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Play Like a 1920’s Phone Operator with This Switchboard Gaming Interface

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 11:02 -- rprice

Hello, Operator! is the creation of Mike Lazar-Walker, who works as a research assistant at the Playful Systems group of MIT’s Media Lab. The game is designed to simulate the minute-to-minute tasks of a 1920’s-era telephone operator. The software for the game was written in an abstracted manner so it could be run on any hardware—a Mac mini, an iPad, or on the hardware panel that he fabricated on his own to better simulate the experience. But the project really found its voice when he found a vintage Western Electric 551a telephone operator panel on Ebay, which was last used at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio.