from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com on 08 Jan 2024 13:13
I’m looking for some advice on setting up a retro gaming system for my son. He absolutely loves the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and some Atari classics like Frogger. The problem I have is he is autistic, which leads to two very different issues to solve. First is he loves to tinker with things. Which I don’t mind, and actively encourage in kids because that’s how you learn. However, when he breaks something, it can cause full blown meltdowns. Like you would think the end of the world is coming level meltdowns. Therefore, things like the Nintendo Switch are great because there is not much he can do in the settings. Especially, with the built-in parent controls. However, when I’ve tried setting him up with a laptop with Retro Arch, he will jack with the settings and break it in a matter of minutes.
I’d like to figure out something I can plug into a TV that will allow him to play retro games, preferably with a wireless controller (because I’ll be damned if I can get him to sit still why playing Sonic). The best solution I’ve used in the past was a Nvidia Shield TV running Arch Browser. He still managed to factory reset once, but outside of that it worked well. However, the fact that it is a full streaming/media system is overkill for what I’m looking for. Plus, I really don’t like the direction it has been heading with the built-in ads and other Google crap.
I looked into the Sega Genesis mini, but they are selling for more than a Shield TV and have wired controllers. I have an Atari flashback, but it is crap with it’s IR controllers. Whoever though of that obviously has never tried to get a child to maintain line of sight while playing a game.
So, I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestion for hardware/software that will allow for the playing of retro games on a TV, but also have a way of either preventing tampering with settings, making it more difficult to get to the settings, or even something that can be reset and configured with a few clicks. I’d love to be able to tell him, look if you mess it up just reboot and it will reset.