Why do I keep subjecting myself to these “Kids React” videos? Every time I watch them, they make me feel so. Freakin’. Old. Seriously. Very few things make me feel as old as watching kids who are roughly two decades younger than I am attempting to figure out the technology of my youth. This time, they're taking a look at the original Nintendo Game Boy, and, well… let’s just say that handheld gaming has come a long way since then.
The good news is that these young ‘uns aren’t as puzzled by the Game Boy as they were by, say, the Walkman they examined a few months ago. The fact, though, that we’re at a point where a 10-year-old can say, “My dad had one!” such that I know I’m in the same generation as the aforementioned father is pretty sobering. I’m not sure whether I should laugh or cry at the kid at the 35-second mark who says, “Oh, wait, I’ve seen one of these before… it’s an iPhone case!” Nostalgia for retro gaming has been gaining steam ever since those of us who grew up with these sorts of devices hit adulthood, so this kid probably has seen an iPhone case that looks like a Game Boy before:
I’m just having trouble dealing with the fact that he’s not familiar with the device that actually inspired the design. Although the gal at the 55-second mark gets huge points in my book for her comment: “Girls can play this! Why can’t it be called Game Boy Girl?”
Here, take a look-see:
I was four years old when Nintendo’s very first handheld system, the Game Boy, hit North American shelves in 1989. It wasn’t until a few years later that my brother and I finally got our hands on one of our own — our parents bought it and a couple of games in an effort to keep us occupied on our first overseas airplane flight — and it remained the only handheld gaming system we had during our childhood. When you step back and really consider where things were then versus where they are now, though, the advances we’ve made in the intervening years are pretty incredible. I mean, this is what Kirby looked like when he debuted on the Game Boy in 1992:
And this is what he looks like on the Nintendo 3DS today:
Impressive, no? So, hey, the silver lining in all this is the fact that those of us who were around for the first generation of things like handheld gaming probably have a greater appreciation for the versions with which today’s youth are growing up.
Is this how our parents felt when we were kids? My, how the tables have turned…