We’ve seen our fair share of Raspberry Pi-powered fortune teller projects over the years, but this is the first one we’ve seen that’s housed inside a full-sized arcade cabinet made with recycled Game Boy components. Maker and Game Boy modding enthusiast Evan Holbert recently shared his impressive coin-operated Raspberry Pi cabinet project to Hackster.
The idea behind this project was to use a Raspberry Pi Zero W as the main board along with some old Game Boy components, mainly the screen, to output fortunes for users. The project was developed to go along with his Game Boy booth at an upcoming convention, so using the old hardware is crucial to the theme.
To operate the machine, you insert a coin into the cabinet. There is an LCD screen in the corner that will ask for your birthday, which can be entered using a keypad. This information is then parsed to ChatGPT which generates a horoscope with a style reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft and Dr. Seuss. The project also involves a custom Game Boy ROM that appears to perform a divination before another program prints the user’s horoscope on a thermal printer.
The project is housed inside of an old cabinet. A card slot frame was recycled from an old IBM 3277 terminal and used along with a microATX computer case. Game Boys have two motherboards, the front board houses the screen which can be seen mounted to the front of the build. A Bluetooth printer is used to print the fortunes but Holbert plans to change it out with something like an Adafruit printer for future iterations.
Holbert was nice enough to make the project open source for anyone interested in either recreating it or just seeing how it works. The code is shared on the project page at Hackster along with sources used to interlink the extra peripherals. It covers everything from the Game Boy ROM to the ChatGPT integration.