Lab Overview: Vibrant Media Lab

The VML is a space and a network devoted to experimental, cross-disciplinary, collaborative research in material media systems and practices. We are especially interested in experimental forms of media that link the digital and the analog: media that are tactile, material, and data-rich. Research at the vml includes both unearthing the contexts and potentials of past media as well as exploring the narrative and interfacial potentials of cutting edge media. Methodologically, we combine the critical and theoretical lens of the humanities, the experimental method of the sciences, and the creative practice of the arts. Faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergrads from any discipline are invited to become vml partners, hang out in our space, join any of our current projects, and initiate new ones. Becoming a partner means joining an emergent collective: there are no obligations, only potentials waiting to be catalyzed in the form of collaborative projects. We curate a series of projects each year, beginning in September.

Open Projects

The VML is looking for students to work on its OdysseyNow project: a project dedicated to documenting and re-creating the Magnavox Odyssey, the first video game console.


We have collected the materials for an epic website, but need one or two students to oversee its launch.

Expo planning

This will be the first public event devoted to the Odyssey ever.  We want to run this in the spring.

Emulator Software

We’re working on an ambitious emulator that not only emulates the Odyssey, but actually connects to the 1972 console and can both track play and control a player on the console.  Anyone who wants to try to teach the computer how to play an Odyssey game is also welcome to join, as the emulator will allow AI plugins for different games.


We have an amazing hardware team that’s actually rebuilding the Odyssey as an open source kit, as well as souping it up, creating new peripherals, etc.

Game design / gameplay

The most casual group just meets to playtest new games, work on new designs, etc.

If you’re interested in any of these, contact Dr. Zach Horton at


Games We Make, Labs