News Article

Video: You Really Don't Want To Know What Kids These Days Think Of The Game Boy

Posted by Damien McFerran

"You don't just turn it on and get the app?"

Technology has moved at an incredible pace over the past 25 years. Back in 1989, mobile phones were massive and so expensive that only Wall Street businessmen could afford to own one without having to sell a kidney, and portable gaming was considerably less advanced than it is now.

The monochrome Game Boy revolutionised mobile entertainment and sold millions, boasting such classics as Zelda: Link's Awakening, Pokémon Red & Blue and Tetris, but the historical importance of the platform holds little water with modern nippers.

YouTubers The Fine Bros. — famous for their "Kids React" series of videos — placed the vintage device in front of a gaggle of youngsters, and the resultant footage makes for depressing viewing if you're over the age of 30.

To be fair, some of the interviewed children were at least aware of the importance of the console, but most were dismissive — and who can really blame them when they've grown up in a world where something much smaller can play better games in full colour, as well as surf the web, play videos and stream music? It's all about perspective.

Still, we think the beige brick is plenty cool, so these kids can eat our shorts.

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube


From the web

User Comments (159)



bouncer0304 said:

I've seen this series before and some of these kids are really smart. Thing is, in 20 years time, i can see the next generation being unimpressed with the Gamecube (i know shocking but true). It just goes to show how far technology's progressed but i think it's good they're showing them technology from the past as it's educating them and showing them how we got where we are today. Some of the reactions are funny though and i bet we'd be the same if we were their age as well



Peach64 said:

"Wait, I've seen this before. It's an iPhone case!"

"Why can't this thing sense your skin? You have to actually press the buttons or something!"

Pretty funny stuff. Before being harsh on them, think how you'd have reacted as a kid to seeing what your parents played with at that age. They probably sighed at our obsession with video games like people lament kids preferring mobile gaming.



eleccross said:

The part I disliked the most is where the kid said that it's bad that you have to press buttons and can't just touch the screen...I don't like him.



DinoFett said:

Agreed with 'bouncer0304, Maybe the next few Nintendo handhelds will have an internal N64, Gamecube and Wii on a chip for DLC.



Einherjar said:

Well, sat through it and i must say...abandon ship. I know its not fair to say, but kids these days are so darn ignorant and spoiled -.-
I didnt grow up in the day and age of record players and grammophones and such, but even as a kid, i knew what these things were.
This generation of kids is seriously lacking a sense of discovery and curiosity. They just take things for granted, since everything became replaceable so fast. They arent interested in the history of how the things they are having now actually came to be.
Somehow, it actually makes me sad seeing this.



DinoFett said:

Agreed! I'm old enough to remember when the phrase 'On a Chip' was the future!



Zizzy said:

Not surprising at all. Take a kid from the 60s, put a rock in front of him and say "This is what your parents played with, is it better than your toys?" What do you think they'd say?



SuperMikey said:

Near the beginning of the video, "...why can't it be called Game Boy Girl?" Ay yai yai...
I think Trevor was the kid that thought you were supposed to build your way up in Tetris? XD



Tsurii said:

Did that a*****e just say "so it won't have any amazing games on it"?
I know I'm overreacting, but...seriously, kids these days -.-"

EDIT: Okay..I have to admit, that those two girls in pink and the blonde boy's reactions are pretty awesome and how I would've imagined all of those kids to react (if I didn't see the title of the article before ofc).



Chubblings said:

I have a 13 year old cousin who's been growing up with Sony consoles, and he knew what a Gameboy was when he was 5 (granted he was introduced to games at the age of 2). It's not necessarily that you have to grow up with the device, because I didn't grow up with the Gameboy, but I certainly knew about it. Same with how I didn't grow up with the NES or the Atari 2600, or all the other consoles before it. Nevertheless, you do have to understand that these are children who play only on Smartphones, with only a few of them having played on the DS. None of the people in the video really played video games as a hobby. Majority of them use it as a timekiller with the Apps on Smartphones and tablets. The only video game systems I heard mentioned were Wii or DS, which pretty much everyone has.



ShadJV said:

A few of those kids surprised me, they were quite logical given how much of a dinosaur the technology is. I'm 25 (not over 30 like the article says) but grew up with one of those grey bricks. I'll admit I see the device with nostalgia glasses, not to mention kids today have an overwhelming number of low quality but free games that give them shorter attention spans for something like this, but to be fair this thing is quite prehistoric compared to current technology. I wouldn't expect kids today to love it.



Falchion said:

U dont need to over 30 to love the gameboy. Back in second grade I remember pokemon ruby and saphire were all ths rage with the beautiful game boy advanced. Mobile games do make me pretty sad though



EverythingAmiibo said:

Click... Bait...
Come on guys, that was decently positive, not worthy of "You Really Don't Want To Know" (aka "click here to find out more").



TheChosen said:

Meh. You gotta remember that they probably had plenty of reactions, but for the video they've only used ones they deemed "interesting". I wouldn't think of this as somekind of study or research.



kingston589 said:

Haha i saw this on their channel earlier. I was super mad at these kids for disrepecting it. Heck im only 15 and i grew up with one.



SuperMikey said:

I feel like they should make a kids react video for those old Wind up telephones. THAT would be hilarious, "How do you go on the app store on this?!"



Falchion said:

That was pretty sad though. But Tetris is a pretty lame game anyway, and didnt hold up to well. I guess its good to demonstrate the game boy though



Link506 said:

Even though I've never have or even touched an original gameboy, strangly, I know alot about them for my age. You really have to think like someone from that time period, becuase doing so, you can really get a feel for the device. The gameboy was the old iphone 5s or 3ds XL nowadays.



DreamOn said:

I really dislike the 'Upworthy' style article titles Damo uses, feels trashy



NoirUsernameHere said:

I grew up with a Gameboy Advance (Got it when the DS was already out but I didn't know ^.^") and I could still tell the difference between a Game Boy and modern consoles at the time. I know they're just kids, but is it hard to tell that a GameBoy is A ****ING RETRO HANDHELD?! They didn't have Touchscreens at the time, they didn't have the technology, and it STILL had better games. Yeah kids, go crawl back to your Phones...but remember this. When you grow up and play a REAL game, then tell me how your puny phone will compare.



JaxonH said:

Yeah, we're getting old guys. This video really puts into perspective the impact of the iPad. But any real gamer knows, digital analogs are no substitute for buttons. Granted, Apple has now integrated gamepad support for their devices, so it's only a matter of time before they start munching away at the gaming market, slice by slice. ALL of it. Not just Nintendo, but Sony and MS too.



Ralek85 said:

"kids these days are so darn ignorant and spoiled" ... really ? You do realize that is basically the go-to-phrase for any comedian making a generation-related joke. I think you could actually call it some kind of meta-joke by now.

Each generation thinks the next generation is made up of slackers and fools. I dare say that sentiment is what defines a generation
Seems the cycle won't be broken this time around either ... a couple of decades down the road we will still be baffled by their achievements, or maybe we will be to busy being grumpy and chasing their kids off our lawn ... the horror of it all =(

Also to be fair the vast majority of them knew that it was some kind of gaming device ... I was actually surprised that so many of them knew that and that a few of them even had some further knowledge on it at hand.



Tigus said:

They actually made ALOT of fair points the fact that they respected it for what it did not just for portable gaming but games in general is pretty cool.



gamerphil07 said:

oh, god. This is BRUTAL to watch. I would never buy an ipod, pad etc. My GBASP and 3DS and all of my Nintendo artifacts are all I need. I have systems from other companies (ps1 and xbox360) and those are likely my last. Nintendo forever, ipads are lame.



WaveGhoul said:

Dang, even if then i could never really appreciate the GameBoy. With it's motion smearing monochrome green screen and all. It had some great games no doubt, but playing them on the regular GB was a tiny bit of a pain. I always stuck with my NES instead.

Anyways, i don't even have an I-pod or pad, nor do i want one. They're too time consuming/wasting as is netflix and the other overabundance of technology at our tiny little humanoid finger tips.

For ex, i would MUCH rather play Mega Man V on my GBA SP or 3DS VC. No motion smearing, and no snake light hovering over my screen that's only lighting up a section of the screen.



Bolt_Strike said:

That wasn't that bad, it seems like they respect the fact that it was good back in the day, but in a modern gaming world, they'd have no place. And that's true, a Game Boy would not be able to compete with stuff like the 3DS or the Vita nowadays. What annoys me the most is the ones that said they'd rather play on their iPad, because those kinds of games aren't "real" games, they're just quick distractions. It's sad that that's the kind of attitude that kids have towards gaming.



Iggly said:

I usually cringe every time I see a Kids React Video, and this one is a huge one. It makes me sad that not much children of today know/care about old consoles, but I guess it's kinda understandable with all of these free apps available for phones and tablets.



Dreamz said:

I'm not sure how much of this was playing for the camera. My niece is 8, and she has both an iPad and a DS. I can't imagine her having most of these reactions to the old Gameboy.



World said:

While I also don't really like smart devices for gaming, I will say that the 3DS VC is the first time I really thought the Game Boy looked appealing. Possibly because the games are all mostly less than $5. And even then I just like the curiosities.

The fact is that a lot of these games just don't appeal to people who aren't either nostalgically attached or looking to plumb the depths of a bygone age. And having shouty people yelling about how great they are only makes them seem less appealing.

I might be alone, but it's fun to just discover things on your own. Right?

Anyway, I'm sure they edited this for the best responses. They couldn't very well feature all kids who are like, "well dude, I want a GameBoy but have you seen the collectors' prices for games these days? Freaking rip-off!"



unrandomsam said:

@World Even then it is not that appealing (I had a Gameboy at the time). Megaman V and Donkey Kong '94 look far more pleasant on the Super Gameboy.



bizcuthammer said:

"Who can blame them when something much smaller can play better games..."

Correction. Smart phones may be smaller, but in no way do they play better games than Pokemon and Zelda.




When I have kids, I am going to make them play these things. I won't let them grow up to be ignorant like that.
But that kid who complained about buttons just makes me shudder



Bizzyb said:

The green shirt kid gives me hope for the future.
he's the only one that gets it



Naoiko said:

I've been trying to teach my 6 year old nephew about the games I grew up with. The first time I showed him a NES game he looked like he saw Godzilla. After the shock wore off and he watched me play for a bit he got excited and wanted to play it too. My mother offered him her Kindle, and he said no thanks. I was SO proud of my little nephew! Their is hope for the youth of this generation yet!



GreatPlayer said:

Playing games on phones is actually awkward. The screen cannot sense the movement of my fingers consistently.



Joetherocker said:

Today in Obvious News: Kids are morons, water is wet, and things are made of molecules. More at eleven.



Spideron said:

I've got a 9 years old who loves his Galaxy Tab 3 and our Wii U + PS 3 - but he also loves my old SNES + N64 AND Gameboy.



S-Miyahon said:

Did one of the kids call it "A PIECE OF JUNK"? Kids shouldn't have an iPad at this age, they start acting like snobs. Without Game Boy we wouldn't have DS. Without DS we wouldn't have the iPhone. It’s sad to see how’s Nintendo’s classics are so quickly forgotten, the consoles and games they made that saved and revolutionized the gaming industry. Now these children look to it as trash. I wonder how gaming would head forward in the future with casual shovelware like Flappy Bird being the first games children will ever play…



ryanator008 said:

The Japanese kid and the teenager seem to know what they're talking about. They seem like pretty cool people. I was depressed when all the people said that they preferred the i Pad. I really hate Apple and their overpriced junk. Of course, even a good tablet is no substitute for the 3DS or PS Vita.



World said:

@S-Miyahon Some people are jerks, but the fact is not everyone cares about what's historically important. Especially not with games. Games are supposed to be FUN. Unfortunately different generations will find different things fun. There will always be historians to pick up the pieces though.

@PLATINUM7 Or not. Seriously, this is why I'm so reluctant to care about retro games at all. People yelling at me to play some old game so I can be seen as a "true gamer" just puts me right off that thing. I don't like Angry Birds, but I'm not that keen on, I don't know, Super Mario 64 either. Gentle nudges (like, say, setting up an N64 and just leaving it) work a whole lot better.



GreatPlayer said:

@World I shared your opinion about old games. I had a NES and Genesis, but not SNES. I have not played some of the old NES and SNES game (Super Metroid and Zelda 2) until recently and found myself hard to connect with those games. Sorry, fans. I also found Mario 64 and Sonic Adventure 2 hard to control and have blocky graphics. (I did play Sonic Adventure 1 and found it amazing, but that was over 10 years ago).

Conclusion: Games nowadays are much better!

(I did remember borrowing my friend's gameboy to play Super Marioland over 20 years ago and that game, in my opinion, is superior to Super Mario World.)



IceClimbers said:

That Dylan kid is always my favorite in these videos. He immediately knew it was used for Pokemon Red/Blue.



Gridatttack said:

They are just kids. They cant appreciate history yet.
(also theu just played tetris. Perhaps other games might be better)

Owait, they are spoiled with those cheap 5 mins games :>
Except that green shirt boy with glasses.



RinCartwright said:

I think maybe they'd like Tetris better if they heard that awesome theme song. Anyways, it's not nice to scoff at children who can't help but being sucked in to the 90% garbage that is smart phone gaming.



Savino said:

Why people keep telling that without the DS there would be no Ipods? ipods are PDAs evolution, not handheld evolution...



Dinos24SP said:

Even though I own an iPad, I would NEVER - may I repeat NEVER - play any games whatsoever on it that I didn't feel really deserved it. At the current moment I have 2 games on my iPad. In comparison, over the years I've collected 75-100 Game Boy, GBA, DS, and 3DS games, most of which I love and cherish. The kid complaining about the lack of touch screen... geez. And to put this in some perspective I'm only 15. Apparently any kid born after 2000 doesn't appreciate old technology. (OK I know that's not true but still)



Kyloctopus said:

I hate how alot of these N-Lifers are acting like elitists.
They're kids, do you actually expect them to learn about 25 year old technology?
The bestselling game on the Gameboy is Tetris.
Let's face it, that's not that far away from the quality you find in the average mobile title.



AshFoxX said:

sighs deeply Sometimes I really hate children... No, not you, dear. Go back to bed...



Melkac said:

@Tsurii897 To be fair, Tetris is pretty terrible. They should've given them... ... ...ok, the original GB's catalog as a whole is pretty bad by today's standards...



allav866 said:

@Melkac Well, there are a few gems. Give the kids Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, and they'd certainly enjoy it.



Trikeboy said:

Mayby if they gave the kids something more fun like Mario Land or a game they know called Pokemon.



Chouzetsu said:

"It's a piece of junk"
"I would throw this in the trash in a split second and get back to the iPad"
"I feel sorry for those who grew up with this"
No, sir, NO.
I feel sorry for YOU, you braindead little brat.
Green shirt kid is the only one who doesn't make me want to jump off a cliff...



audiobrainiac said:

Some of the things they said hurt a little, yes, but i loved that video! Only the smart kids understand what the Gameboy really is/was



MadAdam81 said:

Most young kids don't understand retro, just New and Outdated.
Who would jump for joy after being given a 386?
Of course, if you show them Pokemon Red/Blue on original Gameboy, kids would be more impressed at seeing the first one.



MadAdam81 said:

How many people here would turn their noses up at old punch card computers, basic monochrome text adventures and pong? Why do so many people feel that their nostalgia is the most important and they alone.are the arbiters of taste.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

On one hand, they're kids, and kids aren't obligated to know much until they reach the point of self-responsibility.
But on the other hand, the low attention span as well as the fact that WAY too many of these kids sem to have smart devices is cringe-worthy.
I'll just say it: giving your kids a smart device for themselves is bad parenting, period. And at least half of the kids in that video seem to already be too unimaginative to understand the easiest of things, which is sad for the kids, but pathetic for the parents.

@MadAdam81 Hey, I love punch card computers! It was pure fascination when I first tried on in a museum (when I was only 8).



kurtasbestos said:

I can't blame the kids for being afraid of ancient technology, but I wish they had been nicer to the Game Boy if for no other reason than to not make me feel so old for having one when it first came out and being super obsessed with it.

@eleccross To be fair, though, have you ever actually pressed a physical button? They take SO much effort to use. It's like... REALLY hard. I'm getting tired just thinking about it.



AhabSpampurse said:

The fact that most if not all if those kids have an iPad, makes me want to hit their respective parents in the junk.



Einherjar said:

@Ralek85 Thats why i said it isnt really fair to say this
Also, its often not their own fault. It all depends on how they are raised.

That all of them, no matter how young they are, have a smartphone and / or a tablet speaks volumes about how their parents are raising them.
I was raised in a way, that id have to get these things with my allowence. I recieved more than it would be normally the case, yes, but i had to manage it myself that way. So, i would naver have been able to afford one of those things on my own.

That way, i learned to value money and the things i owned right fom the start and never saw something as "its so old, i just throw it away and get something new" like some of these kids.

Call me an old timer, but i dont think that growing up with smart devices is really all that healthy. The ripp off mentality of app developers if far too corrupting. They lull kids in a false sense of "everything must be free or at least dirt cheep" and cement the idea of microtransactions enhancing the enjoyment of a game.

Pretty much none of them will ever have the feeling of getting a game and holding it dear for years to come, since it was expansive and valuable and because everything is cheap / free and totally exchangable. Its all about the quick thrill of "getting new stuff".



SahashraLA said:

Kids aren't stupid. Just lazy.
Like alot of gamers.
And parents.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I found stuff out. Like gaming history, music history and important inventors like Tesla, Bell, Edison and DaVinci.
I don't mean lazy as in 'Won't work' or even 'Won't work hard' but like 'Doesn't care how this came to be, just what I can do with it'.
Maybe that's just ignorance, I simply prefer lazy.
Really, if you've spent time hanging out with the easily winded, always dirty and often obese youth we're churning out, you might prefer lazy too.



noctowl said:

@Einherjar I feel ya. I thought record players, Walkman, and intellivison were fascinating when I was a kid. I NEVER would of looked at that old stuff and thought "junk." Now they just sit at watch youtube between free apps downloading and think they are living it up. It's sad.

@AhabSpampurse seriously. Bet they have smart phones too. Dear future son or daughter: you'll thank me when your older that you didn't have all the crap that your friends had.



Damo said:

@Falchion Yeah, Tetris doesn't hold up very well. Which I guess is why we're still seeing versions of it 30 years later, right?



SilentHunter382 said:

I thought that it was going to be alot worst but I am very happy that the kids who were over 11 knew what the gameboy was and I wouldn't expect the ones under that age too know what it was.

The one in the green shirt was very knowledgeable about the gameboy and knew the importance of it. The one on the orange shirt made me happy and has hope for this generation. The one in the checkered shirt is just down right spoiled and the fact that he said that the gameboy is stupid because you had to use buttons just makes me laugh. How will he be able to play every console and handheld game this generation.



Ralek85 said:

@Einherjar I hear you and maybe that's how it is, but maybe not. I think you are reading a bit too much into it. If I remember correctly a few kids even recognized it as a predecessor of the DS/3DS, making statment like how small the carts are nowadays .. so not all of them obviously grow up on smart devices or only on them. Some may own a smartdevice yes, think about that what you like, some may have used one on occasion owned by their parents/siblings etc. I don't necessarily disagree with your basic premise, I just think the sample size is pitifully small for such leaps and there is certainly a lack of informational quality.
From personal experience with kids among my relatives I can't say that "Pretty much none of them will ever have the feeling of getting a game and holding it dear for years to come". But I also make an effort to bring them in contact with actual worthwhile games, as well as books and tv series (age appropriate of course). I made a habit of giving away my old gaming stuff, I no longer use. Most recently a cousin of mine discovered he could use his Wii for wonders like Luigis Mansion, when I put my old copy and a controller in his hand. He got very excited and probably had one of the best christmas surprises in quite some time and I still got a few games I intend to give him, at the very least I will get him addicted to Fire Emblem with it's GC/Wii parts eventually
I'd agree that quite a few parents (also based on anecdotal evidence of course) take the easy route on this .....
Also the quick thrill of "getting new stuff" is something everyone is prone to, I just received my WiiU from the U.S. this morning. A new console is always a thrill, I'd say that has little to do with kids, who doesn't like that "new car smell"! ^^
All in all I have faith in the new generation, maybe they need a little help to find their way, but which generation hasn't really?



TwilightV said:

I think the big problem here is that the youngest of these kids don't seem to be aware that the DS and 3DS exist. Like they're so immersed in the simplicity of their iPads or whatever device that they've become desensitized to the world of gaming devices around them. Nintendo should address this.

Also, i'm almost 25 thank you very much.



TheWPCTraveler said:

Fortunately or unfortunately, ignoring my GameCube which I played three games on for SIX years, there is a single quote that got me back into Nintendo after eloping with "smart devices." Here goes:

hop teardrop (Hmm. Formatting ruins the quote. Oh well, I got interested because of a fangame that brought together Mother and Touhou together.)

It got me into the Mother series, and reminded me of how good it felt to be home again.

(By the way, as someone who has shamelessly convinced his friends to buy into Windows stuff, my proudest achievement has been the fact that I've been able to get through the Ever Grande Victory Road with no Flash!)



Chiptek said:

50 years later: What, you actually had to use your hands to play? You couldn't just control it with your mind?



TheWPCTraveler said:

@Ralek85 True. True. I myself discovered Fire Emblem on the Wii, of all places. And the Wars series on the Famicom...

...or was it Super Famicom? Ah, the glory of being related to someone who ran a video game rental place.



ToxieDogg said:

On the one hand, I thought it was an entertaining video. I'm 37, I've been a Nintendo gamer since playing a Donkey Kong arcade machine aged 4, but you honestly can't expect a young kid to appreciate a 25 year old handheld in the same way, especially not when they've grown up having internet access from an early age and access to devices with full colour touchscreens that you can download things on.

On the other hand, it does really bother me that the kids of today are the game developers of tomorrow, particularly when they complain about having to use 'buttons' and such. If they never try any other kind of devices asides from iPads and smartphones, then their perceptions of what makes a genuinely great game with the best control scheme are really going to be skewed in favour of things that are only suitable for touch devices.



Mayhem said:

Well, that wasn't much different to when I tried to introduce kids to the Commodore 64 by way of the BBC



Alucard83 said:

An other reason why i don't like Kinect and that's what Microsoft tried to do. I guess there most be someone who is into Ipad gaming as well. Clearly



RedBeanPorridge said:

I was shaking my head the entire time. has it really been that long since the gameboy was released??? I wasn't too surprised at when 3 of the kids all mentioned going back to an ipad or an apple device after playing with a gameboy. I literally just screamed "NO." when the kid referenced an iphone case. just....what. Really appreciate the Fine bros. making this video



Findonovan95 said:

I guess I wasn't into the new generation stuff at the time. I remember my first game being Pokémon Silver; well if you don't count me playing my sisters version of Pokémon Crystal.

My mom said it was because she was afraid of me wrecking the more modern stuff. Hahaha, she knew the old gameboy and nes were built to last. XD

I've vowed that if I ever have a kid, they're going to play through all the generations I did to get to the modern games, lol I'd want them to have an appreciation for the past before enjoying the present, and looking to the future.



Zeldalover said:

@allav866 SML2 is not much fun for people who prefer a more challenging platformer. I personally find Kirby's Dreamland 2 to be superior. SML2 is certainly a very accessible game and I like the world themes and some aspects of it's level design. It also incorporates some elements from SMW, like the option to find a secret stage by taking an alternate exit. The sprite itself also looks similar, but the physics seem kinda off and Mario is very floaty. It's a game that allows you to dodge almost any enemy attack with ease. The last level (Wario's Castle) is my favorite.



Findonovan95 said:

@ToxieDogg wow, I never thought about that. That would be a shame.

On another note; you mentioning internet from a young age made me laugh. I figure you were talking about a younger age group than me but I'm 19 and I didn't have internet access until about 2007 or so, lol

It's strange to think about how easy it all is to access, even to me who is supposed to be the one leading us into the next generation or whatever my lecturer says. XD



Deadstanley said:

Hey kid at 6:02. I don't care if it can't sense my skin, physical buttons will ALWAYS be better for gaming than a touch screen.



Caryslan said:

I don't get the point of these videos, of course kids today will think a Game Boy is horribly outdated and less fun than mobile devices and modern handheld systems.

I was the same way when I was a kid. I grew up during the Sega Genesis/SNES era, and I thought the Atari 2600 that my parents loved looked outdated and was not any fun. Even the old NES got unfairly treated since all I wanted to play was the SNES and the Sega Genesis.

Of course kids from today are going to react like this, the old Game Boy is over 20 years old. Many older gamers like me may have fond memories, and we lived back when something like the old pea-soup Game Boy was a major deal.

These kids are not wrong, they just grew up in a different era of gaming. If people really want to get them to appreciate these classic games, have them play Game Boy games on a 3DS or 2DS with a modern screen and backlight.

Even I have to admit that the gameboy while impressive for its time, is a system that has aged poorly. Note, I'm talking about the system itself, not the games.

I would like to see how these kids react to playing Game Boy games on a 3DS with save states, a backlight, and a crisp, clear screen. I think many of them would change their tune.



rmeyer said:

Well of course they hate it only my mom played Tetris. Mario land 2 and they would've gone nuts. There's no game to this day as good as that on iPhone or android



World said:

@GreatPlayer Yeah! I definitely don't turn up my nose at older games necessarily--because I don't want to be Like That--but I like games that are fun. And the older games I found through the VC that I like are not the ones that most gamers yell at everyone to play.



World said:

@Caryslan I agree with you to a point. I have a 3DS and the VC has introduced me to a few games from the Game Boy (and other consoles). Call me stubborn though, but I just don't think I'd happily play those old games if my dad had, say, handed me a 3DS with all his Game Boy games and said, "these are all the games I played; now PLAY THEM!"

(I mean, free games might entice me, but still! No one wants to be forced to play games they don't like!)



dumedum said:

the video is quite different from the description. Most seemed to enjoyed it and appreciate it. I had that magnifying glass.



World said:

@dumedum Well yeah. Everyone likes fun. If you leave some random toy lying around, kids (and adults I imagine) WILL play it, regardless of what it is. It might not be their FAVRIT THING EVA, but they'll play it. Yelling at them about how great it is is the way to create those ignorant kids who just want all iDevices and nothin' but.



aaronsullivan said:

"I kinda feel sad for the people that played this in the past"
My favorite quote.

I actually found it pretty cool how much some of the kids knew about it and could appreciate. The worst comments were from the same kid who has just no context and thinks touching the screen with no tactile feedback is a better gaming mechanism than buttons and a control pad. For some games it is, but he's majorly missing out.

Anybody who respects the DS has to respect the old GameBoy though. The concept is basically the same after all these years.



KingMike said:

I think I had that light attachment myself. Don't know what happened to it. I don't think it was that common to find a replacement bulb.

I remember seeing some massive add-on that's got to be the most ridiculously bulky thing I've seen. Light/magnification/stereo speakers, even a joystick. Power Arcade or something like that, I think?



dAvecaster said:

I thought the children did pretty well. They got that it was for gaming. I agree with them when they ask why would modern children want one? Technology has moved on, Nintendo recognize it and that's why they aren't made any more.



Caryslan said:

@dAvecaster That's kinda the thing, even if we remove tablets from the discussion for a moment, modern Handhelds like the 3DS and the Vita have come very far, and offer things that were not possible 20 years ago.

A kid growing up with a 3DS that can download games, has a web browser, 5 levels of backlighting, a touch screen, a shop with hundreds of games, and online play is not likely to understand what made the Game Boy so special.

The Game Boy was a product of its time, and while a classic system in its own right, the hardware has become very outdated. The games are still good, and I think that's where the Virtual Console steps in very well. It helps introduce old games to modern audiences while adding modern conveniences like save states and backlighting.

The funny thing about all this is that technology keeps moving on. In 20 years, when these kids have children of their own, we'll likely see kids look at an iPhone and a 3DS and ask how people managed to work with such technology back in the day.

This is why I wish Nintendo would step up their support of the Virtual Console. Its not just older gamers who buy these VC games, the service also helps introduce newer games to those classic games, while avoiding the issues that came with older systems like the NES and Game Boy.



Darknyht said:

Sad to think I was roughly their age when I got my first Gameboy, but it did have an add-on rechargeable battery, it came with a belt clip.

I also think you are seeing the gap in the language of technology. It's not that they can't figure it out, but that their basis for figuring out the tech has vastly changed. It would be like setting them in front of a C-64 or DOS system and expecting them to operate it since they currently run Windows 8.



TheRealThanos said:

@World We get it, we get it: you like gentle nudges...
But in all seriousness: I would just show the kids the games and ask them to try the games out, since you should NEVER force kids to do ANYTHING, so that is not exclusive to gaming. However, if you don't try something out, you will also never truly know if you'll like it or not, so saying that someone doesn't like being forced to play games that he/she doesn't like without them having tried it first seems to be jumping the gun a bit.
@GreatPlayer Your conclusion is just your opinion. Nothing wrong with that, just saying. I think (and that is my opinion) that graphics are the icing on the cake that can definitely add to the whole experience, but they AREN'T the whole experience in and of itself. You and @World both miss out on some really great games/classics if you can't poke through the "bad" graphics. And Mario64 and Sonic Adventure are both great games, which is not just an opinion; it is widely regarded to be so and the games have both garnered a lot of positive criticism in their time and to some extent still do.
@ToxieDogg I totally agree. I'm 44 and have been gaming since Pong and the Atari 2600. I think that if kids becoming programmers would truly think that touch screen controls will be the be all and end all of gaming, then that would be a very sad conclusion to come to and that it would be a very dire future for dedicated gamers altogether. But we'll just have to wait and see, I guess...


I think some of you are way too harsh on these kids. Yeah they seem snobbish and spoiled, but that is because their dumb parents just hand out iPads like they cost next to nothing. All to keep the kids quiet and occupied. And of course there's the easier way of getting access to information on what is cool and how to play and so on.. Back in the day I had to save money from my allowance to be able to buy my gaming devices and we only had magazines. I once tried to explain to my little niece that we never had internet not that long ago and she just couldn't grasp the reality of that simple fact so it was pretty weird to discuss that with her. But I agree with some of you that we somehow should, IF they want to get into gaming, let kids understand, WITHOUT forcing them, where it all came from by letting them get acquainted with older systems and handhelds and then gradually introduce them to more recent systems. If they can grasp all that, then I'm pretty sure that they WILL have an appreciation or should I say MORE appreciation for their iPad 7 or 8 or whichever one it will be that they will be gaming on next. Maybe it will be a Nintendo smartphone with actual controls, or the much hyped (but probably non-existing) Nintendo Fusion...
Either way: exciting times ahead, and my kids WILL get to know all this stuff.
@Caryslan But the differences are getting way smaller than they used to. Just look at all the versions of the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy; they don't differ that much and I think newer versions will only focus on optimizing the technology inside rather than making them even thinner or smaller. The only outside thing they change the most is the glass, to make it even more unbreakable. Smaller screens aren't desirable and the technology to make thinner parts to put inside the cases is also some ways off into the distant future. When I was young I had a (what will now seem) GIANT Walkman hanging from my hip with a cassette deck and now I just put my music on my Galaxy S3 which has more memory and space than all Walkman/disc-man/mp3 players that I ever owned put together. But I still appreciate that giant red toaster of a Walkman...



World said:

@TheRealThanos Hahaha, I just feel feelings about this topic! But yeah, you're totally right. My dad raised us on his games but he just played them with his friends and would let us play if we wanted. I feel like I "get" them more now that the VC is a thing, but I think what he did is probably the right way.

The other solution is that I could just quit being so contrary, and play things that other people adamantly like, but I just don't have that kind of faith in myself.



TheRealThanos said:

@World It's basically just like food: don't pull your nose up and say it is disgusting/bad unless you've tasted it. Although come to think of it, there are some pretty horrible things that are supposedly deemed edible in some parts of the world...
As for games, YouTube is your friend. There are tons of playthroughs of classic games and you may never know what you'll run into. May happen that my gentle nudge will end up in you having a giant backlog of games that you'll still want to play before you leave this earth for good. You can blame me later if that's going to be the case and I'll accept the blame with a big grin on my face...
Oh, and one should ALWAYS have faith in oneself. NEVER doubt, for that is the same as standing still. Take that with some milk a light biscuit, didn't want to make it too heavy...



russellohh said:

@TheRealThanos My iPad mini cost $199, and my full size cost $350. Adjusted for inflation, an SNES launched at $340, and the Original GameBoy launched at $170 with inflation. So... 15% more than an iPad mini, and half the price of an iPad. Throw in the price of games, (Tetris and Pokemon costing $40 vs Angry Birds costing $1, Zenonia being free, etc) and, hate to break it to you guys... we're just as spoiled, if not more than, then the ungrateful brats of today.



TheRealThanos said:

@russellohh Well, as you have obviously been able to read from my previous post, I DO own a Galaxy S3, and I even have some games on it, but besides that I'm still a dedicated gamer, which also means that I'm willing to pay for the (in my eyes) superior experience.
And I've kept nearly all systems that I ever owned, except for my MSX machine, which I still regret to this day. I still have an Amiga 500, Amiga 500+, Amiga 1200, Amiga CD32, N64, GameCube, Wii, Sega Dreamcast, Xbox 360, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, GB Advance SP, DS Phat, DS Lite, DSi XL and a 3DS XL. And I've bought ALL of them with my own money so I don't know how that equates to being equally spoiled as the iPad generation. My niece's little boy got his first iPod touch when he was 4 which seems totally ridiculous to me. And it was cracked and broken in no time too. All my systems are still completely functional, so not only are kids more spoiled, they also don't seem to receive the upbringing anymore to appreciate and care for things. For which I blame the parents, by the way, NOT the kids.
On a side note: leaving EA and going for educational software might just get you a lot of fans on here. Especially because of the first part...



russellohh said:

@TheRealThanos I'll stick by "some kids always suck". My mother was always proud that I got a watch when I was 5, and it worked scratch-free until I was 15. Most of my old toys were still in great condition, whereas our neighbors cut arms and tore off heads within weeks, if the toy survived their birthday. Kids today do break iPods, like you said- but then again, my gameboy has survived falling 30 feet, going through the dish washer, and my 3DS has survived a hurricane and me falling into waist-deep water during a floor. My iPhone fell 2 inches once, and the screen cracked right down the middle. A co-worker just dropped her new phone, it fell 3 feet- and shattered.

Maybe kids of today break their iPods so fast because we adults purposefully make modern electronics easily broken crap, just so we can feel superior?

I'll put that into a design doc somewhere....



TheRealThanos said:

@russellohh I do agree that it is never that black and white, but even when trying to look at it objectively, I still feel that kids nowadays, mainly because of more, better and faster changing technology get to be spoiled much faster. Sure, there were spoiled kids back in the day when I was that young, but on average that was only about three kids max in every class/school/club I've been in. More often than not we only had one spoiled brat in our class. I remember this kid who's father was an international business man that traveled to Japan a lot, so his son got the latest/limited edition Walkmans and consoles (such as the for me completely unaffordable Neo Geo) and what not... Nowadays nearly ALL kids have access to or own some kind of smart- or tablet device. And they think that everything that isn't nicely drawn or in HD is ugly. Coming from a Pong machine on a black and white TV set, I still marvel at some 16 bit games and appreciate just about any generation that came after that. To some kids even the Xbox 360/PS3 games are starting to look ugly. Go figure. Like I said: no more appreciation...

But ehm... Game Boy in the dish washer?



russellohh said:

@TheRealThanos Hmm I think it was actually the washing machine. I didn't have a dishwasher then, but I did leave a few games and once a system in my pocket. Kids today could be more spoiled on average, I don't interact with too many, and the few I do seem pretty good. I always wonder how much of it is the media. Watching ten minutes of the news makes you think we're all about to die, even if violent crime is at 30 year lows. We can't exactly survey each kid asking "are you more of a spoiled brat then your parents were at your age?!"



Meaty-cheeky said:

I would rather play my Original GameBoy any day of the week compared to gaming on a garbage smart phone / tablets device.



TheRealThanos said:

@russellohh Like I said: I personally think it's today's faster society and the parents looking to give their kids something to keep them quiet after they outgrow their pacifier. Just look at your own childhood: how many spoiled kids were there at any one time in your class? I don't think as many. Nearly all kids in my surroundings, be they from family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances do have access to or own a smart/tablet device and I personally believe that it is inappropriate for some ages and also that parents shouldn't be so quick to give their kids one. No matter what the reason behind it is. I also never got any toy or device from my parents just because Billy, Tommy and the rest of the class also had one...



JuanitoShet said:

@Einherjar Watching this makes you sad because you're a pompous arse. When you think about it, you don't NEED to know about old devices, no matter their original uses, to live and lead a happy life.

So this goes out to all the people that bash KIDS just because they don't know that the Game Boy existed nearly three decades ago. Grow up.



B3ND3R said:

These kids always sicken me. Now they REALLY sicken me. Heck, they say they'd rather play their iPad than the original Gameboy! I don't think they understand what kind of blasphemy they are spouting..



World said:

@TheRealThanos Haha, noted! And honestly, I am big on the "mystery impulse buy VC run." I will see a game that looks strange or wonderful and then I will watch videos of it and sometimes I will end up playing every game in that series that I can find!

...that's what happened with Boulder Dash on the Wii VC. So, like, it can't be said that I dismiss games with OBJECTIVELY TERRIBLE GRAPHICS



Caryslan said:

@B3ND3R Let's be honest here, why should kids that grow up with not only tablets and smartphones, but modern handhelds be impressed with the old black & white game boy? That's like saying a fan of modern movies is spouting blasphemy for not being fans of Black & White silent films from the 20's.

Fact is, the Game Boy hardware has aged very poorly. For its time, it was impressive since color handhelds ate batteries and were heavier, so it had key advantages over the Game Gear, Turbo Express, and Lynx. But by modern standards, the Game Boy really has nothing to offer outside of quality games. The screen sucks, besides the Pocket its not as portable, and the lack of a backlight makes the game harder to see.

Granted, I'm not a fan of tablet games myself, but I grew up with a Game Boy and I'll never go back to that older generation of handhelds. Simply put, modern handhelds like the 3DS and Vita have so many features packed into them, its amazing how technology marches on.

Kids are going to have this reaction given the Game Boy is over 20 years old, and the only thing it still has going for it are its games, which can be found on the 3DS.

That's why I find this video pointless. It's like sticking DOS in front of a modern computer user and then acting like they are wrong for bashing the product.

The Game Boy is a relic of a different time, with hardware that has aged very poorly. The Pocket and Color have aged better, but even they have shortcomings by modern standards.

Respect the Game Boy, but I can see how kids don't get it. Hell, I grew up with a Genesis as my first systems with an NES as my close second. I still don't get how people were amused by early games on the 2600, and early computers.

It comes with the march of technology. Someday, the children of these kids will be up in a video bashing the iPhone and asking how people coped with a device like that.



dumedum said:

@Caryslan I think the Game Boy has aged very well. I can still pick it up and really enjoy it. It feels solid. The D-Pad is absolutely amazing. The 2 buttons is simple and enjoyable for games like brawlers which I probably like best. The backlighting is not such a big deal, because even today some people don't want that (look at Kindle) - under the proper light (i.e., in bed) it plays just fine, and it's addictive as ever. It has aged up quite well.



Game-Over said:

Good Article, it's true i think u have to be a child of the 80's to truly appreciate how gaming has evolved.



TheRealThanos said:

@World Ah Boulder Dash, brings back memories. I would say that is one of those games that goes into the same category as the likes of Pong, Pac Man, Arkanoid and Tetris. Anything but nice graphics but still extremely playable and quite hard to stop once you start playing.
@Caryslan Well then I must be a retro gamer or something... Nah, that's not it. A good example is the Mario game that I got on my 3DS because of the promotional campaign. I do play it every now and then and it is good to have a well lit display but somehow it feels "off" playing it on a dual screen handheld with more buttons and what not. I still pull out my Game Boy Color when I want to play a Game Boy game and I still enjoy the hell out of it. I'm firmly in the camp of "games should be played on the original hardware" which is why I'm also not a fan of emulators on smart phones. A friend of mine said he enjoyed Tetris way more on his smart phone, and always defended it by naming all the supposed advantages. That was until I bought him a second hand Game Boy Color with the REAL Tetris game and now he is a believer.
@Game-Over Yep, eighties or seventies like me. With every decade later you gradually see appreciation for the foundations of what they now enjoy disappear and instead of wonder and amazement you see lack of fulfillment because it is never enough. Now HD needs to be even more crisp and "HD-ier" because current gen is also still not pretty enough for some and they are already disappointed because they know that it will be some time yet before the next generation is here so these poor souls have to "endure" several more years of "horrible" looking games.
Megaton Facepalm...



Einherjar said:

@JuanitoShet FIrst off, watch your language you thing i may not mention on here. Second: Who said that not knowing this stuff leads to an unhappy life ?

I criticised them for having a "trowaway" mentality about old tech. They are raised with the mindset of anything thats outdated must get replaced instantly and that anything old cant be fun by default, not for not knowing every piece of ancient tech.

Nibble on a block of soap to get your pie hole clean, geeze.



Caryslan said:

@TheRealThanos For me, old NES games look horrible on a modern TV, and I can't get good enough light in my house to really play a Game Boy. Its not a knock against the old hardware, and if you like to play games on their original systems, then I see no problem with that.

For me, I like the convenience of the Virtual Console. I love having the option of using save states to get past tricky parts and beat older games that I could never beat as a kid. I like the option of having a back light, and to me, older games look much sharper on a modern 3DS screen.

In general, I used to have the same mindset of "A game is better played on the original hardware" Until I realized NES and even SNES games look horrible on modern HDTVs, and the Game Boy consoles are hard to see without a backlight.

So, for me, it's a matter of opinion. Game Boy Tetris is the same game that is was on the 3DS, only better since I can create a restore point and come back to a game later on.

The problem with emulators on PCs and tablets is that they never feel natural. Now, on a 3DS that has a control pad and A & B buttons? Feels about as natural as it was back on the old Game Boy. That's why I wish Nintendo would focus more on the virtual console. I think the service is best way to replay older games.



TheRealThanos said:

@Caryslan Yeah, I kind of figured it would be something like that and I can totally understand about being annoyed at seeing 8 and 16 bit console games displayed on modern TV's so fair enough. I guess I'm a bit more forgiving myself. My point about Game Boy games especially is that I'm so used to holding my handheld in a certain way that it feels strange, which is what I forgot to mention in my previous comment, because obviously the original Game Boy was held in, shall we say, portrait mode/upright/vertical and the DS line of handhelds is of course more landscape mode, so you also get the ugly sidebars and such. But I always respect opinions so the same goes for you. But I can only agree concerning the really old consoles: for the N64, GameCube and Dreamcast I have a VGA box to display graphics in the best possible resolution. (even got a 1080p HDMI upscaler for my Wii) They all look positively gorgeous on my 42" HD plasma TV.



8BitSamurai said:

Not hating on the Game Boy, it's a decent system, but it was practically outdated when it was released. If a kid had a Lynx or Game Gear in the day, they'd be calling it old-school like the kids now.



TheRealThanos said:

@8BitSamurai Well obviously it held up a lot better than those systems, and that is mainly because of the way better games. Atari never had a chance so only Sega's offering, just as in home consoles at the time, was a real competitor, but still failed due to several reasons amongst which battery life and being even more bulky than the original Game Boy.



World said:

@TheRealThanos After I played the C64 Boulder Dash on the Wii VC and beat XL-3D, I actually started collecting the retro games (even though I can't really play them right now except on my dad's GBA) because I love it so much. In some cases, I definitely see the appeal!



TheRealThanos said:

@World Sounds like an open minded person to me, and that is all that I mostly aim for when sharing my enthusiasm of classic games with people. By the way: you should be able to get a second hand GBA or Game Boy color for next to nothing from any respectable online retro store. I got a friend a Game Boy color for 20 bucks.



Beau_Skunk said:

Boy, "Back to the Future 2" really nailed it with newer generations of gamers... "You have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!"



Henmii said:

Lol! In 10 years time:

Kids, do you know what this is?
Oh, is that a i-phone?
From that company that runned itself into the ground because they didn't innovate?!



SurferClock said:

Oh man, that makes me feel kinda old now. I bet most of us had that gut reaction of "NO! You're wrong!" when the one kid called it a piece of junk.



Mrnoname said:

@bouncer0304 I don't think you would. I'm 13 and I've spent hundreds of dollars on "outdated" technology. I also play my GBA SP because I'm not really into playing games on my phone or 3DS.



MegaBeedrill said:

Can't wait until they talk about the gamecube..

I can already picture it: "Where's the motion control for twilight princess?"



SenorMuffin said:

this just hurts, it hurts way too much. im playing pokemon yellow right now just glitching the doggeyoopsiepoopiepoodle out of it! but still little kids just don't know the good old days of video games! when sega was not owned by nintendo and atari was still known to children



fixumi said:

Those kids of today, they only want everything fast and on highest quality, so lazy and spoiled. Many games are made easier, kids those days don't know the challenge of videogames that were back then when there were no quicksaves or recent saves.
Either game over and play the whole game again or a whole world again. Much more fun because it's challenging

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...