The “Black and White TV” of Video Games

Today’s Daily Post prompt:

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

Game-Boy-FLI have to say it’s the original Game Boy. 8-bit, black and white.  My brother received one for his 6th or 7th birthday. I was hesitant about the whole thing because I thought they were only for boys (since they were called GameBoy after all).The console came with Tetris, and we’d just sit there for hours, him playing, me watching over his shoulder. I didn’t understand what was so “boyish” about Tetris, it seemed enjoyable for everyone. It was so entertaining just watching him play. Over the years his collection of games grew. Sometimes he’d let me play certain segments.

When my 10th birthday came around, I got my own Game Boy. I now had my own copy of Tetris. And Barbie Game Girl. Hah. Pretty soon my brother and I stored all of our game cartridges in one container and shared them. If I was playing one game, he’d be playing another, and we’d take turns if we wanted to play the same one. Because I’d spent so much time watching him play, I already knew how to navigate through some of the games, and how to beat the bosses.

I have so many memories of lying on my back in my bed, playing Mario Land. Or curled up on the couch on a Saturday afternoon, playing Looney Toons. Or the Flintstones. These games were part of our lives from when we were little kids all the way through high school.

In high school we got our first computer and computer games competed for our attention. They were fancy and “modern”, at the time. We played a host of Microsoft Games (Age of Empires, Monster Truck Madness, The Neverhood, Microsoft Flight Simulator, The Sims, Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, Rollercoaster Tycoon). We also scoured the Internet for downloadable games. My brother got an N64, which also vied for attention. So, our Game Boys started to collect dust. I was wowed by all the new innovations in gaming. In college I bought a Game Boy Color and a few new color games. That was a lot of fun.

Just a few years ago, in 2011, I bought a used Nintendo DS and a few used games at half price. It was fun at first, but as I played, the excitement just wasn’t there. Sure, the graphics were shiny and colorful and realistic and all, but it just wasn’t Mario Land. It just wasn’t the Flintstones game I’d loved so much. Or Kirby’s Dreamland. These new games were too fancy. Too complex. Too colorful. I wanted my simple games. So, I sold my DS and DS games back to the store.

These days there are games everywhere. As I said earlier, when my brother and I first encountered the Internet, all we wanted was to find games. We both have smartphones these days and access to TONS of free games. But ironically, we’re not downloading games at the drop of a hat like we would have, years ago. We’ve both said at one point that we’d rather play games on our old 8-bit Game Boys. To me, those games are ten times more fun.

I was thinking it’s kind of like the old black and white TV sets that came out before my generation’s time. My generation can’t imagine a world where color TVs don’t exist. Today’s generation of kids can’t imagine a world where realistic, fancy, color games don’t exist.

I don’t play many games today but I still very much enjoy simulation games. As I write this I’m thinking it would be nice to pay my Sims a visit (I haven’t played in almost a year :D).

We still have our old Game Boys back at home. Each Christmas we take them out and attempt to play them, with varying results (sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t).

So old school Game Boy is one technology I wish was not obsolete!

2 Comments

  1. You’re making me feel old – we had a black and white TV. I can also remember when we had our landline phone installed. But I do have a Nintendo DS so maybe there’s hope for me yet. My kids had Gameboys and I loved some of the games.

    1. The DS was fun, but too modern for me, lol. Yes Gameboy games are a lot of fun. 😀 What was one of the games you loved?

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