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2003/167/1 Electronic toy, Nintendo 'Game Boy' handset, model DMG-01 and 'Tetris' game cartridge, plastic / rubber / electronic components, 'Game Boy' designed by Gunpei Yokoi, Tetris designed by Alexey Pajitnov, manufactured by Nintendo, Japan, 1984 - 1989. Click to enlarge.

Game Boy toy with Tetris game cartridge

Made
The Game Boy is the most popular game console in history (2003) selling in excess of 64 million units since its inception in 1989 through to 1998 when Nintendo began production of the Game Boy colour model. A major contribution to the success of the Game Boy was the decision to bundle the Tetris game with all purchases in the USA and other countries.

The Game Boy became a wearable accessory in a similar sense to the Sony "Walkman" - it was personalised and principally used exclusively by the …

Summary

Object No.

2003/167/1

Object Statement

Electronic toy, Nintendo 'Game Boy' handset, model DMG-01 and 'Tetris' game cartridge, plastic / rubber / electronic components, 'Game Boy' designed by Gunpei Yokoi, Tetris designed by Alexey Pajitnov, manufactured by Nintendo, Japan, 1984 - 1989

Physical Description

The Game Boy is a hand held electronic game console into which a choice of game cartridges may be inserted. this particular Game Boy came with the Tetris cartridge which was delivered with all new purchases of the Game Boy (in the USA and Australia). The console case is manufactured from plastic and is a light grey colour. The Game Boy features graphics in four shades grey on an acrylic covered screen, sound supplied either through speaker or phones socket (stereo) and external connection is available to one other Game Boy. The control buttons on the front are in black, dark pink and dark grey. Part of the back panel clicks out to reveal battery casing.

The Tetris cartridge contains a RAM (read only memory) device with the code for the game. It is made of dark gray plastic and has a small graphic and text relating to the game. The cartridge is inserted in the top back of the Game Boy into a multipin connector.

Marks

Game Boy:front 'OFF ON/DOT MATRIX WITH STEREO SOUND/BATTERY/Nintendo GAME BOY TM/SELECT/START/PHONES'.back'G24903074/MODEL NO. DMG-01/© 1989 Nintendo/RATING DC.6V 0.7W/BATTERY, SUM -3(AA, R6) X4/PAT. PEND. MADE IN JAPAN...'.

Cartridge: front 'TETRIS/ORIGINAL/GAME LINK/DMG-TR-NOE/MADE IN JAPAN/HERUSRAGENDE SEITE', back 'MADE IN JAPAN/PAT. PEND.'.

Dimensions

Height

147 mm

Width

88 mm

Depth

33 mm

Production

Designed

Notes

The Game Boy was designed by Gunpei Yokoi. Employed in Nintendo's games department since the 1970s, Gunpei was responsible for some extraordinary products including the Ultrahand (an expansion arm), the Ultra Machine (a soft baseball throwing machine for the home), the Ultra Scope (a small periscope), the Love Tester (arcade love testing), and light beam gun games (using solar cells from Sharp). In 1981 Yokoi designed the very successful "Game & Watch" series of hand held LCD (liquid crystal display) game devices. Also in 1981 Yokoi teamed up with Shigeru Miyamoto (who later produced "Super Mario Brothers") to develop "Donkey Kong".

The Tetris game was developed by Alexey Pajitnov a graduate in 1979 from the Moscow Institute of Aviation with a degree in applied mathematics. Alexey was inspired by a game called Pentominos (available in toy stores in Russia). Modifications to the concept of Pentominos - including a reduction in the squares the shapes are based on, running in real time, with full lines wiped from the playing area. The game was developed in 1984 on a Russian Electronica 60 computer.

The Game Boy was manufactured by Nintendo in Japan. Production began in 1989 and ceased around 1995 when a pocket version came on the market. Over 50 million units were sold in this time.

History

Notes

This Game Boy was purchased after the donor experienced its appeal when a friend let them use their Game Boy. It was purchased around 1990 and used immediately. Within a month of purchase (during which time the Game Boy was played incessantly) the donor began to experience the game (Tetris) in their dreams - such was the compelling and addictive nature of the game. The hand held console was consigned to a cupboard where it (mostly) remained until the call (from the assistant curator) went out for a Game Boy in early 2003.

The Game Boy became a wearable accessory in a similar sense to the Sony "Walkman" - it was personalised and principally used exclusively by the owner in private and public spaces. The use of this type (wearable, electronic) of device in public spaces tends to isolate the users from their surroundings. To many this practice is perceived as non-social behaviour. It is interesting to note recent studies of behaviour and etiquette in public spaces by users of these technologies including mobile phones, digital assistants and other wireless (WAP) devices that expose the general abhorrence yet tolerance of their use. Purchased new by the donor.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Lily Katakouzinos, 2003

Acquisition Date

28 October 2003

Cite this Object

Harvard

Game Boy toy with Tetris game cartridge 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/319750>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/319750 |title=Game Boy toy with Tetris game cartridge |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}