One wintry night in the depths of February, I was taking a stroll through campus with a couple friends when I stumbled upon something I had never seen before. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, one of campus’s best-known buildings (because of its striking architecture and various rumors about its design and holdings) was lit up with a colorful projection on one side. Imagine my surprise as I realized that this was no simple light display–it was a real game of Mario Kart, and there were students actually playing the game, using the Beinecke as a screen.
Like I said, I had never seen anything like this, so I emailed the person in charge. Danilo Rosich is a sophomore on the heavyweight crew team with a passion for rebuilding old projectors. Danilo said:
“For more than 7 years now, I have been buying broken and heavily used projectors for a fraction of their retail cost and rebuilding them to their original functionality. Each time I would sell one of my projectors, I would buy one that is slightly more powerful and through that process I was able to go from a desktop office projector to this full scale cinema projector. Not only does it keep technology that is still plenty capable out of the landfill, it allows me access to equipment that would normally be tens of thousands of dollars out of my budget. I have been building things all my life, ranging from lasers to searchlights to cryogenic magnets, but I have found projectors to be a passion of mine that I can share excitement in with everyone.”
Danilo’s Mario Kart game was a huge hit. He told me that “the positive feedback from just this one night was a lot more than [he] could have ever hoped for.” As soon as the weather gets just a little bit nicer, Danilo says we can expect another projection.
The Great Mario Kart on the Beinecke Night of 2022 is a very clear example of Yale students creatively combining the passions they already have, the resources of the university, and the enthusiasm of the community to make campus a more delightful place. I can’t wait for the next time!