'From like 1920': Today's teens react to original NES

Watch as teens, including Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, attempt to figure out how to play Super Mario Brothers using an original Nintendo Entertainment System.

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

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams tries to level up in Super Mario Brothers.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

In the latest Teens React to Technology video from new-media production team Benny and Rafi Fine (also known as The Fine Brothers), a group of teens including Game of Thrones  teen star Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) try to use an original Nintendo Entertainment System.

Past episodes of both the Teens React and Kids React series have seen teens and kids hilariously attempt to figure out rotary phones, Walkman cassette players, old Apple computers, and '90s Internet instructional videos.

Fair warning: If you played with the original NES console as a teen, this video is guaranteed to make you feel ancient. One teen even says, "I have an iPhone case like this" when seeing the Nintendo controller for the first time.

"Some did not even realize the console was a game system, while a couple had played on it but not much," Benny Fine told me. "Bottom line, it looked clunky, dull."

"It looks like a brick," Michael, 15 said in the video.

"From like 1920," Miracle, 15, added.

While most of the teens were familiar with games like Super Mario Brothers, many of them had not heard of classic games like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Dragon Warrior 3.

The video includes a hilarious moment when the teens hit the power and reset buttons on the system but can't get the game to start.


If the NES player doesn't work, try blowing on the gaming cartridge.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"After a sequence of blowing into the cartridge (which some claim never really did anything) they did get it to work and played a level of Super Mario Brothers like many teens in the past have done before them," Benny said.

"This is the least comfortable controller ever," Seth, 15, complained in the video.

"I actually like that there's only two buttons," Madison, 19, said.

While the teens couldn't agree on whether the original NES console was a good thing to play games on now, they all were thankful it existed so that video games could progress to where they are today.

"It's a classic, like a classic vinyl record," Ethan James, 19 said in the video.

"I would still have so much fun playing this, playing all the old games," Ethan, 16, said.

"It's a shame that kids miss out on this," Game of Thrones actress Williams said. "Kids... I'm still a kid! I sound so patronizing."

"This is where it all started," Tori, 16, said. "It's all thanks to this!"

In addition to Super Mario Brothers, the teens tried their hand at the retro NES game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.

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