It's amusing that the Scavenger Hunt took place at the same time as the latest Maker Faire, which I notice has been entertainingly written up in the Times today. The Faire, for those not familiar, is a relatively recent offshoot of MAKE: magazine, the unofficial trade journal of the rapidly growing do-it-yourself movement / subculture / ethos. It's been described as a Burning Man for the nerdcore set that has little interest in "hippie" spirituality, but when I look at it, I mostly see Scavenger Hunt -- minus a written list, for people with more free time and money on their hands than college students can generally muster.

More specifically, the Maker Faire pretty closely mirrors the ambition and aesthetic behind the "big projects" flavor of ScavHunt item. Tell me, if you can, which of these are ScavHunt items and which are Maker Faire exhibits in this list:

  • A home-forged sword
  • Go-carts that look like cupcakes
  • Drag racers out of Mario Kart
  • Combat robots battle to the death
  • A Victorian mansion on wheels
  • A steam-powered electric guitar
  • Combat Zorbs battle to the death
  • A theramin...
  • ...powered by a Tesla coil

I could go on for a while like that. In fact, there are a number of Maker Faire exhibits that I'd be delighted to see as ScavHunt items (and don't think the judges aren't aware of it -- there are a few items I'm pretty sure they found by reading MAKE or someplace similar). However, the whole affair seems a bit empty without all those other flavors of ScavHunt item -- the ridiculous stunts, the unexpected performance art, the actual art. Somehow the tar-and-feather gun means a little less if there isn't also the Egon painting hanging there as well.

Item 258: A tar gun. A feather gun.
Item 181: Egon Spengler, painted in the style of Egon Schiele.


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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on May 13, 2008 5:27 PM.

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