This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know

Illustration for article titled This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know
Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

The very last model of the Game Boy was the Game Boy Micro. It was tiny. You couldn't just put it in your pocket, you could lose it in there. Now let's compare that sleek handheld with something from 1991.

It's easy to remember the original Game Boy existing as a lone entity. You owned the Game Boy, and that was that. But at the time, Nintendo didn't want it to be a lone entity. They wanted you to buy a whole load of crap to stick in it and stick on it. And if you bought it all, it was suddenly the least portable portable games system ever made.

Which may sound like a pain in the ass, but then, it was all part of Nintendo's plan! Because you see, if you (or your parents) shilled out for all the handheld's official accessories, and the Game Boy became too unwieldy to take out of the house, then Nintendo could then sell you the Game Keeper.

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The Game Keeper was a large plastic suitcase for your Game Boy. Lined with a foam interior, there were compartments for your Game Boy, a rechargeable battery pack, the Game Boy Game Link, some headphones and even the Light Boy, Nintendo's unwieldy "lamp" for the original Game Boy.

Illustration for article titled This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know

As you can see in the ad here, it's pitched as something that can save you from lugging a ton of crap around in your hands, by allowing you to...lug a ton of crap around on your shoulder instead.

It was of course not a compulsory purchase. Most Game Boy owners never owned any of that add-on junk, let alone enough of it to warrant a dedicated carry-case. Those that still own now, and wouldn't mind the light attachment, maybe look at importing the sadly Japan-only Game Boy Light instead.

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But the fact such an enormous case existed at all should show you that, as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the last of the Game Boys, perhaps the best indicator as to how far the handheld progressed from beginning to end is to compare the 4-inch Game Boy Micro with this goliath of a setup.

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And when that's done? Find this poor kid and see if he has any lasting back or shoulder problems. And where he got those amazing jeans.

Illustration for article titled This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know
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TOTAL RECALL

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

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DISCUSSION

Ohhhh woooooow this takes me back. I didnt have this one exactly but I had a BIGGER, fabric, black one with a zipper.

Why I wont ever forget it: When I was 13 I was gonna sell it all back and get about $150, which was HUGE in 1991 money, especially for a 13 year old. Anyways I got up that morning for school, put the case (which included my GameBoy, Light, and about 15 games) on my bed. After taking a shower and getting dressed I made my bed, emptied my trash can (it was trash day), took the trash down to the curb, and went to school.

All day at school I dreamt of all the awesome stuff I was gonna get with my soon to be wealth. I was gonna trade it all in at this local video game store that I now can't remember the name of. I think I was going to put it towards the SNES which hadnt even come out yet (yes, I'm really dating myself here).

So I come home and look on my bed and my GameBoy case is gone! I tear up the house for hours, crying and everything. Then I recall that my trash can was next to my bed when I made it. My case was on the bed! After all these years the only thing I can think of is that it slid off the bed and into the trash as I made the bed and I threw it out as I emptied that trash. So to this day I believe my GameBoy is buried in a landfill in South Haven, MI.

I'll take the memory of this episode to my gaming grave with me. Thanks for listening if you read this far but I had to share. It's been years and now it "officially" happened because it's on the Internet.