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The Game Boy Turns 25: The Things We Miss Most About It

An iconic game console that paved the way for mobile gaming celebrates its 25th birthday. We crash the party and tell you how awesome this dude was back in the day.
by Gelo Gonzales | Apr 21, 2014
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Topping today's list of "Things That Make Us Feel Old" is the venerable Game Boy, the game-changing handheld videogame console from Nintendo that we played under our teachers' noses at the risk of confiscation.

The blocky, gray contraption was awesome. And today, it celebrates its 25th birthday, having dropped onto Japanese game stores way, way back on April 21, 1989. We know what you're thinking: "Magkano ko kaya mabebenta 'yang antique na 'yan?!" Well, the answer is, we don't know.


What we do know is that the Gameboy's 25th anniversary is making us shed the salty, salty tears of nostalgia. Though its graphics were butt-ugly (even by 1989's standards) and its battery life wasn't exactly a watershed moment in the history of portable energy, it was a charming, magical device that boasts a lifetime sales number of 119 million units. And though majority of us have long moved on to smartphones for mobile gaming, the granddaddy of handheld fun will forever hold a spot in our hearts. Come here, Game Boy, give us a hug!

To celebrate, here we recall some of our favorite moments with one of the coolest gadgets from our childhood that we miss doing today!

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1) It made school recess a momentous gathering of gaming nerds

Way before the Nokia 5110 got us addicted to Snake, the Gameboy had us spending hours playing portable versions of Family Computer classics instead of eating our baon. Even if the darned thing wasn't actually in your hands, we'd have fun just by watching someone else play.

And like the 5110, it was a hot item on teachers' radars, with a good number of Game Boys eventually ending up confiscated. Dun-dun-dun!

The graphics don't look much now, but this used to be cutting edge for mobile devices

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2) We could play secretly under our blanket

As kids, we could only play for a certain amount of time before our folks put the hammer down and told us, "Matulog na kayo. May pasok pa bukas. Tama na yang puro computer-computer."

And then the Game Boy came along.

3) We could play in the toilet

We can't think of any scientific reasons, but it's fun to do things other than taking a dump while taking a dump. Reading a newspaper or a magazine is a classic choice. But for '90s kids, Game Boy in the toilet was the best!

Here's a reminder of the games we used to play for the system:


4) It made the hours-long trips to the province tolerable

Prior to tablets becoming this generation's pacifier of choice, the Game Boy also did a pretty good job at stopping kids from asking if they were there yet.

Mario ain't just plumber; he's also a pretty effective nanny! 

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