Most of the blogs I am reading these days are making a big stink about the Game Boy turning 20, as they should be. I thought I would write a lil’ something, something as well because it did have an impact on my life when I was growing up. For the first couple of systems I owned I was about a generation behind by the time I got it. My NES was a hand-me-down from my cousins and I didn’t get a SNES until quite a bit after it’s release. At the time I was quite oblivious to any real gaming news. My cousins who lived in New York were my source for all things video games. As far as I knew they were the best players around and had the inside info on all the latest games. One of their trips when they came to visit they brought along their Game Boy with Mario Land 2 and Tetris and let me have a go with it. I was blow the hell away. My tiny adolescent mind could not comprehend what I was doing. I was playing NES quality games (sans color) without being tied to grid or a TV. It was a spiritual moment for me. From that moment on I think the only things that came out of my mouth were, “Hey Mom, could I get a Game Boy?” That following birthday my consistent nagging finally awarded me with a shiny new Game Boy and a copy of Super Mario Land 2. That was the first new game system I had every received. That system got me through so many hard car trips and waiting rooms. If we were going anywhere that even sounded remotely boring, the Game Boy came too. After I became more hardcore into Video Games the Game Boy and I had a little falling out. I flipped in on every once in a while, but it mainly sat there collecting dust, and by collecting dust I mean sealed away in a container to protect it from the elements. I am very careful with my stuff.
In comes this new craze called Pokemon. Holy crap, Pokemon. That dominated about three years of my youth and made my Game Boy the number one attention hog for a while. I am glad it was not only me. All my friends caught on to. Recess meant link-cables would be flying all around. This is the first time I felt the magnitude of Game Boy. I don’t want this entry to shift towards Pokemon, but I can’t see how it didn’t lift sales across the board. Everyone had one. Even girls! That began my lifelong obsession with finding a girl who actually liked Video Games. Just for those out there wondering. They still elude me.
Anyway, the Game Boy is forever cemented in my mind as the system that brought Video Games into everyday life. It was possible to go somewhere and game without boundaries, provided you had 4 AA batteries. As a testament to it’s quality, my original Game Boy still works without fail almost 17 years later. Thanks Nintendo, and thanks Game Boy!