The Tale Of Two Wearable Game Boys

We’re well past the time when Halloween costume submissions stop hitting the tip line, but like ever year we’re expecting a few to trickle in until at least Thanksgiving. Remember, kids: documentation is the worst part of any project.

[Troy] sent us a link to his wearable Game Boy costume. It’s exactly what you think it is: an old-school brick Game Boy that [Troy] wore around to a few parties last weekend. This one has a twist, though. There’s a laptop in there, making this Game Boy playable.

The build started off as a large cardboard box [Troy] covered with a scaled-up image of everyone’s favorite use of AA batteries. The D-pad and buttons were printed out at a local hackerspace, secured to a piece of plywood, and connected to an Arduino Due. The screen, in all its green and black glory, was taken from an old netbook. It was a widescreen display, but with a bezel around the display the only way to tell it’s not original is from the backlight.

Loaded up with Pokemon Blue, the large-scale Game Boy works like it should, enthralling guests at wherever [Troy] ended up last Friday. It also looks like a rather quick build, and something we could easily put together when we remember it next October 30th.

[Troy] wasn’t the only person with this idea. A few hours before he sent in a link to his wearable Game Boy costume, [Shawn] sent in his completely unrelated but extremely similar project. It’s a wearable brick Game Boy, a bit bigger, playing Tetris instead of Pokemon.

[Shawn]’s build uses a cardboard box overlaid with a printout of a scaled-up Game Boy. Again, a laptop serves as the emulator and screen, input is handled by a ‘duino clone, and the buttons are slightly similar, but made out of cardboard.

Both are brilliant builds, adding a huge Game Boy to next year’s list of possible Halloween costume ideas. Videos of both below.

9 thoughts on “The Tale Of Two Wearable Game Boys

    1. Thought about it, but the buttons either need to be mechanically coupled to a keyboard (difficult to get right) or you need to solder into the keyboard circuit (somewhat risky). Both options are destructive to the keyboard and I was keen that the laptop stood a chance of being reusable.

      I had an Arduino to hand and it seemed like the least risky solution given the code snippets I had lying around.


    1. Hope you’re thinking about using a real Gameboy as the guts instead of emulating. That would be a much cooler hack.
      Also, if someone slapped some higher capacity rechargeable cells inside enlarged AA batteries and have them actually slot into the back side of the costume it would be phenomenal. May not be able to start that project on the 30th, but definitely worth it for the effect.

      1. I’ve got a couple DMGs with damaged LCD ribbon cables. The shells have already been used for some custom paint jobs. I had considered making an LED matrix display, but the thought of dealing with ~25k LEDs was a big turnoff. I do have one of those PSone screens in a bin somewhere…

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