Everything's Better With An N64, Including Ridesharing

Scott Malsin was headed home after work last Wednesday when he got into car that had an N64 in it. He then shared a picture of his journey on Reddit to make everyone else jealous.

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His Juno driver was a apparently a big fan of 3D Mario. Big enough, at least, to go through all the effort of setting up a retro console gaming experience in his car to distract his passengers from rush hour traffic. And the Nintendo Switch still doesn’t have a virtual console, so hooking up an entire N64 to a display inside car remains one of the few ways to actually play Mario 64 while driving around.

“I took the picture Wednesday night in a Juno (not uber) ride from office heading home,” Malsin said over email. “From Midtown East Manhattan out to my apartment in Long Island City, so it was only about a 10-15 minute drive. I’m not sure what powered the N64 or the TV, only that he had 2 games (Mario 64 and Mortal Kombat). He also insisted on raising the volume so that I could ‘get the full experience.’”

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Another impromptu gaming station spotted in Lyft ride
Another impromptu gaming station spotted in Lyft ride

The driver might have followed steps like these to get everything running. Basically you mount the relevant hardware and then plug it into a power converter that’s tapped into the car battery. Yes, you can always mod the monitors embedded in newer cars to display games, but there’s no replacement for the feel and mystique of the original hardware. Plus, it’s less dangerous when the gaming is for passengers only.

Other drivers have gotten similar ideas, with a Lyft passenger posting a picture of a Windows tablet with an NES emulator and an 8bitdo controller. It’s definitely better than the tiny TVs blasting ads at you found in some taxis. Malsin called the contraption an Uber N64, but in actuality he discovered it in the back seat of a Juno driver’s ride. A New York-based ridesharing service, Juno was originally branded as the labor-friendly transportation startup, but after it was recently sold to new owners drivers have found it a less conscientious partner, even banding together to file a law suit against the also-ran.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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DISCUSSION

As someone that did ride sharing to make money for awhile, PLEASE DON’T DO STUFF LIKE THIS. People start to expect you going beyond “being friendly and getting you to your destination” and start to reserve 5-star ratings only for people who go to extremes in order to try to secure that rating.

You guys ever seen that Black Mirror episode where the entire world runs on rating each other? That’s basically how a lot of ride-sharing works. If you’re not above like a 4.5 or something, you stop qualifying for a lot of incentives and you don’t get matched with rides as easily, making it impossible to earn an honest wage out of the service without doing extreme things like sleeping in your fucking car and working 16 hour days.

I believe other Kinja sites have covered ride-sharing horror stories before, about what it’s like from the driver’s perspective. I highly recommend you guys go down the rabbit hole that is all the Gizmodo and Jalopnik coverage on Uber.

I agree that having a functional N64 is really cool, but it stresses me out because next time I go collect a fare, I’m going to get that dickhead who expects me to have entertainment like this and he’ll rate me 3 stars for simply providing adequate service. I’d rather not buy hundreds of dollars worth of equipment to set up something like this in order to secure being able to make, at best, roughly $10 an hour.