I’m not quite sure what I’m looking at. It’s got dials, plugs and switches and resembles a 1940’s telephone switchboard. It’s called Ming Mecca which happens to be a reference from the movie “Pi”, and it generates “video games”.
Ming Mecca by Special Stage Systems, is an analog video game synthesizer also referred to as a voltage controlled video game console. Not that this explains much. The amazing yet abstract 80’s debut trailer below doesn’t help either.
So what does an analog video game synthesizer do? Well, it generates retro Atari 2600-style games by just fiddling with above mentioned switches, dials and plugs. The controls include the ability to alter sprites, gravity, collision and other basic gaming staples. The games look basic at best; glitchy platformers without much along the lines of purpose or goals. Yet it is impressive that all this is done with an analog setup.
This thing is destined for the living rooms and mother’s basements of the techie elite, showing off their masterpiece “art projects” while ever-tweaking the controls like a electronica DJ at a rave. My inner geek wants to spend hours dialing dials and plugging plugs to see what type of haphazard atrocity I can concoct. But once the novelty of randomly generating games wears off, is it really worth the hefty price tag? Aimed for release around the summer of 2014 the main “World Core” is estimated to cost $999, while the “Control Core” will hit your pocket for $350 if you want to connect an NES controller to it. Hopefully the controller is included in that price. That’s too rich for my blood. Check it out in action below:
Here’s the retro trailer:
And here’s a slightly more informative video of the synthesizer in action: