Nintendo Game Boy(Girl)
As a child growing up in the ’90s, I spent the majority of my free time grasping my Game Boy as if it were the only thing of value in my life. Introduced to the U.S. in 1989, Nintendo’s Game Boy quickly became popular among kids of all ages who enjoyed the convenience of playing video games anywhere, anytime, with this hand-held creation. The original Game Boy was released at a price of $89.99 and ran on 4 AA batteries that provided hours of playing time; in 2003, Nintendo ceased production of the original Game Boy and other portable gaming consoles have since taken its place.
Nintendo Game Boy Commercial from the late ’80s; uploaded to YouTube in 2006.
The Game Boy was something that kept me entertained for hours on end; I was constantly distracted by challenges and quests to save Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros. games and easily frustrated at my inability to complete all levels of Tetris. All the games I had for my Game Boy had masculine undertones (Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, Dr. Mario), and the console itself indicates that it’s a game for boys. It’s highly apparent that this toy was meant to expand the adventures of young boys across the nation. Regardless, this had no effect on me. I didn’t see the Game Boy as strictly for boys, nor was I ever subjected to having to borrow my male cousin’s Game Boy because I didn’t have my own (I had three, actually). In this way, I was one among a number of girls who were not restricted by the social construct that girls should play with dolls, exclusively, and boys should play with video games, exclusively. I think because it was late in the 20th-century, the belief that “boys’ and girls’ toys reflected conventional work roles and the tools that went with them,” was becoming slightly irrelevant (Cross, pg. 49). Both boys and girls were more interested in toys that entertained and challenged them personally, and less in toys that were specifically geared towards their gender.