Blessed with a surplus of ancient Commodore 1702 monitors and a handful of GameCubes, Personal Computer Museum curator Syd Bolton stacked them all together to form a pleasantly confusing cube of cubes.
After debuting his cube of cubes at a recent Game Night held at his Ontario, Canada museum, Bolton took a little time out of his busy schedule of discovering one of the rarest Atari 2600 cartridges in existence to explain how the project came about and came together. I conceived the “Cube of Cubes” several years ago when the museum started receiving a large number of Commodore 1702 monitors (the kind that were used on the Commodore 64 but are still useful today as small televisions for gaming systems or DVD players).
I estimate we now have over 100 of these monitors. At first, I wanted to do a video wall (still looking for a reasonably priced video controller) but then after using them for a Tetris event in 2008, I had another idea.
For safety reasons we wanted to build a shelving unit that could hold them, but my woodworking engineer told me that it was foolish to try and construct this massive unit (which around 7 feet tall) in one piece and suggested I go back to the drawing board with it in 4 pieces that could be moved and stored with ease. That’s exactly what I did.
Using simple, low cost pine wood and a durable paint that was colour matched to a GameCube itself in the hardware store, the materials for the unit ended up costing under $US250 CAD. After the wood was cut (then routed for the shelf stability) it was primed and then painted twice with the Indigo paint by museum volunteers. The final construction used glue and screws and the units were then touched up to fix blemishes that occurred during construction and “feet” were put on the bottom to protect the unit and the floor it would eventually end up on.
The end result is a rather pretty display of 16 GameCube titles: Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II, Dragon’s Lair 3D, Starfox Adventures, I-Ninja, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut
Cubivore, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Mario Cart, Finding Nemo, Burnout, Crazy Taxi, NHL 2003, and — appropriately enough — Namco Museum. The 140 or so visitors to the Game Night party had a blast picking up random controllers and then trying to figure out which game they were playing on the wall.
Syd tells us the instalment’s modular build could also led itself to hosting eight PlayStations, Nintendo 64s, or any console producing a composite signal.
The real question is why don’t i have one of these in my living room yet?