Following the tremendous success of its new Switch console in 2017, Nintendo fans eagerly anticipated any shred of information regarding the company's plans for the following year. And in January 2018, Nintendo delivered...cardboard accessories, specifically their new brand “Nintendo Labo.” A construction toy platform that allows users to assemble cardboard cut-outs to create real-life, interactive “Toy-Con” creations, Nintendo envisioned Labo as a playful way to introduce young gamers to fundamental engineering, physics, and programming concepts. If you’re unfamiliar with the product, this introductory video will help bring you up to speed:
While some were initially skeptical of Nintendo’s new idea, it’s was clear from the start that Labo was designed to appeal to new audiences, rather than your stereotypical “hardcore” gamers. In fact, Labo shares less in common with Nintendo’s other hardware and software offerings, instead clearly drawing inspiration from a phenomenon those in EdTech are likely quite familiar with: the rise of makerspaces in schools. Included with each Labo kit’s software is a mode called Toy-Con Garage, which allows players to combine cardboard, household items, inputs and outputs in order to create whatever they want, with the only limit being the user’s creative capabilities. Living up to its tagline “Play, Make, and Discover,” the Nintendo Labo’s Toy-Con Garage mode gives players the opportunity to practice their critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills, all while exploring STEM principles in a safe and exploratory setting.
But don’t take my word for it – check out these amazingly creative Labo creations designed by players across the globe: