The Game Boy Camera

A look back on the camera for the Game Boy
June 17, 2010
Finally, after a few years of lurking on this site I have decided to share my unique childhood as a British child growing up in Southern Italy and getting a upper class British accent along the way.

Well today I wanted to talk about, what else? The Game Boy Camera.

I remember buying this at a PX in Naples in the late 90s for my Game Boy colour and being really excited about it, after all, you could edit pictures with it and the camera itself turned around so one could take self photographs.

When I actually got to use it, it wasn't as nearly as good as I expected. The whole thing was in a putrid green colour and the photos were a pixellated nightmare which made ordinary objects like a Risk Board (who didn't line up all the figures into an epic mock battle?) look like creatures from beyond this plane of matter and existence.

To cap it all off, the only way you could print your pictures was buying the VERY expensive Game Boy printer (which used exclusive paper which would make the printer obsolete the moment the stopped selling it). In fact the printer is bizarre in itself, from what I remember, all it did was print off Pokemon and pictures from your camera, granted they were in sticker format but when you could buy Pokemon stickers of far superior quality and artistic design it beggars believe as to how the printer made it off the design stage.

"Hey Kids! You wanna print pixellated stickers of your Pokemans?! Then buy our overpriced soon-to-be-obsotete dohickey!"
However I'm going off on a tangent so back to the camera. The one good thing about the camera was that it came with mini-games, 4 to be exact. 1st was a Space shooter, nothing special until you got to the end when a gigantic pixellated effigy of whoever you took a picture of would appear as the end boss. It would be prudent at this point to explain how this works, somewhere in the options you can take four portrait pictures of someone (or something like a hand giving you a one finger salute), these images would then be used in all of the games alternating depending on your actions, so for example if you got hit the fourth image would appear.

The second game was this impossible race game where you are a runner against a bird and a mole. You have to mash the B button to run and the A button to jump, suffice to say it hurt your hand like all hell. The best I got was second place due to the mole being CRAZY fast.

The third game was a simple juggling game, all you do is move your hands around a la Game and watch to juggle three balls, which is also the best way of describing this game, balls.

Finally there was a DJ game, I never got the hang of it and I have no idea how it works.

Finally there is the editing software, you could add devil horns to peoples faces which is funny for 3 minutes but to be honest there was noting special about it.

So in conclusion the Game Boy Camera in my humble opinion was one of the worst thing's Nintendo made, sure it was functional but consider the time. It was the ending of the 90s (which I consider to have ended at 9/11), the world was moving into the new millennium and so was technology; if you told a guy ten years ago that you could play NES games in the palm of your hand they'd laugh at you, however not only was gaming advancing but so were cameras, digital cameras to be exact, no longer did you need to send off those rolls of film to get your holiday snaps (In fact I think old style cameras needs an article itself). More people could afford disposable cameras and some people were now buying digital ones where you could print off pictures instantly.

So the question is, why buy a Game Boy Camera and Printer when all you need is a regular camera for about the same price? Granted, you don't get to print off stickers with a bog standard camera, but for the price of the Game Boy, Camera, and Printer combined you could buy a new fanged 'digital' camera and special computer paper if you had a strange disease where you needed to stick pictures of yourself with devil horns all over your body.

In conclusion the Game Boy camera was not only a disappointment for me but due to it's very limited use had no real reason to exist in the first place, which is a shame. It's not as big a foul up as the Virtual Boy (as I said, it's functional), but that nevertheless makes it a failed Nintendo experiment.
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