Playing Minecraft With a MaKey MaKey

Geek Culture

Photo by Anton Olsen

Since my last mention of the MaKey MaKey we’ve been playing around with it. We’ve recreated a few of the other experiments seen on the MaKey MaKey site, and it’s been a lot of fun to see my daughter and her friends excited about creating things.

At some point we decided we wanted to use the Minecraft sword in the game. This shouldn’t be too hard, make the sword conductive, hit something else conductive, and we have a MaKey switch. Trouble was figuring out how to make it conductive. We brainstormed for a while and tried to see if there was enough carbon in the black foam to conduct a little. Sadly there is not. We tried a number of things, including tin foil, bare copper wire, and conductive thread before we settled on copper tape. It it a little expensive at $18 for 36 yards on Amazon, but I think the expense is worth the learning experiences we’ll have with it.

Once the UPS guy delivered the tape we didn’t waste any time. The sword was wrapped in tape, and connected via a few jumper wires to the mouse click on the MaKey, and a strip of tape on top of the monitor connected to ground completed the build. We all had fun trying it out, and had to repair small tears in the tape, but the glue is conductive too, so we just needed to lay a short piece over the break. I think in the end we ended up with about 2 layers of tape on most of the impact points.

About the same time that we were doing this, MaKey MaKey added a new reward level. A deluxe kit with copper tape, alligator clips, jumper wires, and more alligator clips. All for just $50, a mere $15 more than the full kit. If you are thinking this sounds like a lot of fun, you might want to get in soon. They are in the final stretch and once the Kickstarter closes you’ll have to wait for them to fulfill all those orders before getting a crack at one.

Check out the video that my son and daughter took of the sword in action after the jump, and read more about the MaKey MaKey on their Kickstarter page.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!