By Cameron Lee
December 5, 2019
There’s a giant Game Boy coming to Abari Game Bar on Monday. The fully functional life-size retro gaming system utlilizing a Rasberry Pi computer system comes equipped with hundreds of classic NES/SNES games and will be fixed at Abari Game Bar for patrons to play.
The company behind the project is Charlotte-based creative firm 8Lincoln30, run by brothers and co-owners Jason and Jeremy Calamusa. Jason, who lives in the Belmont area near Abari, caught wind of the game bar opening near his house through a Reddit post before they opened their doors in 2016. He reached out to Zach Pulliam, owner of Abari and eventually built the sleek sign that’s now attached to the building.
Jason and Jeremy, who officially started their company in 2014 started cultivating their creative making business in 2008 when Jason was attending the North Carolina School of the Arts for film production and Jeremy was at Forsythe Tech in Winston Salem. Small projects building furniture and props for indie films slowly turned into paid jobs leading the brothers to officially launch their company 8Lincoln30 in Charlotte.
The brothers have worked with several local businesses in the area, creating everything from signs to props to art installations, but none quite like the 5-foot-tall Game Boy. The idea originally came about when Pulliam texted Jason asking if it would be possible. As fans of the nostalgic portable gaming system, the Calamusa brothers quickly got to work on the project.
Utilizing their large CNC (Computer numerical control) machine and over 200 hours of labor to build out the shell and parts, the attention to details on the mammoth Game Boy is impressive. Everything from the texture of the material, logos, text, and buoyancy of the buttons is exceptionally well-crafted to match the real feel of the gaming system.
The giant Game Boy will make its debut on Monday, December 9 at Abari Game Bar. Pulliam and the Calamusa brothers will host a release party starting at 5 p.m. with plenty of drink specials. Follow 8Lincoln30 and Abari Game Bar on Instagram.