Enjoy this whimsical 1991 TV commercial for the Gameboy

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/12/enjoy-this-whimsical-1991-tv-c.html


I bought a used Game Boy Color when I had jury duty. A lot of time was spent waiting outside the court room, and playing Link’s Awakening DX helped me avoid socializing with the other jury candidates.


There is a very good clone of the gameboy form factor that I recommend highly:


The cool thing is the “cartridge” contains a Raspberry Pi Zero, which is plenty to run lots of 8-bit handheld games of the era (and a little bit of 16-bit stuff like SNES / Genesis but not without some slowdown in some games.)


I just finished reading Blake Harris’s Console Wars, and Nintendo of America was still very much under the control of Nintendo of Japan - and had a long 1980s history of positioning its products as for the whole family. Sega of America was able to react to that mentality and market the Genesis and Game Gear as products for teenagers.


Working in a related field, I can easily imagine the conversations that resulted in that garishly upsized logo on the console.

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It’s funny how things change. About a decade ago I brought a newly eBay’d gray-brick DMG-01 model + Tetris on a flight. It attracted considerable attention waiting at the gate, and later on the flight (aisle seat).

Today, I’m not so sure where on the notability scale playing one in public would fall…


So much Art of Noise/Max Headroom influence.


Still does. The Wii was widely mocked for being underpowered and childish (the Switch, too to a lesser degree). What those people didn’t get is that there is just as much, if not more, joy in family/group play as there is in high definition immersion. The Switch is a complete rethink of how one device can be both a solo and group experience. Plus, like Disney, their official characters are never to allowed to venture far into violent or gory territory. Their first-person shooter is a big, silly paintball match with cartoon characters as opposed to hyper real recreations of modern platoon warfare with blood and guts everywhere.


Thanks for advertising to me.

I was contextualizing your post about the ‘80s into the modern (and pointless) debate over Nintendo vs every other platform and how that exists because of Nintendo’s dedication to making their platform accessible and group-oriented. But feel free to be offended; it’s your burden, not mine.

No offense here. I like to kid.

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it’s practically a blip-vert


Spent waaaaay too much time playing Castlevania and Zelda- Link’s Awakening on mine.

I miss the sound of gathering rupees.

Back in the day, I was doing a LOT of traveling, generally from coast to coast. I bought a gameboy to keep me company and to fight the boredom of air travel.

I did buy most of my games “previously enjoyed” from some of the local gaming shops. I think that gameboy is somewhere around the house.

I haven’t been able to locate my VR boy in the last few years, but it’s probably still here, somewhere.

It’s always been about monetizing the ways of conveniently eliminating tedium/boredom. This adult waiting in line playing his Gameboy is doing what all of us have now been programmed to do with our smart phones and various other unnecessary gadgets. The Internet, Social Media and the Smart Device revolution are destroying us as a nation, and have been since the mid-2000s. Thankfully there are still cultures left in the world where our now-absurd American way of life has little influence and little chance of ever gaining a foothold.

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