NYC Prisoners Given $15 Bootleg Game Boys

Illustration for article titled NYC Prisoners Given $15 Bootleg Game Boys
Photo: Daily News

Because prison visits and social mingling have been curtailed recently as part of Covid-19 precautions, the New York City Department of Corrections have decided to buy 5500 handheld gaming machines at a cost of $15 each to try and give inmates at the city’s prisons something else to do.


As the Daily News reported last month, the handhelds—which look like Game Boys but most definitely are not—were purchased in March from a distributor for a total of $82,500, and came in red, blue and yellow variants. They’ve been handed out to the 3800 prisoners still in detention at places like Rikers Island (many inmates on minor sentences have been freed as part of prison system’s attempts to curb the spread of Covi-19 in jails).

They’re clearly a version of those shitty “1000-in-1" systems that include a bunch of pre-loaded stuff, but interestingly—for Nintendo’s lawyers if nobody else—every version I’ve seen matching this case design online is also advertising that it’s loaded with a bunch of bootleg Nintendo/Capcom/Konami games.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs



interestingly—for Nintendo’s lawyers if nobody else—

I’ve never seen someone drop a dime on 3,800 prisoners all at once.