An Arcade Cabinet Made From Felted Wool
When Mark, the curator of games over at the DIY music+art venue Death By Audio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn asked me to install Nest as an arcade cabinet, I got super excited. I suddenly had an excuse to build a cabinet, something I’ve always wanted to do, and it was going to be playable in a public space!
I went through a lot of design iterations as I considered how to build this thing. I checked out a lot of other DIY cabinets, including the Studio Mercato guys, and I tried to remember and relive my experiences of various Babycastle installations. Ultimately I decided to follow my game making methods to its logical extreme. I made my box out of wool.
The skeleton of the box is just a cheap metal shelving system on wheels that I bought off Craigslist. Not only was it cheaper than wood, but the shelves were adjustable, the wheels made it portable, and it was far lighter.
I bought 6 yards of wool felt and used most of it. I stitched together a simple covering for the metal frame.
In the back I cut out a bunch of holes for easy access to the heart & brains of the machine: an old laptop, some old speakers, a 27” monitor, and all the wiring for 4 Xbox 360 controllers.
Luckily I have a history of being a hardware junkie and had an old PC laptop and speakers lying around. The most expensive thing I had to buy were the 4 controllers.
(Subwoofer lonely at the bottom)
I’m curious to see how the machine stands up to repeated play. I wish I would have made it bigger in the end, and only after finishing did I realize that I should make something for the top, so I’m making something for that right now.
You’ll be able to play it starting early next week! It will be up through April, and you can check out the upcoming schedule here.