GameBender is a National Science Foundation and Kickstarter-backer funded Scratch game console that comes with tools for players to modify the Scratch games with other smaller Scratch programs called "glitches". We worked with JoyLabz, the company that invented Makey Makey, to create the software which makes GameBender possible.
Building a hackable embedded game console from Scratch
Embedding Scratch in an Arm-based single board computer using Electron, React and Scratch 3.0.View project
The JoyLabz team approached us in 2017 to implement a proof-of-concept Scratch-based game system with support for live code injection of Scratch programs into other Scratch programs on a resource constrained Arm-based device. We needed a way to embed the (at the time un-released) Scratch 3 Virtual Machine in a box, boot into the VM, update the device over the air, and play Scratch games from the internet and from disk. Although JoyLabz had deep expertise designing and bringing hardware products, like the Makey Makey and Drawdio, to market, GameBender was their first software product.
As a result of our partnership, JoyLabz is shipping a new console which teaches kids that they can change the technology systems they interact with using code. We helped JoyLabz design an architecture, select technologies, and set up a software product development function in their organization. While delivering GameBender, we also made numerous improvements to the Scratch VM and GUI, improved the state of Electron on Arm, and fed back on the web platform with our educational and embedded web use case. GameBender is a first of its kind system on multiple levels. The console introduces the concept of real-time video game glitching to consumers for the first time, creating a learn to code while you game experience while also shipping a new kind of boot-to-web-application on a consumer device.
Working with Bocoup comes with the intimacy of working with your friends combined with the insane talent of a team that all seem like principle engineers.Jay Silver, CEO, Joylabz
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