North Dakota high schooler builds his own arcade console

Good Day Dakota

For most 17-year-olds, just getting their homework done is an accomplishment. But one local teen is setting his sights much higher.

Jakob German is only a sophomore, and he’s doing more than most people could even think about with a college degree.

He recently finished up his semester-long project, a fully functional and life-size arcade gaming console.

“I don’t really know if there is any specific reason– like I just thought it would be cool. I really don’t know how I got it in my head but yeah,” says German. 
 
The Bismarck High Schooler says the whole idea came to him when he noticed an extra tv lying around his house.
 
“So I took that apart and that’s the screen. and then it’s a raspberry pi, it’s a pretty simple way to run the games and everything so I just programmed that. I ordered the buttons on Amazon. The box is just wood and then the body filler to make it seamless, then I got some lights and plexy glass and frosted everything.”
 
And for such a complex process, you wonder how such a young person would even know where to start.
 
“I just read a lot so I probably did a week of reading and knowing what I need to buy and everything,” says German. 
 
German told me it offers 55 games and cost him a couple of hundred dollars to make. I spoke with his instructor who tells me that he really didn’t have to help him with anything either.
 
“He has taken a few engineering classes, but I wasn’t expecting anything quite like that–just the woodworking skills and combine those with the computer technology is pretty impressive,” says Engineering and Tech Instructor at Career Academy, Dalon Grimm. 
 
Grimm adds he doesn’t think most college students could have built something as notable as German did.
 
“Oh yeah, It’s definitely a top 5 project for all the years I have taught. It’s definitely a top 5 project absolutely.”
 
And German tells me this is not something out of the ordinary for him.
 
“I guess I’m kind of always doing crazy stuff so…” says German.
 
German plans on becoming a mechanical engineer and is still thinking about what to name the console. 

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