Nintendo has a history of releasing obscure, rarely used peripherals for its video game consoles and portables. In this instance, I’m talking specifically about the Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer, two accessories for Nintendo’s original 8-bit handheld that, well, let you take small, lo-fi pictures and print them with the same quality as a cash register receipt. Well, a Russian artist must’ve used these as inspiration, because he’s hacked together what basically amounts to be a Game Boy-photo-gun-printer.
Built by Dmitry Morozov, the “gbg-8” is pieced together from Game Boy parts, including its screen, along with an Arduino, a camera lens, optical relays, batteries, and a thermal printer. And all of this is built onto a toy gun with the trigger acting as a shutter button.
The result allows a photographer to “point and shoot,” capturing an image of whatever the firearm was pointed at. That image is then displayed on the Game Boy screen as the printer spits out an 8-bit picture on a small piece of paper. Think of it as if a Game Boy and a Polaroid camera had a gun-shaped baby. Check out the video below to see it in action.
As a tool for creating art, the gbg-8 is certainly a unique twist on the growing number of lo-fi, Instagram-like photo filter apps we see on our smartphones. Here we still have a physical object to interact with, but rather than storing photos in memory, it’s produced in monochrome on a piece of paper, infused with classic video game style.