Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


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Solar Game (Boy) Jam Recap

Posted by mi

As part of the Solar Media Project and in collaboration with TAG, Alex Custodio and Michael Iantorno put on a series of workshops this summer focused on solar-inspired Game Boy modding and homebrewing. Their efforts culminated in a day-long Solar Game (Boy) Game Jam where participants made games in GB Studio and played around with modded Game Boys!

While it was a fairly short game jam—running from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Friday August 26—a dozen participants from the Milieux community collaborated to develop solar experiments and prototypes. Some decided to create games centered on solar themes while others built proof-of-concept games that contemplated using the sun as an input. Rather than trying to end up with finished products, the focus of the event was to create provocations that could be built upon and completed later on. 

a game boy camera photograph, showing three people sitting around a table working on laptops a game boy camera photograph, showing three people sitting at a bench working on laptops

Even the the jam wasn’t necessarily intended to develop fully-playable games, a few of the participants were excited to polish up their projects and post them online. Cycle explores the idea of using light and moisture sensors to “feed” virtual plants, while Where is my Sun? is a short narrative that takes place in world in which the sun has gone missing. Both are fully playable on Itch!

Cycle by OMCH
Where is my Sun? by bionasard

What does the future hold for solar Game Boy modding and homebrew? Alex, Michael, and the rest of the Solar Media Collective would like to see how far the limits of the Game Boy can be pushed using solar technology. Stay tuned during the 2022-2023 year as their are plans to hold a more formal intervention and a larger-scale Game Jam!

Many thanks to TAG for providing space for the jam, Milieux for covering expenses, and GAMERella for advising on our values statement and team-building exercises.