Game Boy for giants

A few years ago, Warner Skoch had the idea of 3D printing a giant Game Boy front half. His original plan was to hang it on the wall with a clock for the screen, just as a sort of art piece. Who among us hasn’t coveted a gigantic piece of nostalgia to adorn our walls at one point or another? Then his tinkerer brain took over and he started thinking of extra things he could make it do by adding a Raspberry Pi. One HDMI screen and a functioning set of buttons later, and he’s got a fully functional Game Boy for giants that can read real Game Boy carts.

How does it work?

On the inside is a Raspberry Pi 4 running a customised version of RetroPie. The buttons are connected to a Raspberry Pi Pico and programmed to act as a keyboard.

Warner also made a giant game cartridge which has a Game Boy cart dumper inside it, and a USB connector so it can talk to the Raspberry Pi inside the giant Game Boy. Warner explains:

“The way this cart dumper works is you insert a cartridge, it dumps it to internal storage and whatever computer you plug it into just sees a removable drive with the ROM on it. I have it watching for that removable drive to show up and running the ROM on it. So, while it is running a ROM file, it is in fact a freshly-made copy of the game that you just inserted. The cart reader is called a Joey Jr. made by BennVenn.”

So, you can take any original Game Boy cartridge and actually play it on this thing. It’s a bit of a round-about way to do it — you could just have RetroPie running on the Raspberry Pi itself — but Warner went the extra mile to make it feel like an authentic Game Boy experience.


There’s still some sanding, filing, and painting to do to get it looking perfect. Warner also wants to do some more work on the software to make it run in a sort of arcade attract mode, cycling through games, when it’s not in use. And he’s thinking about swapping out the Raspberry Pi 4 for a Zero 2 to increase battery life. Giants get angry when their game play is curtailed by a dead battery.

You can follow along with this project on Instagram, and there’ll be a few longer videos going up on Warner’s YouTube channel, so make sure to subscribe.

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