Robots, Lasers, And Fire Make The STEAM Carnival The Best Kickstarter Project Ever

By Nick Venable | Updated

fireOne of the shittiest things about getting older is that people keep developing and inventing amazing things for children, which gentlemen like myself would only get in trouble for playing with. I’m not talking about Leap Frog toys or any of the superhero gear that cuts off my blood pressure when I try putting it on. No, in this case, I’m talking about the STEAM Carnival, a Kickstarter campaign started up by the resident geniuses at the imagination-fueled L.A. think tank Two Bit Circus.

Remember how fun carnivals used to be, or at least how they used to seem? Well, get ready to replace your faked-out memories with actual science-based fun. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, and its team of professional inventors, game creators, engineers, and designers have given the traveling carnival a much-needed facelift, replacing cheapo games such as non-ignition Ring Toss with fire, lasers, and robots — though maybe not all at the same time. With proposed games such as Dunk Tank Flambé, Show Your Strength (With Voltage), and a Laser Maze, I’m starting to wonder why they’re not just making this entirely for adults and leaving the kids out of it. Oh, because the kids are our future. Dammit, you kids! Below is an early rendering of the proposed layout of the grounds. Fuck a Ferris Wheel.


STEAM is geared for the entire family, and works as both a way to entertain people on the spot, and to inspire the younger visitors to aim their future towards STEAM-related academics. Removing my own wasted life from this equation, so many of the people I went to school with ended up either in the military or the oil field, so you can’t imagine how on board I am for kids to go into fields that could actually further the future of our planet, rather than simply prolong things going the way they are. Check out their extended intro video below and tell me these guys look miserable doing such amazing and inspirational work.

You might have noticed Nolan Bushnell in the video. He’s the founder of Atari and the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant/play areas. He’s on the advising board with video game producer Brian Fargo, who created the games Bard’s Tale and Wasteland. They’re also joined by Mythbusters smart guy Grant Imahara. The entire Two Bit Circus team can be seen here, but I figured you guys wanted the easily recognizable names first.

Should the STEAM Carnival reach its modest $100,000 goal — and seeing as how over $17,000 was raised three days into it, that goal is a definite possibility — they would open the event in Los Angeles and go to San Francisco next spring. From there, the sky and budget are the limits. Oh, did I mention the motion-capture mechanical bull? ’cause there’s a motion-capture mechanical bull.

It’s worth noting that many of their actual donation prizes involve sending at-risk children to the carnival, so you can actually help make someone’s life better, instead of just copping a bunch of merch for yourself. This is win-win, people. Except at Milk Bottle Ring Toss (with Ignition), because I never win at that. So go give these guys all your money and experience bankruptcy knowing that someone, somewhere is having more fun than you.