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Happy Birthday 25th Gameboy!

by Jon Henseler

Saw a bunch of articles this week celebrating Gameboy's 25th birthday. TWENTY FIVE! Great googly moogly I'm getting old. Like I remember this bad boy coming out and reinventing my whole world. And not just the fact that it was the first portable gaming system, but the status that came with owning one when they were first available. I remember my buddy in elementary school, Kyle, had the first one I'd ever seen. When he walked into Show and Tell that day he he basically walked in like Vince McMahon . He held that thing up like Simba and the reset of us could just go 'oohhhhhhhhhh' like those alien toys in Toy Story looking at The Claw. He immediately became the coolest kid in school and everyone knew it. Guys were jockeying to invite him to the next sleepover, girls were writing 'Ashley+Kyle' in hearts on their Trapper Keepers. I remember I once traded him a Ken Griffey Jr rookie card just to be able to use it for a 15 minute recess sesh. It's the coolest 15 minute stretch of my life to this day. Hell I offered him 1 dollar a week until I was 30 to take it home for a weekend and he agreed. Still paying that off until June of this year.

So yeah, Gameboy was a HUGE deal. Before games on iPhones and tablets and whatnot there was Gameboy. Actually before Gameboy there were these things but they were absolutely awful. If your parents bought one of those instead of a Gameboy in the early 1990's then they hated you. But Gameboy was it man. It was the first thing that made a whole generation of kids realize they'd rather disconnect from society in a virtual world than play with other kids. Now truth be told I was of 'House Sega' and not 'House Nintendo' as a youngster. Eventually (2006) my parents bought me the Sega version of Gameboy, Game Gear. Horizontal layout with color graphics nbd. But even with my allegiance to Game Gear/Genesis, I still revere Gameboy and it's impact to this day.

PS: Tetris is STILL a game I can play for half an hour and not get bored. Nothing more stressful than when that music picked up though as you got closer to the top. Pressure times infinity. Wouldn't shock me at all if they start playing that fast Tetris music in Aaron Rodgers' helmet during two minute drills.