The 80s and 90s were the awkward decades of digitalisation. During this era the world was adjusting to mobile phones, home computers, and of course, video games. While the relationship between knitting and video games isn’t substantial, it does exist and is surprisingly sophisticated.
Nintendo, the same company that is currently selling cardboard to people, once developed a knitting machine that connecting to its entertainment system. It never quite made it onto the shelves of those now defunct Virgin Megastores, but its prototype has been revealed for the world to see.
The device could be plugged into your NES and programmed to automatically knit a wide variety of patterns. The LA Times article is a time capsule in itself, revealing the insinuation that the video game industry was in decline. Both predictions didn’t happen; video games are booming and the Nintendo knitting machine was never released.
This isn’t to say knitting never made its mark on the gaming industry. In 1990, Loom was an early action/adventure game involving weaving to solve puzzles. Knitting themes would go on to feature in games such as Broken Age, Harvest Moon, and the long forgotten Bubsy.
However, nothing as innovative as the Nintendo knitting machine has ever been released since. A knitting renaissance has been undergoing for a while, becoming more and more popular, helped in part through pop-culture platforms such as gaming. Maybe, due to popular demand, the Nintendo knitting machine will be released from history and into our lives!