A sample Ming Mecca game

  • A sample Ming Mecca game

If you’re the type of hands-on engineering geek whose favorite pastimes involve complicated schematics and skilfully wielding a soldering iron, it’s likely that you’ve tried your hand at one of the two most popular engineer-geek hobbies of the past few years: building synthesizers out of Eurorack components and hacking old video game systems. Both have obvious appeal to the type of person who spent his childhood deconstructing household appliances to see how they work, just with a slightly different focus depending on whether your particular set of personal obsessions is geared more toward obscure Japan-only video games or the collected works of Giorgio Moroder.

The two pursuits have collided in an interesting fashion with Special Stage Systems’ new Ming Mecca console, which uses signals from analog synthesizers to control a primitive but highly flexible gaming system. The Ming Mecca consists of two parts: the Control Core, which translates input from an NES controller into the type of voltage that drives analog synths, and a World Core, which translates synth signals into instructions that control any number of factors in the game, from the shape of the characters to the layout and physics of the simulated world they inhabit.

Like a lot of synth and video-game hacks, the Ming Mecca produces something that’s frequently more abstract than the music and games we’re used to, and the results are fascinating. Check out a trailer for the system after the jump, and head to the Special Stage Systems site for more info.