Tasty Gaming: The Game Burger AdvanceNovember 27, 2019
We’re told as children not to play with our food. It’s an understandable reprimand; messing with our meals isn’t a habit that should be carried into adulthood. You’re no doubt going to get some stares if you’re sculpting your mashed potatoes at 30. That lesson, however, doesn’t apply to the Game Burger.
A creation by Swedish artist Love Hulten, the Game Burger Advance is exactly what it sounds like- a wooden cheeseburger than plays retro video game titles. The device is battery powered and features a small screen on the “bun”, with the directional pad and other buttons nestled in the “cheese.” A small speaker beneath the screen provides the sound.
At first glance, it might appear to be a Game Boy Advanced sandwiched (pardon the pun) in a burger-shaped case. It’s actually a miniature PC capable of running games from plenty of retro consoles, ranging from the Sega Genesis to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Among the included titles are Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man 2, and yes, BurgerTime.
The battery and controls in the lower half of the burger communicate with the screen up top through wires passed through the hinges. This also allows the burger to be flipped open. The wood itself is carefully laser-cut and sanded to provide a comfortable grip and realistic look. You’d be forgiven if you mistook the Game Burger for an actual meal from Wendy’s. This isn’t helped with most promotional images picturing it with a large drink and a side of fries.
Some may point out that the clamshell design makes it resemble a burger flip phone, or the telephone featured in the movie Superbad. While it would be interesting if the Game Burger made calls, the speaker quality leaves much to be desired. It’s not bad, per say, but the video Hulten uploaded demonstrating the device doesn’t do it any favors. It’s not exactly high fidelity. However, given that the included titles all use 8- or 16-bit tunes, it can be forgiven.
Want one for yourself? Unfortunately, the Game Burger is not for sale, like many of Hulten’s other works. However, he was kind enough to upload a video showcasing the process behind its creation. With some technical know-how, patience, and materials, it’s perfectly possible to make your own Game Burger Advance at home. Of course, it never tastes (or plays) quite the same, but the novelty of the device is more than worth it.
The Game Burger Advance is a novelty through and through, but it is also a wonderful example of ingenuity and creativity. It combines the skills of programming, woodwork, and electrical engineering to create a one-of-a-kind conversation starter, art piece, and interactive toy. We’ll be featuring more of Hulten’s works soon, but none are quite as tasty as the Game Burger. I’ll take mine to go, hold the onions and the Contra games, please.