The first handheld gaming device I ever owned was the Punch-Out!! Micro vs. System.
The clam shell opened to reveal two controllers and you and a friend could battle each other in a rudimentary boxing game.
An amazing little piece of hardware, launched in 1984 and reissued in 1998, it was my companion on many road trips. A decade ago, I rediscovered it in a box of old stuff and sold it on eBay.
My friend Justin and I used to play it and fantasize about the possibility of a handheld that could play more than one game! It was magic to even think about.
Imagine the glee we felt when the original Game Boy launched in 1989.
I don't remember how long it took me to save up the $89.99 but I remember the day my mom took me to the Mt. Shasta Mall to buy it.
I remember the hours of playing Tetris (the only game that came with it) until I had enough money to buy Super Mario World and a handful of other games.
I had the Game Boy all through high school, although it didn't get much love during those final years.
In the end, it got lost of broken. Going through a box of old stuff a few years back, I did find some of the game cartridges. I have nothing to play them on but I can't bear to throw them out.
Thinking about this inspired me to checkout the Game Boy emulation scene which, not surprisingly, is quite vibrant.
Thanks to John GBC Lite, I can now revisit my childhood through my Android phone. I can play every game and I ever had and even some I coveted but never owned.
Now you can emulate pretty every console in existence, from the original 8-bit Nintendo up through the Sony Playstation.
But its these simple games that still bring me the most joy.