24. Nintendo Game Boy

Patrick Cox, H-NET President-Elect and Editor's picture

Contributor: Rana Mankarious

Childhood Studies Major

Rutgers University

There are many objects that come to mind when we think of things that define childhood. Depending on the person, those objects differ. The Nintendo Game Boy has been a phenomenon for many years, keeping children busy from 1989 to present. 25 years ago Nintendo Game Boy was released to gamers all around the world; But Nintendo has been around for 125 years. The maker of Nintendo, Gumpei Yokoi, had many successful visions for the product. What started as a portable and fun handheld device for children became a growing multimillion dollar industry, selling over 150 million systems worldwide (Nintendo). However, Nintendo didn’t start off successful. In fact, it began in 1889 as a card shop. They created a flower themed game known as Hanafuda.


Hanafuda was created after the Japanese government banned all card playing, because they believed it was a form of gambling. For 60 years, the company started as a small but hard working family business. They passed down their company from generation to generation. Finally one of the family members, Hiroshi, took over the business and made severe and brave business changes to their name. After many attempts to go beyond cards, an engineer named Gumpei Yokoi had a vision in mind after observing a man on a train on his watch. Yokoi then began to imagine game systems out of that watch.


He created a game console with LCD devices called Game and Watch (SMH), which were based on digital watches. As time passed they developed more devices geared towards young and old gamers. He developed the idea and brought it to the gaming world, which changed its path forever. The Game and Watch inspired the cross-shaped control button that every other company moving forward began to use and implement. When the Game Boy first came out, it was sold for about $100. Today the Game Boy is considered to be a classic, since they don’t make them anymore. This means that the few people who still own these classic games, are able to sell them online from $300-$800.


Nintendo paved the way for children’s electronic games today and in the future. It is from their simple idea that companies like Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation have built empires upon. Their simple idea changed childhood games and brought children into the technological world, which was once reserved, for adults. From then on, Nintendo became a hit among the western world, and among children and everyone else all over the world.

Work Cited:

"History Of Nintendo: Game Boy Color." Nintendo Feature:. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

"| Nintendo - Corporate Information | Company History." | Nintendo - Corporate Information | Company History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"The Complete Gameboy History and Timeline." Altered Gamer. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

"The Game Boy Legacy: A 25th Anniversary Celebration." USgamer.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.


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