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Brief Published: 30 Aug 2019

Digital Console Lets Kids Design Their Own Board Games

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Tech Will Save Us

The Arcade Coder from Tech Will Save Us is a reprogrammable console that brings board games into the 21st century by enabling users to create their own games and tweak beloved favourites. Merging digital and physical gaming, the device demonstrates how tech brands can use open designs to unleash creativity, and calm screen-cautious parents.

The Arcade Coder is the latest ingenious STEM gaming kit from the London-based brand (see The Brief for more). The portable 12x12” pad features 144 multicoloured LED silicone buttons, and would fit with ease among the family board game collection.

The console comes to life when paired with the Game Studio app, where users can activate the games they wish to play. The Arcade Coder is ready out of the box with 500 hours of content from pre-coded classic games, such as Snake and Whack-A-Mole. Through the app, users can edit these games, develop STEM skills, and learn the rudimentary mechanics of game design.

The console also offers a Sandbox mode, where users can put their coding skills into practice and invent entirely new games to play with friends and family. Furthermore, the Painter mode allows users to create digital art with the LED buttons, which emit 254 different colours that they can animate with code.

With an estimated 2.5 billion video gamers worldwide and the market expected to be worth more than $90bn by 2020 (WePC, 2019), brands need to consider how to target this enthusiasm while appeasing parental concerns. Arcade Controller achieves this through the use of its tangible, board-game-like controller, which co-founder Daniel Hirschmann describes as encouraging a more “retentive experience” of learning and playing.

For more on how brands are allowing consumers to add their design input into games to bring their imaginations to life, see our coverage of this year’s Gamescom, publishing on September 5.

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Tech Will Save Us
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