Nintendo has pretty much had a stranglehold on the handheld gaming market since it released the Game Boy back in 1989. No, I don’t consider phones in that realm because let’s be serious, time wasters like Candy Crush aren’t at the same table.
I was obsessed with mine when I got it. New games I could just take with me wherever I want? Hell yeah I was in. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Game Boy. Family party I didn’t want to go to? Game Boy. Car trip up to Maine? Game Boy. Life at 5 years old was tough. (Sarcasm)
Car trips like the aforementioned rides to Maine were my favorite because it gave me an excuse to chill there and play my Game Boy to my heart’s content. I could explore all I wanted on my brother’s copy of Link’s Awakening or try to beat whatever Tetris high-score we had going at the time.
The quality of these play sessions heavily depended on what time of night we left for Maine. Since Game Boy didn’t have any backlight, I had to rely on whatever was left of the sun to keep playing. And once the sun had gone, all I had were the streetlights until we were out of the city. After that it was game over until our destination. That was until I got a light peripheral for my GB, which blew my mind at first. Not only did it let me play during those dark zones while traveling, but it magnified the screen too. This thing looked pretty clunky, don’t get me wrong.
Being able to have a sort of dedicated time to play these portable games was something I looked forward to, there was something almost zen-like about it. The scenario was usually my mom and brothers asleep, my dad driving with the Oldies station on, then me in the corner playing whatever my jam was at the time.
Now that I’m older I miss those times, but still get a flash of those old feelings when I travel on a plane or whenever I don’t have to drive. I get to focus on playing my 3DS or Vita, and it’s just different from sitting at home playing them on the couch. Playing them in a vehicle gives me a nice little rush of nostalgia, especially when I have many of the games I used to play on my 3DS. It reminds me of a simpler time when the only issue on my mind was whether or not my 4 AAs would be enough for the ride home.
I mean hey, that magnifying light came at a price you know.