Odd Tinkering

Some — if not most — of you are probably familiar with the Odd Tinkering YouTube channel. With Two million subscribers and millions more views, the Odd Tinkering restoration and repairs series has become my new Zen.

In these videos, an almost disembodied set of rubber-gloved hands restore and repair old gaming consoles in an endless white void over the course of about 20 or so minutes. There is no voiceover, merely text at the bottom of the screen detailing the steps and processes. And of course, the random sound effects that accompany the actual console restoration and repairs are fully accounted for, almost like ASMR for machines.

If you haven’t watched any of these videos, do yourself a favor: Crack a Guinness draught, grab a bag of taco-flavored Doritos, and settle in for a wild ride.

Well, maybe not so much a wild ride as a mild ride. But even though these videos are devoid of glitz, glamor, and spectacle — with no booming, generic house music as a soundscape backdrop — there is something almost infinitely relaxing about watching those gloved hands at work.

Now, I should note that these videos are not in real time, and thankfully so. But they do detail the broader, more pivotal steps along the process, and I suspect they could probably serve as how-to videos for anyone attempting a console restoration and/or repair of their own.

For me, I find a wellspring of tranquility in watching the process unfold, usually starting with a console in major disrepair and ending with a console that looks as new as the day it hit store shelves. There is also the matter of pure curiosity, as you’ll get to see exactly what comprises a Game Cube or Xbox 360’s guts — what makes it tick, as it were.

As an avid, almost lifelong gamer, I have done a few modest quick-fixes or workarounds in my day. I mean, who hasn’t blown into a NES cartridge port or forcefully overheated a 360 using towels to circumvent the Red Ring of Death? And how about using a spring in the lid of a PSOne in order to play imported Japanese games?

Of course, all of that seems like child’s play when you watch these rubber-gloved hands work their magic.

If you would like to find a Nirvana of your own, or if you just need a relaxing video lullaby, why not check out their video on restoring a $2-on-eBay Game Boy Color? And if you dig it, there’s plenty more where that came from.

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