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Why no apps? Kids react to original Nintendo Game Boy

Will watching kids attempt to play Tetris on a vintage Nintendo Game Boy make you nostalgic for spending hours lining up blocks?

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Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

While the clunky Nintendo Game Boy confused kids, they were still captivated playing Tetris. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Nothing makes us gaming elders feel older than watching kids react to an original Nintendo Game Boy.

In the latest "Kids React" video by new-media production duo Benny and Rafi Fine (also known as The Fine Brothers) kids ages 6-13 attempt to use a Game Boy. Past episodes of the series have kids hilariously attempt to figure out rotary phones, Walkman cassette players, old Apple computers, and '90s Internet instructional videos.

"This time we brushed the dust off something we actually owned as kids and kept all this time, an original Nintendo Game Boy that is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year," Benny Fine told Crave.

"Some didn't know what it was, some had parents who had one, and one even had one himself to play Pokemon, but all in all, most were unsure of the device and were surprised to find out just how popular the system was."

It's interesting to note that a little girl, 10-year-old Addy, brought to light that the name might actually be sexist. "Girls can play this, why can't it be called Game Boy Girl?"

Considering that most kids are used to playing video games on their smartphones or iPads, when handed a game cartridge to plug into the Game Boy, one kid asked dumbfounded in the video, "Wait a minute, you don't turn it on and get the apps?"

"They tried out Tetris, were told about how many of us bought magnifying glass/light extensions, and some were upset they had to hit buttons vs. just swipe like on an iPad," Fine told Crave.

Though some of the kids in the video were captivated by the hypnotic retro game of Tetris, other kids found the experience more depressing than mesmerizing. "I kind of feel sad for the people in the past," Evan, age 7, said.

However, noted Fine, "We asked if they would want one today, and though most said no, some fully realized that without the success of Game Boy, portable consoles may not be what they are today."

Can't get enough watching kids frustrated by a Game Boy? Here's the bonus footage.