Interactive installation Fabienne Serriere, Travis Goodspeed, Arjan Scherpenisse, 1 Jan 2010

multi threaded banjo dinosaur knitting adventure 2D extreme!!!

8-bit hacked knitting machine game

A two-player 8-bit game made out of a hacked knitting machine connected to an ikCam. The winner's avatar is printed out using the knitting machine. This ingenious construction was a combined effort by Fabienne, Arjan and Travis. This diverse team consisted of a fabric hacking genius, a professional circuit board modifier and a natural born coder.


zombie gotcha knit - travis' game zombie gotcha title page "printed" with the brother kh-930 Fabienne Serriere

How does it work?

multi threaded banjo dinosaur knitting adventure 2D extreme!!! is a two-player game. Players start by creating their own avatar. They'll use these avatars to race each other in a river raid game designed especially for this installation. Whoever survives longest, wins. His or her avatar will be knitted into a Tapisserie de Bayeux-inspired carpet. Eternal fame!

To create an avatar you need an ikTag. This is a little pink heart with an RFID chip. Hold the ikTag in front of the ikCam (an interactive monitor with a built in camera programmed to perform certain tasks and react to your ikTag in a certain way), and follow the instructions on the screen. Your avatar is saved to your ikTag. To start the game, grab a second player, and hold your ikTags in front of the RFID reader built into the game. Once both of your avatars have appeared, you can start racing. Watch the instruction video to see what these steps look like.

How was it made?

First things first. Working with this wonderful Brother knitting machine meant working with some seriously outdated firmware. The first challenge was building a custom piece of hardware so that the knitting machine would be able to connect to the ikCams. Furthermore, the knitting machine is designed to repetitively knit one pattern, so Arjan, Fabienne, Travis and Thomas had to modify it so it could produce different outputs. To give the installation a more social and competitive element, the team decided to include a game.

Developed during Dev Camp 2010 at Mediamatic Bank, Amsterdam.