap from an arcade games dealer.
Pong is a two-piece installation. The main piece is a self-made
wooden structure where all the physical action of the game occurs,
the game area seen on the arcade main monitor through a video camera.
This structure also hosts all of the electronics behind its working
method. The other piece is the traditional arcade wooden box with
attached analog joysticks, buttons, coin dispenser and 2 tv screens,
one showing the graphics and another with the game view. Both pieces
are connected through a cable.
The two joysticks will be attached for controling the movement, up
and down for the left and right motion of the fans, left and right
for the amount of the wind power blown by the fans.
The game starts after inserting one coin and pressing one button,
both the score numbers will flash on zero, the ball is released in
the game and both joysticks activated to let users play the game, the
scoring is increased as the ball falls off one of the ends of the
table, replaced on game and carrying on until one player reaches nine
Pong was supported by the Ernesto de Sousa Fellowship
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