Bulky, grey, chunky and with buttons which could be seen from outer space; no I’m not talking about Saved By The Bell’s Zach Morris’ cell phone, but the best thing to come from the 80’s (apart from George Michael’s Club Tropicana speedos…) it is of course the Nintendo Game Boy.
I am pretty sure my stumpy thumbs come as a result of relentless Tetris play, and pushing poor Mario to grab that flashing star. The Game Boy was my second handheld console, the first being an electronic version of The Wheel of Fortune; I’ll let you decide which one was cooler…
First introduced in Japan in 1989, the Game Boy didn’t hit our shores until 1990 and managed to sell a whopping 118.69 million units worldwide; wowzas. The best-selling game is the block building addiction known as Tetris, which has the best video game music I have ever heard; in fact I recently attended the launch party for the Nintendo 3DS console and that anthem could be heard throughout the night!
I remember feeling quite confused when looking at the controls for the Game Boy, which makes me feel a bit of an ass now as it is simpler than The Only Way Is Essex casts knowledge of politics. It has a directional pad, a start and select button, and two buttons labelled ‘A’ and ‘B’. The Game Boy didn’t have a charger, oh no, I had to pop the batteries in and do the old ‘rub ‘em and roll ‘em round to give them more power’ trick when the damn thing refused to turn on.
Being a girl I soon got bored with the greyness and block like quality to the console, so I practically wet myself with joy when Nintendo introduced the ‘Game Boy Color’. Not only was it a slimmed down version, but it also had a see through exterior. Nintendo also bought out ‘Game Boy Pockets’, which came in various colours and gave me serious Genvy (Game Boy envy) when hanging out with little homies.
The games came in tiny cartridge form fit for a Borrower, and you simply popped it into the top of the console, but sometimes dust would prevent it from playing so I would have to blow it or shake it in pure desperation; all I wanted to do was chill with Mario and bop on some turtle shells.
Nowadays we have the Nintendo DS, which make the Game Boy seem a little 2000 and late, and yes it has a tons of games, books and learning tools, and is now even available in 3D. But for me the original Game Boy is still my numero uno games console, in fact I may purchase one and start a retro comeback; hey if Blue can enter Eurovision then anything is possible…
I’m happy I was around for the G-Boy revolution, and maybe I am stuck in some weird 80’s-90’s time warp, but I hope more youngsters get to appreciate its coolness. I for one have no Ni-tention of forgetting it in a hurry.
By Kelly Holgate