Singaporean Student Invents ‘Watermelon Gameboy’ to Play ‘Pokémon Emerald’
By Bryan Ke
August 31, 2020
A 24-year-old Marketing and Business Analytics student in Singapore has gone viral for playing “Pokémon Emerald” on a watermelon that he turned into a DIY Game Boy console called a “Melonboy.”
The idea to use watermelon as the casing for his DIY Game Boy came to Cedrick Tan as a joke for his family and friends, according to AsiaOne.
“It started off as a joke that I was telling friends and family — it just seemed like something really funny to bring about in public and the icing on the cake would be that its green,” Tan said. “When it came down to actually making the Melonboy, it happened to be really convenient seeing as the melon was very spacious on the inside allowing me to wire everything up with ease.”
Tan made the Melonboy possible by running a Game Boy emulator through the Raspberry Pi 3 computing board after removing the flesh inside the fruit. He then loaded it up with the “Pokémon Emerald” Read-Only-Memory (ROM) and made it run using a power bank.
For the finishing touches, Tan cut holes in the watermelon where he could place the buttons, a 1.8-inch (45.72-millimeter) screen, loudspeakers and other wires for the connection.
Tan encountered a problem with a faulty Raspberry Pi 3. He had to wait for the replacement to be delivered, but it ended up taking him a month to finish the project.
“As an Information systems student, I have no background on electrical engineering so learning that from scratch took some time,” he said.
Although his project was harmless, Tan was reported by someone who thought he was carrying a melon bomb after he brought the Melonboy on a train.
“I was greeted by a distressed lady staff who raced down the escalator,” Tan said.
The woman then realized the watermelon was nothing more than a DIY game console. After that, she asked Tan to show his work to her colleagues in the train station office.
“I complied and followed her to the control station. There, the SMRT staff were elated to see the MelonBoy, I showed them the insides and pictures were taken,” Tan said.
The melon handheld gaming console did not last long, but he was able to make another one to show people.
“Sadly the original has kicked the bucket, it rotted four days after I posted my YouTube video,” Tan said.
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