Ringmaster of the Nerd Circus
Inspired by steampunk culture, the maker movement, and his Atari-founding father, Brent Bushnell is ready to reveal his carnival of crazy contraptions and educational wonders.
Photos courtesy Two Bit Circus
“Watch your step!” says a mohawked man on stilts, a trio of juggling pins in hand. “There’s gravity everywhere.”
He greets the stampede of children and their families spilling into a World War II-era waterfront warehouse in the Los Angeles port town of San Pedro, which on this day has been transformed into a traveling nerd circus. Under colorful streams of aerial silk draped across the wood-beamed ceiling, tiny jaws drop at the high-tech toys and games that await them: a room full of laser beams to crawl through, Mission Impossible-style; remote-controlled quadcopters ready to be flown through a city of cardboard skyscrapers; a live-action version of the penny arcade classic Asteroids; computerized funhouse mirrors that morph users’ faces into icons from Albert Einstein to Eminem. On a side stage, as futuristic music thumps through the speakers, kids pose in the LED-powered accessories they’ve designed and assembled for a technology fashion show. There are…