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Game on!

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In July 2016 the Museum launched Power UP, a hands-on, fully interactive gaming event which features the very best video games and consoles from the past 40 years.

This inspired the Families and Accessible Programmes team to brighten up our summer events programme with a brand new free family workshop called Game On.

We wanted our workshop to be available to as many people as possible so long programming sessions designing video games were out of the question. We were also aware that visitors to Power Up will have already spent a lot of time in front of screens so we decided that we wanted our workshop to be more tactile.

Therefore, rather than our visitors designing a video game, we thought they could design a gaming controller. As part of the workshop you get a blank cardboard shape of a gaming controller to decorate, colour in and embellish as you see fit.

But what fun would a cardboard gaming controller be if we couldn’t get it to work? How could we use these cardboard creations to, say, play a game of Pac man?

Enter Makey Makey!

Handmade games controllers created in our Game On workshops.

Handmade games controllers created in our Game On workshops. Credit: Science Museum.

Makey Makey is a little invention kit that includes a Makey Makey board, alligator clips, and loads of possibilities for fun! These tiny, accessible circuit boards can turn everyday objects into touchpads when connected to a computer. We use them to bring our cardboard gaming controllers to life by connecting them to the foil-covered buttons on the controllers.

Using the Makey Makey to make handmade games controllers.

Using the Makey Makey to make handmade games controllers. Credit: Science Museum.

At our first Game On workshops everybody had lots of fun creating beautiful gaming controllers. Families played Pac man and the bongos using their controllers and some even connected themselves and their parents to the circuit which meant they could play the drums by high-fiving each other!

Bring your family and join us for Power Up and Game On at the Science Museum and show off your creative and gaming skills.

Game On will be running at the Science Museum from 25 July – 7 August (excluding 6 August).
Weekdays: 12.00–13.30 and 14.30–16.00
Weekends: 14.30-16.00
Location: Opposite the Agriculture gallery, Floor 1
Places are limited. This free workshop event is suitable for children aged 7 and over.

Tickets for Power Up can be purchased here.

The Learning team run fun free science shows in the Museum every day of the week, with extra workshops, storytelling sessions, drama characters and family-friendly tours at weekends and during school holidays. If you are looking for other exciting activities for your family in the Museum head to our events calendar to see what’s on.

Nicolette Chin is Special Events Developer (Families and Accessible Programmes) at the Science Museum. 

Written by Learning Team

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  1. Andrew Johnson

    To whom it may concern:
    I’d attended the wonderful “Power up” exhibition on Sunday 5th August whereby I had the opportunity to play a PC side scrolling platform featuring a heroine. I think the enemies were called tazen or her gun was called tazen. Unfortunately there was no information on the game title or least that I could see.

    Would it be possible for you to inform me of the game title?

    Andrew Johnson

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