[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Game Boy Punishment?

September 22nd, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Hudson Game Boy Ad - EGM 1993(Click above for full advertisement)

The promise of the Game Boy could never have been made more clear than in this 1993 ad by Hudson. Confined to your room? No problem; play your Game Boy. The portable nature of Nintendo's first handheld console opened up incredible new possibilities for how and where you could play video games.

Those possibilities felt very real when I finally convinced my dad to buy me a used Game Boy around 1990. (Sure, it had just come out in 1989, but it felt like forever because I was begging my parents for one all along the way.) With the Game Boy, I could play video games in the car, in school (although I never did), in bed at night, and I even remember wandering through the local art museum — black Game Boy earbuds in place — glued to Tetris instead of paying attention to the paintings. Oh, that glorious stereo sound. Those were amazing days indeed.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, June 1993 ]

Discussion topic of the week: What was the first handheld electronic game you ever played? Also, feel free to share your first Game Boy experience.

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33 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Game Boy Punishment?”

  1. Derek Quenneville Says:

    Lucky kid, he's got Super Famicom gamepads for his SNES!

  2. Fessic Says:

    Oh how I wish I had my old Game Boy…

  3. Psittacine Says:

    I loved my Game Boy. I really wish I hadn't sold it along with my SNES to get an N64 (Worst trade EVAR!). I remember I had one of those ludicrous looking magnifying glass and light combo things for it. On top of that it had an external battery pack hanging off the back of the thing attached with velcro.

    The battery pack was kind of a necessity since the house suffered a mysterious decrease in the amount of flashlights with double A batteries still installed after I got it.

  4. Chris Says:

    Does a Nintendo Game & Watch count? I think it was Fire, not sure… but I remember I could play for hours on the thing. Didn't really keep me away from my Coleco, though!

  5. Mr. Ksoft Says:

    I missed out on the original Game Boy, instead starting with the Game Boy Pocket and Super Mario Land. I loved having a portable video game that didn't suck! (before, I only had some edutainment games on an old Macintosh computer) I basically memorized that game, as it was the only one I had for about a year until my parents bought me Tetris Plus, which I became hooked to.

    I've been having a bit of a revival of my interest in the Game Boy recently as I bought two original GB's at a garage sale a few weeks ago for $10. I actually think the original system is better than the GB Pocket. I like the green screen and it's not too small for my hands.

  6. Kenny Says:

    Take the phone off the hook.
    Store your pencils away properly.
    Put down the protractor…

    It's Milon time.

  7. Jay Says:

    I got the original Game Boy for xmas the year it came out, after much begging to my mother. To this date, I have never spent more time playing any console. Even though the NES was my fav as a kid, once I got a game boy and Tetris, NES was old news. I loved all the old game boy games.

    As for the first portable game I played, that would have to be "Coleco Electronic Quarterback". I saw the future in those red dots.

  8. JackSoar Says:

    The first video game system I owned was a Game Boy, in fact. I spent most of my time playing Link's Awakening and Tetris on it. The battery life was great, and portable gaming is still where it's at.

  9. guy Says:

    The first portable game I remember having was a game and watch… Bomb Sweeper, specifically.
    Later, my parents got me a game boy. But we went on an outing to the store one day, with game boy in tow, and dad made me leave it in the car. We came back to a broken gameboy.
    Later, we got a Game Gear. Much better machine, IMHO.

  10. Boone1963 Says:

    first hand held I played, Mattel Football, the one with the little red blips. Also had Mattel Basketball later on. That's right, I'm old, but I still play, lol.

  11. extrarice Says:

    Hmm I wonder why the ad is showing Super Famicom game pads (or European SNES pads) and a North American SNES?

  12. Benj Edwards Says:

    I actually wondered that myself, extrarice. And isn't that phone off the hook?

    By the way, great comments everybody. And yes, Game & Watch definitely counts, Chris. :)

  13. t3hfr3ak Says:

    How could you not smile when your parents say your grounded and not remember about the portable game system you hid in your room?

    I use to laugh when my parents said i was grounded

  14. nimby Says:

    I remember that Christmas asking for money so that I could go buy one. I collected $95, more than enough. I went to Toys R Us, and put in on the counter only to be told that it was $95.25 What the hell is sales tax to a ten year old. I went through too many batteries over the next month. Good times, good times.

  15. Cozmo Says:

    I remember getting one of the Microvision portables in the early 80s…it even had interchangable games by taking off the entire faceplate. I know I had baseball and a breakout game (which was great), and I think one other one that escapes me.

  16. Jim Ulrich Says:

    First handheld game was a Mickey Mouse Game & Watch. I did get the Game Boy September '89 with all the original launch games except for Tennis. The original Game Boy had some of the worst motion blur of any LCD device I've seen.

  17. Jay Says:

    I assumed (back when I remember seeing the original print ad) that the phone was off the hook on purpose, as part of the whole "grounded" bit.

    A borrowed Mario Bros. G&W was what I think I started with. Immediately went out and bought my own. Still own it, and a half-dozen or so others (handheld TMNT was so bloody hard!)

  18. Geoff V. Says:

    I got a gameboy as a "This is your present for your birthday and Christmas" present from my folks. I ended up buying just about every gadget I could for it, but only the external battery pack was worth it.

    My first "favorite" games was Fortified Zone. After that it was Kingdom Crusade.

  19. Benj Edwards Says:

    Oh man, I remember Fortified Zone. My friend had it and we loved it because you could play two player simultaneous over the Game Boy comm link (or whatever they called it). We also played "The Hunt for Red October" — I think I usually won.

  20. giantnads Says:

    My first handheld was the Gameboy original. I was nine and I saw it on TV advertised for the first time. I asked my mother could I have one for Xmas, and promptly forgot about it (thinking I was never gonna get it cause it was way too expensive at £89). Lo and behold, Xmas morning there it was under the xmas tree, waiting for me. Happy days!

  21. Rockin' Kat Says:

    I've still got my original GameBoy… I actually played it a lot when I was laid up in bed for two weeks from surgery several monhs ago. I had a bunch of games I'd picked up in thrift stores to sort through.

    I got my GameBoy for christmas along with four games.. Super Mario land, Super Mario Land 2, Darkwing Duck, and Tetris. Those were the only games I ever got for it up untill a few years ago too. I remember unwrapping the games first and going on about how "but I don't have a gameboy!" ….I felt really dumb afterword as I didn't figure it out untill I was unwrapping my gameboy.

    I had an official Nintendo carrying bag which held the gameboy, batteries, accessories, 6 games, plus the one in the gameboy, and the earbuds………the earbuds were promptly lost in a McDonalds within the first few months.

    I think back then, I played Super Mario Land a lot.

  22. Kenny Says:

    The first Handheld console I ever had was a Game Boy Color.
    That was back in 1998 I think, When I was 7 years old.
    The first Console I ever had was the PS1, altough I wanted a N64.

  23. Ragnatic Says:

    My first console was a pirate Famicom with a bunch of games but my *official* first console was this handheld console. All started when a friend in school was playing some Power Rangers game on his Game Boy. I got my Game Boy bundled with R.C. ProAM, which is a fun racing game. But later I lost (or some thief robbed) my Game Boy )= and i got a Game Boy Pocket.

  24. Jason L Says:

    Well, I had Merlin, and Pocket Simon first. Then, I didn't go portable again until getting a Lynx the year it was released. I loved that Lynx.

  25. Tony T Says:

    This is awesome.
    Gameboy games were the greatest thing back then.
    Super Mario lands, The Final Fantasys, etc.
    I remember one of the first things I bought was a light + magnifier for it.
    I also remember destroying the tetris high score from nintendo power on a longgg road trip but never sent in a pic =(
    Good times indeed.

  26. Barts Says:

    First contact with GB - some girl playing it on the beach (!) in '91. Didn't get to play one until about '93 or even '94 when my younger brother got one. From there on, I was at his mercy - he would decide when I could play on HIS Gameboy. Somehow we didn't kill each other, though.

    Games: Mario 2, Wario, some cheap Chinese knock-offs. Ah, good times.

    Two years ago I bought meself one:
    http://www.bartsnews.net/2006/10/link-to-past.html
    …and still have it!

  27. Adam Says:

    I never officially had a Gameboy. One of my friends from elementary school lent me his Gameboy and about a dozen games, plus a carry case one summer, and then he moved away without taking it back. SCORE! I tried to keep it in good shape just in case he ever came to visit and wanted it back, but he never did. I'm sure the thing is still floating around in storage somewhere at my parents' house. I should try to find it one of these days.

  28. Chris Burk Says:

    I'm a younger guy, still in his teenage years, but I still remember the day that I received an ARCTIC PURPLE Game Boy Color for my sixth birthday……

    with Pokemon Blue.

    I still have my lvl100 Blastoise.

  29. Joshua Says:

    Ahh, I still remember my first home portable game: Pac-Man LCD from Tomytronic. Released in 1981. Last time I checked (about 5 years or so ago) it still worked.

  30. Bakla si Mark Ryan Ruiz Says:

    The first handheld electronic thing I played is that game & watch thingie - the game was "Dracula ". Also, my first console was the Famicom. :P

  31. Ethan Says:

    Haha. I remember when I got my Gameboy I always played Pokemon Blue in bed with earbuds, boy they were the
    days

  32. christina Says:

    I got my first gameboy for my 7th birthday. I still have it and it still works like new to this day! I only have tetris and centipede/millipede for it though.

  33. Tyler Says:

    I was born in '87 and never ended up getting my own Game Boy until 1996! It was brutal! In the early 90′s my mom ran day care from kids as young as infants up to junior high. A lot of them had Game Boy's with Tetris.
    This ad happens to come from the first issue of EGM I ever got, when I was six years old back in 1993. I still remember it, hell I think I still have it.
    Anyway I finally convinced my Dad to get me a Game Boy in Spring of 1996 before a cross country road trip, we had done it the year before and I convinced him having a Game Boy would give me something to do in the car. The Game Boy Pocket had not quite come out yet, instead it was still the AWESOME Play it Loud! line. I got a Green one and still have it with the case to this day. Later on I bought a Clear one online brand new in the case with the awesome cardboard inserts for the boxwork. In my opinion the Play it Loud Gameboys had the best Nintendo box of all time, and it's SUPER rare too. I'm lucky to have two of them! I'd love to have all the colors in their boxes, it'd be worth a fortune

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