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Tech by VICE

Hey, Wanna Play 'Mario Kart' on a Giant Lite-Brite Wall?

Obviously, yeah.

by Jordan Pearson
Mar 6 2017, 6:27pm

Alright, let's not waste any time explaining why this is fun to the haters and get right to it: someone figured out how to run old school games like Mario Kart and Pong on a giant, colourful LED wall. Extremely good, in my opinion.

As an added bonus, all the code is available on GitHub so that DIY-types out there can make it work for themselves. The only downside is that you have to supply your own giant LED wall, but something tells me that won't be much of a problem for the kinds of tinkerers attracted to a weekend project like this.

GIF via Solid State Group

Startup consultancy firm Solid State Group is behind the software, which it calls RIO, or Rendered-Input-Output. Not only can people use their code to play games on an LED wall, but you can also upload GIFs to it so that they play back in the warm, nostalgic glow of a Lite-Brite board. 

Google did something like this with its anypixel.js project, which is an open source collection of code and hardware designs for anyone wanting to make "unusual displays," which may involve an LED wall or something a little more creative. The Solid State Group team found that Google's approach was "over engineered," according to a company blog explaining their approach, so they went their own way.

A much bigger wall for gaming. Photo: Solid State Group

And imagine the possibilities! You could game out at a party, and I'd bet that a giant LED wall playing all the cool GIFs would be a nice addition to any basement DJ set. 

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