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​Dad Builds Incredible DIY Arcade Machine For His Son So He Can Play 'Old School Games'

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​Dad Builds Incredible DIY Arcade Machine For His Son So He Can Play 'Old School Games'

A dad in Norwich has made a DIY arcade machine for his son, having also shared a step-by-step guide so that others can create one themselves.

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Mark Stevenson, 36, said he wanted his two-year-old son Grayson to experience the joy of some of the 'simpler' games he used to play as a youngster, and set about making the toddler his very own retro arcade game.

Estimating the build cost him less than £100, having managed to use bits and bobs lying around at home, Mark said he was able to complete the project within a couple of weeks, using evenings after work to tinker away.

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Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible

Mark, who works as a Research Software Engineer at Liverpool Football Club and also blogs about his life with Grayson and partner Ashleigh, 25, told LADbible: "I grew up playing on these kinds of old school computer games - Sonic, Pacman, Sensible Soccer - and I wanted Grayson to experience some of the simpler games that were available back then.

"Being so young, the simplicity of the games and controls made them ideal for him - and he loves them."

Mark and Ashleigh Stevenson with son Grayson. Credit: The Stevenson Life
Mark and Ashleigh Stevenson with son Grayson. Credit: The Stevenson Life
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In a blog post, Mark explained how he started by measuring Grayson to ensure the machine was toddler-sized, before popping out to a local DIY shop stock up on MDF, a length of timber and 'a load of screws'.

He managed to source a VGA 'square, bad quality' screen from work, and had thankfully had a spare Raspberry Pi computer to run the games on.

Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible
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He also hit up eBay for a USB button controller and buttons, along with Amazon for speakers, before starting on the build - using basic tools for the job, saying the 'biggest power tool' he owns is a jigsaw, so he relied on 'lots of cutting by hand'.

Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible

He finished the machine off by decorating it with around 700 stickers, applying a layer of varnish to secure them.

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"Put lots of newspaper down so you don't inadvertently varnish your kitchen floor!" he told us.

Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible

"There's costs for the techy stuff, some of the games will need a licence and so on, but that's personal preference," he said.

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Explaining it took him a couple of weeks to create, Mark added: "It was made in the evenings after work - in the kitchen as I don't have a shed or anywhere like that."

Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible

And if anyone's thinking about taking on the challenge and making one themself, Mark they should just 'go for it'.

"They're low cost in the grand scheme of things, and if you're keen on either the DIY side of things, or the techy side of it, then it's a great little project," he said.

Credit: LADbible
Credit: LADbible

"If you have kids to make it for, then even better, because they'll love it and that reaction makes it all worthwhile."

Check out Mark's full step-by-step guide over on his blog, The Stevenson Life.

You can also follow the family on Instagram at @thestevensonlife.

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Featured Image Credit: LADbible

Topics: Daily Ladness, DIY, Community

Jess Hardiman
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