GameNannyBox is patent pending 2014
Made at a makerspace
Simplify family screen time
Nannying screen time so you don't have to
Game Nanny Box's easy-to-use functionality allows parents to manage screen time and game time for multiple kids and devices.  Children must use their secret PIN to check-out games and controllers.  GNB starts a visible game timer, and emits audible warnings as time runs out.  GNB will penalize kids the following day if tablets/games are checked in late.

Ends the game arguments
In families with multiple children and gaming devices, parents are tired of hearing "... brother is playing games but I only got 5 minutes."  Children can check games back in if their time is interrupted, and GameNannyBox still keeps track of each child's time.  Parents can review game time, and see who is not sticking to the time limits.

Promotes self-discipline
Kids learn to stick to their designated game schedule and not go over their time limit.  Acrylic windows allow parents to check what devices are in the box at the end of the day.  Parents can modify the late-checkin penalty, to modify game-time consequence.  Kids learn to use the honor system, by returning games and devices on time since parents can validate later.
Prototype 3 - Oct, 2014
The latest prototype uses a numeric keypad and non-touch LCD to reduce overall costs.
Prototype 2 - Sept, 2014
The last prototype used plywood, which looked ok except the fasteners.

Prototype 1 - July, 2014
The original prototype is clear acrylic, with a nice touchscreen.  Transparent, but doesn't match most kitchens and living rooms.

What is a makerspace?
A makerspace/hackerspace/FabLab is a community workshop where inventors, artists, and guys-without-room-for-a-shop build and create things.  These shared workspaces often have wood-working, metal-working, electronics, and automated tools.  Our local KC Hammerspace Hobby has 3D printers, laser cutters, CNCs, and a myriad of other tools.  Members pay monthly dues to support upkeep on the shop.  There are also classes available on many topics, but click the Hammerspace link or see Wikipedia's definition.

What is it?  - Game Nanny Box manages kids screen time by enforcing time limits and time windows.  GNB is the easy way to help parents control the time kids can use tablets, small console games, and game controllers.  Parents can use the menus to customize features.  GNB also has 2 internal USB charging ports and includes 2 commonly needed cords.

How it works
  1. A child chooses her user on the Game Nanny Box keypad, and then enters her personal code.
  2. On the next screen she can check-out a device, which opens the cabinet door. This starts a countdown timer on the screen and begins her game time for the day
  3. The box gives audible warnings at 5 minutes and 1 minute remaining.
  4. If the child does not check her device back in within the allotted time, she is penalized by losing some of her time the following day.
  5. Parents check contents at end of day, and can make changes to each child's access through the menu.
Other uses 
  • Use it for securing and charging phones overnight for older children.  Customize the time window to whatever you decide.
  • Use GNB to control prescriptions or valuables.
  • Keep the family off smartphones during dinner time

See draft Kickstarter page
for more details

Articles on kids and screen time

New study recommends limiting kids to one hour of video games per day

   - Study done in UK but covered by ABC NY
Kids still getting too much 'screen time'
   - CDC via WebMD
Too much screen time may worsen kids' ability to read emotions
   - A 2014 UCLA study via
Video Games andKids: Why they love them, and what parents can do to minimize therisks
   - "Avoiding excessive play means setting up firm time limits for games" - Kai-Ping Wang, M.D.

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More logos and images
Supporters page

Thanks go out to the project supporters even though this was a non-starter

Also see: Press Release (pdf)
Images and Media
Latest prototype
Prototype 2
Prototype 1 was all acrylic