25 Years of Nintendo Game Boy

Before people were addicted to playing games on their smartphones, they were addicted to handheld portable video game devices. (I was going to say "kids" instead of "people," but let's be honest, gaming addicts come in all ages.) It has been 25 years since Nintendo introduced its Game Boy console, and the world has been forever changed.

Unlike Sony's Walkman which broke the chord on music players, the Game Boy wasn't a passive experience, but an interactive one. It hasn't all been positive, of course, as folks became anti-social and spent their mealtimes and every waking leisure moment with their faces glued to those mini-screens, a prophecy of what was to come with mobile totems becoming our masters.

Still, those games were fun -- Tetris and Super Mario Land! Game Boy wasn't the first, but it was the most popular.  I remember having a handheld electronic football game and then a handheld electronic baseball game. They were extremely simplistic by today's standards, but I spent hours playing them.  The market of handheld game consoles included Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and TurboExpress, as well as the more recent Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, but Game Boy is the all-time winner.

Whatever the future of handheld portable gaming has in store, it will owe a debt to the trailblazing success of Nintendo Game Boy.