The choice Nintendo had before them was simple: either dig into their warehouse to find a functioning original Game Boy that could be sent to a 95-year-old woman who had written them a letter explaining how the third Game Boy she'd ever owned had finally broken, or be a bunch of callous monsters who let the pleas of someone who can die at any second fall upon deaf ears?
Nintendo didn't hesitate to do the right thing. They reached into their stash of original Game Boys (which originally came out in 1989 and, astonishingly, wasn't discontinued until 2003) and sent one over to the old lady, so she could continue her daily games of Tetris for another four years until she died at the age of 99. This heartwarming story originally published in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun demonstrates how a smart company never lets a good PR opportunity go to waste. It also proves that Nintendo has an Indiana Jones-style secret warehouse filled with such priceless gaming treasures as unused, fully functional gray brick Game Boys from 1989 that the rest of us must break into to pull off the heist of the century.
So many of us want a fully functioning piece of iconic gaming ephemera like the original Game Boy but so few of us are as sympathetic as 95-year-old women who play Tetris to keep their brains sharp. Unless we present a real tearjerker of a sob story, no number of letters to Nintendo's customer service desk will get them to send us so much as one of the thousands of unsold Virtual Boys that lurk in the warehouse shadows like haunting sales specters.
If we want the fully operational vintage Game Boys, then we're going to have to learn the location of Nintendo's black site warehouse, sneak around the patrolling Goombas, deftly navigate the complex maze of rotating fire rods before, finally, kicking open a chest and hoisting a Game Boy from 1989 that looks like it was made yesterday above our heads in victory, but only after we defeat a multi-stage boss by slashing its eye with a legendary sword we discovered along the way.
Then on to phase two: Stealing a truckload of AA batteries.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!