I’ve had several people ask me if I make this for them. The answer is yes, I can… But. It costs a lot. Assuming that you didn’t have any parts (wire, microcontroller, buttons, etc) on hand, it would cost you roughly $200 in parts to make this. Perhaps a bit less as that number has fairly generous margins for miscellaneous things like wire, screws and wood. If I made it for you I’d have to charge for the parts, as well as a labor and the cost of shipping it to you… The total cost I’ve come up with each time I’ve looked at it is just north of $400 (not including shipping). That’s the cost of the parts, getting them shipped to me, plus a margin for part price changes/error. So, yeah, it would cost a lot for me to make one of these for you. If that price seems outrageous, I sympathize. Unfortunately, I can’t make the parts cheaper and my time is valuable, so if I’m going to make one of these for you, I’m going to want something in return. As it turns out, money is the thing that I’d want in return. So, if you see that $400 price tag and you’re still interested in having me make one for you, by all means get in touch with me. Otherwise, I highly recommend that you make one yourself, if you can manage to scrounge up some of the miscellaneous bits and pieces (buttons, wire, enclosure) you could make this for way less than $200 and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts you’d have fun doing it.
We don’t have any issues with our Child Units™ (CU) playing video games. No fears of them turning into mass murderers or anything. However, the XBOX has a way of making our CU’s oblivious to the rest of the world. This creates all manner of issues, from the dogs not being let out, to chores not getting done at all or completely.
I started to think about a way to control access to the XBOX – the length of time it could be played, a way to forcefully stop game play at set intervals, and make it so that playing it was something you had to earn.
While the XBOX has “parental controls” they don’t work the way I’d like them too. You can set content restrictions and on-line restrictions but can only set a daily or weekly play limit. So, I could broadly limit the amount of playtime but I wanted more granular control and was looking for a way to stop game play and say “Let the dogs out!” or “Go finish the dishes!”
I almost immediately thought of a using a coin or token system as the access control. I took to Google, I was sure someone had done something like this already.