ComputerMusic4Kids is an interactive electronic music installation for kids, inviting them to explore the history and sound of classic gaming consoles.

Gameconsoles have had an ever changing face ever since they were first introduced. It seems as if video games have been around forever. Almost everyone remembers the first game they played. But looking at the history of video game consoles, it's really only necessary to go back to the early 1970s. That's when it all started. Games such as Pong, Tetris and Space invaders, that have been created for early game consoles are ever as populair and can now be seen as symbols of contemporary culture. Computermusic4kids is meant to offer kids an insight in the relatively young history of the gameconsoles they play today.

The installation mainly focusses on the sounds that can be produced with classic gameconsoles and enables children to create music using classic gameconsole soundsamples. By using an intuitive interface children can navigate through a visual library, that contains a selection of gameconsoles produced between 1972 and 1990. By selecting a gameconsole they can produce music with samples that originate from the chosen gameconsole.

The controllboard contains a trackball for navigation, and a custom built step sequencer that loads samples from classic gameconsoles upon selection from a visual interface. By presssing the buttons on and off , children will activate the sequencer and will see and hear what they are doing on the table as well as on the screen in front of them. The sequencer plays the samples in steps an loops the pattern. This way, children will get an elaborate understanding of basic sound interaction and a playful introduction to the history of sound in games.

The installation consists of the controlboard with a trackball and sequencer. Two audio monitors and a projector. Its best vieuwed in a dark space with a white wall or white screen.

width 65 cm
lenght 80 cm
height 75 cm

Agegroup: between the age of 5 to 12

Computermusic4kids includes soundsamples from the following machines:

  • Magnavox Odyssey: 1972
  • Atari 2600: 1977
  • Arcade: 1980
  • Commodore 64: 1981
  • ZX Spectrum: 1982
  • Nintendo Entertainment System: 1984
  • Vectrex: 1983
  • MSX: 1984
  • Sega Mastersystem: 1986
  • Amiga 500: 1987
  • Gameboy Classic: 1989