Northern Spark—Arcade Backpack

Northern Spark at MCAD
Northern Spark Official Website

Primary artist name: Stephen Amrhein for UCLA Game Lab (original concept); MCAD version by MCAD faculty, staff, and students
Hours of project: All night
Project location: Mobile unit around campus

Take your turn playing the ultimate portable arcade machine designed to be worn as a backpack.

MCAD alum Tyler Stefanich, who manages the UCLA Game Lab, has given MCAD faculty and staff a challenge: try your hand at constructing an Arcade Backpack and load it with games designed by MCAD students and alumni in time for Northern Spark 2014. The open source blueprints provide the schema, but are we up to the challenge? Will we make a model that is as snazzy as the original designed and constructed by Steven Amrhein for the UCLA Game Lab?

The Arcade Backpack's cabinet frame is constructed of lasercut plywood and assembled to house a laptop, arcade-style controls, and an LED marquee powered by a drill battery. The entire cabinet is holstered onto a military grade back frame and can be adjusted to fit comfortably on any unsuspecting Northern Spark volunteer.