Evolution of portable gaming: Part I

I’ve been a gamer for a very long time.  I was lucky as a kid: We had an Atari 2600 in the house for as long as I can remember.  I also remember going to Gemco and getting our Atari 5200.  I sat in the back seat talking to it telling it that we were going to have such fun playing games on it (in my defense, I was 6 at the time, but my sister still made fun of me for doing it).

In  late 1989, I first saw the Atari Lynx (link to Wikipedia if you’re not familiar with it).  The demonstration I saw was two guys playing California Games via the ComLynx cable.  This thing was amazing!  It had full color, was a reasonable size, and ran off AA batteries (no pesky downtime to recharge).  I knew that I had to have one right away.

I started squirreling away my allowance to save up for one.  It seemed like it took forever, but I was finally able to wash enough cars and pull enough weeds to get the money together and buy one.  That was the exact moment that started my career of portable gaming.

My cousins came out and visited me and my sister in the summer of 1991.  I was in summer school at the time, but that didn’t stop me from having the Lynx (and spare batteries; good God that thing ate batteries like nobody’s business) with me all summer long.  I remember going to San Diego Wild Animal Park and whipping out the Lynx while my sister and cousins would go and watch the giraffes eating leaves or whatever giraffes do.  After a few years when I was done with the Lynx, I had gone through 2 units and had a library of some 20 games.  I even owned multiple copies of some of the multiplayer ones so I could play with friends!

I still have my Lynx and all the games in a carrying case in my desk at home.  Maybe I’ll put some fresh batteries in it tonight when I get home and see if it still works.

Stay tuned as I discuss how portable gaming has evolved for me personally, and some of my thoughts on portable gaming in society.

Until then, I’d like to hear back from you guys in the comments.  What was your first portable gaming experience?  What system(s) do you own, or have you owned in the past?  What is a memorable portable game that you remember spending so much time playing?  How much trouble did you get in with your parents for taking your gaming system everywhere?  Let me know!

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Author: TimSpeedle View all posts by
  • Just to start out with AWESOME post. I’m very excited about the rest of the series. Portable gaming gets a bad word. My first potable system was an original Game Boy. It was really bad by the way. I then moved into a Sega Game Gear. I thought that was an amazing little system at the time. After that I strayed away from poratable gaming and got back into it when I bought a Game Boy Adavance. From that point on I have had all the portable systems except the PSP, Game Boy Micro and N-gage. By the way I was able to take my system where I wanted and never got in any trouble.

  • Just to start out with AWESOME post. I’m very excited about the rest of the series. Portable gaming gets a bad word. My first potable system was an original Game Boy. It was really bad by the way. I then moved into a Sega Game Gear. I thought that was an amazing little system at the time. After that I strayed away from poratable gaming and got back into it when I bought a Game Boy Adavance. From that point on I have had all the portable systems except the PSP, Game Boy Micro and N-gage. By the way I was able to take my system where I wanted and never got in any trouble.

  • Chainer

    Excellently written. On topic however, I started back in the day playing Tetris on the original Game Boy. It hooked me something fierce, and I have owned every Game Boy titled machine short of the Micro. I had a PSP for awhile, but was let down by a poor catalog of games. The single most played portable game for me is a tie between the Pokemon Series and the Harvest Moon series. I can still remember when I popped in the first ones of each series.

  • Chainer

    Excellently written. On topic however, I started back in the day playing Tetris on the original Game Boy. It hooked me something fierce, and I have owned every Game Boy titled machine short of the Micro. I had a PSP for awhile, but was let down by a poor catalog of games. The single most played portable game for me is a tie between the Pokemon Series and the Harvest Moon series. I can still remember when I popped in the first ones of each series.

  • xDFx skeletor

    i remember the first handheld i bought was a game boy brick with super mario land i played that thing for i dont know how long.

  • xDFx skeletor

    i remember the first handheld i bought was a game boy brick with super mario land i played that thing for i dont know how long.

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  • JurassicJohnGT

    nice even know am 18yrs old

    i had all the Atari systems passed down to me
    played every game my uncles and parents had for them
    gotta say looking back it was sweet lol
    but awesome post