Artisan’s Asylum

Adam Savage recently took a tour of Artisan’s Asylum, a 40,000 square-foot, 400-member community fabrication center located just outside of Boston. The Asylum is entirely community run and funded, and features spaces for makers to build, share, and take classes.

Five minutes into the tour, all I can think about is how much I wish a place like Artisan’s Asylum existed on the west coast. It looks like an incredible place to visit and an excellent opportunity to pick up new skills or bounce around ideas on a troublesome project. A friend of mine starts grad school at Boston University in the fall. I am definitely going to use a friendly visit as an excuse to check this place out.


Stuck at Prom

Vote now in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. This annual scholarship awards $50,000 cash prizes to participants who craft the best prom dresses and tuxes out of duct tape. Finalists were just announced, and now you can vote on who you think should win first place. Public voting stays open until July 5.

Just because you are going to prom solo does not mean you cannot participate in Stuck at Prom. Vote for your favorite solo participant as well.


Table-Sized Controller

Retro-bit (@RetroBitGaming) specializes in making it easier for modern day gamers to play the video games of the past. Their specialty is creating new versions of old consoles that allow gamers to play video games for the 8-bit NES, 16-bit SNES, and Sega Genesis without having to go out and find (or fix) those consoles.

I stopped by Retro-bit’s booth at this year’s E3 (June 13-15), to see if they had anything new and exciting to share. I was greeted by the Retro-bit Mega Table, a coffee table that also acts as an old school video game controller. I tried the table at E3, and I will admit it took some getting used to. However, after a few games, the giant controller felt second nature.

Retro-bit hopes to launch the coffee table this year, and sell the table for around $500. That price may differ depending on the success of the table’s soon-to-be-announced Kickstarter campaign. You can stay updated on the table’s status via Retro-bit’s homepage.


Virtual Reality Gets Bigger

I also got to play around with Microdose VR at E3. Most VR experiences are solo affairs, but Microdose puts players within an enclosed space while wearing the VR headset so friends can exist within the 3D virtual world alongside the player and see what they see.

Currently, Microdose makes games that are interactive musical pieces of art. They are all really cool and easy to get lost in, but I hope this tech can be reapplied to other types of games or new styles of filmmaking in the future. I think it would be cool to be able to play within a virtual space while your friends are able to see things above and behind you and offer hints and advice.