When I was a child, I had an idea that I thought was so revolutionary that it had to happen.
As a Nintendo addict, I wanted to play my video games all day, even when I was at school. Or at least during recess. Until then, my issues of Nintendo Power (and later Electronic Gaming Monthly) just had to do.
The idea was, you guessed it, a portable video game console, kinda like the little arcade machine replicas, where you can play Pac-Man or Donkey Kong or something. Except, this machine was a Nintendo Entertainment System, and can play NES cartidges.
With my “brilliant” idea, I wrote a letter to Nintendo asking that they can make it. To my surprise, I got a letter back stating thanking me for my suggestions and that they are considering making a portable system.
I thought that I invented the Game Boy! I bragged all about it through my elementary school, with all of the details of my idea. I thought that this major company listened to this little 7 or 8 or 9 year old kid!
Of course, it wasn’t meant to be. When Nintendo announced the Game Boy, with a very different design that played its own, smaller cartridges, I was disappointment, but still thought that I, Ian Michael Isanberg was the inventor of the Game Boy. I thought that I deserved compensation, if not money then a Game Boy for myself!
That lead to my second letter to Nintendo. Once again, they responded saying that many people sent them letters and requests to make a portable system and that it was not just my idea for it. Back then I was upset but as time went on, I accepted it as the funny story that it was.
In the end, I never owned a Game Boy, but I had a Game Gear, my only Sega product, with a color screen!
Fast forward to today, and anyone can build a mini-arcade system like the one I wanted as a kid using a Raspberry Pi. I’m not itching to do it myself but it would be a nice birthday present.