ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

Get ready for another full on assault of nostalgia. When it comes to portable gaming you simply cannot beat Nintendo’s Game Boy (well, you can but it won’t break). The Game Boy is one of the most iconic gaming consoles ever made – with its cult classic looks and retro vibe, this stocky little gizmo really is the king of cool.

The Game Boy still has many more lives to touch but as it approaches its twenty-eighth year I thought that it was about time we recognized some of its most astounding accomplishments. Get ready because we're going back in time...

10. It can administer aesthetic

“Blurring the border between procedure and play.” For real, back in 2009 a company which, surprisingly doesn’t exist anymore (and is not allowed within 20 feet of a playground) patented a device called ‘Pedisedate.’ This was a headset that could be hooked up to a Game Boy that would then administer anaesthetic to kids. The idea was that it would allow for doctors/dentists to administer Nitrous Oxide via the Game Boy prior to a procedure, in an effort to reduce stress levels in children.

It didn’t catch on.

9. The Game Boy was the first game console in space

In 1994, Russian cosmonaught, Aleksandr A. Serebrov took a Game Boy with him on his journey into space. Serebrov took the system with him on his 194 day stint to the MIR space station. The Game Boy circled the earth a total of 3000 times before making its return. Due to obvious weight restrictions Serebrov was limited to just the one game, and, in classic Russian tradition, took Tetris.

"Like all cosmonauts, I love sport. My particular favourites are football and swimming. During flight, in rare minutes of leisure, I enjoyed playing Game Boy."

The Game Boy was later sold at auction as part of a ‘Space history sale.’

8. It was instrumental in Friends

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) once said that she could not leave the house without her Game Boy. Life on set with the world’s funniest roommates apparently paled in comparison to the handheld.

Game Boy, nobody told you life was gonna be this way…

7. Game Boy was invented by a maintenance worker

The Game Boy was actually made by a man who originally started his Nintendo career as a maintenance worker in a production factory. On a tour of the facility, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi found a few prototype toys on Gunpei Yokoi’s desk. He was so impressed that he immediately fired him as a maintenance worker and hired him as a games designer. Yokoi later invented the Game Boy - not a bad pay off for president Yamauchi.

6. Game Boy games were tested using models

Video game development has certainly taken large strides forward in the past decade, but did you know that back in the days of the early Game Boy titles the games were not trialled via online beta sessions like today, but with paper models and light bulbs. The Nintendo team would recreate the level as a paper model to test the dynamics of gameplay.

5. For all you music fans

The cover of Neil Young’s album, Silver and Gold, was actually taken with a Game Boy camera. Most people think that it is an artist’s distorted impression of the singer, when actually it really is a blurry distorted picture of the artist – twisted!

4. The record breaking camera

Nowadays everything has a camera, from watches to stationary, but in 1998 having a camera on anything that wasn’t actually a camera was a big deal. Not only did the Game Boy feature a camera attachment, but it was the smallest digital camera in the world. This was later verified by the Guinness book of records in 1999.

3. 60 FPS

Here’s one for all you tech heads and frame rate connoisseurs. The original Game Boy ran at 60 Frames per Second. It is hard to see because of the motion blur but the original 1989 original Game Boy ran at 60 FPS – mind blown!

2. Nintendo's still there for you

No way!? Nintendo still support the original Game Boy. They have full online support complete with FAQs and troubleshooting pages. They even have a Game Boy hotline that you can call and they will walk you through any Game Boy related issue.

1. Promoting gender equality

Today, the gender split in gamers is pretty close to 50/50 but back in the ‘80s and ‘90s it was definitely a male dominated sector. In 1995 girls made up just 29 percent of the NES fan base, yet the Game Boy had a near perfect 50/50 split. No other gaming console handheld or otherwise held this gender share. The Game Boy became the first (and still only) gaming console to share such an even split in gaming gender.

Have you got a fact about the Game Boy you want to share? Drop it in the comments below

For more insane video game trivia, check out our mind blowing fact sheet right here!


Latest from our Creators