In the Pages of Guitar World

I don’t claim to be a good guitar player. I can strum my way through most songs on barre and power chords and I have a fairly decent sense of rhythm. But a guy like me isn’t going to make it into the pages of a major guitar magazine without doing something that will turn a few heads. And apparently I managed to pull that off.

If you happen to find a copy of the Holiday 2015 issue of Guitar World magazine, flip to the inside of the back cover, where I’m proud to announce that my Guitar Boy has been featured in the regular “It Might Get Weird” column. I know that my guitar received some attention when it made the rounds on Facebook (pretty impressive for a guy without an account!) as well as a few other news sites, but making it into the pages of a printed publication sold nationwide quite honestly has me flying on cloud nine.

With my work now in print, I keep thinking of the Dr. Hook song “Cover of the Rolling Stone” where they sing, “Wanna buy five copies for my mother.” Sorry, Mom. I’ll buy you one copy.

Guitar Boy – Completed Project

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I put in a LOT of work and am happy to finally present the Guitar Boy. This fully functioning electric guitar has a Raspberry Pi built in which runs retro video games on a 5″ LCD screen. All of the controls on the front of the guitar perform as regular Game Boy controls, with the A and B buttons pulling double duty as volume and tone knobs.

I built this as an exhibition piece for the BitFix Gaming 2015 Game Boy Classic build-off and finished working on it September 13, just before the competition’s deadline. Check out this video of the Guitar Boy in action:

Guitar Boy – Game Boy Guitar WIP

With my Game Boy-themed competition already half over, I thought it would be a good time to share my current project.

Although I am exempt from the competition itself (for the same reason any company restricts its employees from winning its own promotions), I wanted to create something in the spirit of the competition in order to draw some attention toward the BitFix community. As can be guessed, what I’m building is a Game Boy guitar. Rather than sacrificing any model of Game Boy, the brains of the Guitar Boy will be a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie. With the A/B/Start/Select button layout, NES, Master System, and Game Gear games will also be fully playable, as well as a few others.

Amazing Game Boy Projects Underway!

The Game Boy-themed build-off competition is underway and there are currently three participants working on their projects. I wanted to share what’s being built in order to hopefully draw up a bit more excitement for the competition. In no particular order, we have…

ModPurist’s Game Boy Color Advance. If you’re calling this photo out as a fake, it is. ModPurist whipped up this image in a few minutes using MS Paint in order to show what he plans to accomplish – essentially take a Game Boy Color and literally turn it on its side. ModPurist is already making great progress on his case, so go over to BitFix Gaming to check it out!

Next is a laptop project being built by wesley762. Wesley is currently gutting an old laptop and plans to cram both an NES and a Super NES inside! After getting a start on the laptop shell, Wesley switched to prepping the NES board.

Last but not least is a 3D-printed case mod by portablesofdoom. As you can see from the project proposal image that Doom drafted, his Companion (Game)Cube will be a rehoused Gamecube designed to resemble the companion cube of Portal fame. At the moment, Doom hasn’t shared much information on his build aside from the above picture. However, the competition ends on September 14, so expect to see a lot more before then.

Be sure to check out the competition entries in further detail on the BitFix page!

Game Boy Build-Off!

The Game Boy build-off competition at BitFix Gaming has officially begun! Everyone is welcome to participate in the competition, so long as they register as a member of BitFix. The rules for the competition are fairly simple: no modding may be performed prior to today, finished projects must be functional, and all projects must fit the Game Boy theme.

I have intentionally left the theme open to loose interpretation to allow for a wide array of creativity. Examples that fit the theme include a Gamecube portable that plays Game Boy games via the Game Boy Player, virtually anything recased inside a Game Boy shell, or an electronics project shaped and painted to resemble a Game Boy. There are so many possibilities!

I’m really excited to see what kind of awesome projects are going to come out of this competition and yes, I will be creating a project of my own for this comp.

For more details on the competition visit the official competition thread on BitFix.

A Game Boy kind of contest

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This summer I will be hosting a build-off with a theme loosely based around Game Boys. The rules are simple: custom-build a gaming device of your own design within the three month competition period and somehow make your build fit the theme. The theme will be very broad in its terms; projects may be a recased Game Boy, a Gamecube portable with an included Game Boy Player, or simply be a project painted to resemble a Game Boy.

The competition goes live in just under two weeks. Project work may start no earlier than June 12 and must be completed by September 14 in order to be eligible for prizes. Speaking of prizes, a combination of Game Boys and games (includuing those in the image above) will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.

Be sure to check out the competition thread at BitFix Gaming for additional details. If you’re interested in participating, sign up to be a member of the BitFix forums. There are no fees or additional requirements in order to enter the competition and anyone is welcome to enter prior to the September 14.

Also, I will be building my own project for this competition, although I won’t be in the running for prizes. So be sure to check back later for details on my build!