My wife volunteered me for "Science Day" at my son's elementary school — an annual half day program where moms and dads teach mini-courses on everything from rocketry to zoology to chemistry. So, what could I teach the kids? No sooner did the thought cross my mind, did I get the answer: Build a video game!
Thus, the “RetroGame” was born. The RetroGame is a simple handheld video game that was designed to be assembled by third to fifth graders during a 45 minute Science Day period. The game physically consists of a PCB (printed circuit board) with a 5x7 LED matrix display, two pushbuttons, and surrounding control and power electronics. The games were fully soldered by the time the kids got them, but the main parts including the processor and display were socketed, so the kids would have to “assemble” the games themselves. I created two games for the unit — each as a separate firmware load for the processor PIC.