17 January 17, 2014
What’s inside a Gameboy Game?
Almost every person I know has seen a Gameboy game or knows what it is. But how many people actually know what’s inside of it and what makes it work? Last summer I had that same question and started taking apart and repairing some of my own games and found it very interesting. That is why for my first design assignment I will be taking apart a Gameboy game, more specifically Pokémon Gold Version, and describing what it is made of.
First I will be covering the cosmetic parts of the game cartridge. The case itself measures about three inches by two inches and is made of glittery gold plastic. It has a smooth but durable feel. I think the plastic itself is most likely made in japan just like every other component of the game. ...view middle of the document...
On the sides of the cartridge near the top are indented grips for pulling the cartridge in and out of the system. The final indentation of the plastic is the upper right hand corner missing a small piece. This is actually only necessary for use on the original Gameboy because that’s where the power switch moved to. The final characteristic of the plastic that is important is the actually on the inside of the cartridge where the circuit board is located it has a tiny notch to hold the game in place. This is interesting because it is what allows the cartridge to be whole and for the particle board to not move which is the exact nature of a cartridge and what makes them so simple.
The other cosmetic part of the cartridge is the actual sticker on the front that tells you what game it is, and some other regulatory information. The sticker is sleek and shiny just like the plastic, and its color coordination is very appealing to the eye. It details the game title, the company who licensed the game (Nintendo), the ESRB rating, and has the official Nintendo Seal of Quality.
The second part I will be covering is the circuits board aka the brains of the cartridge where the actual game itself is stored. The board has the standard array of transistors, a cell battery, and four black blocks. One of the black blocks serves as Random access memory for the game where your saved files are kept. The other black blocks store memory and I’m fairly certain they are where the game file itself is kept. The fundamental system of the circuit board is the gold connector pins at the bottom. These are what connect the game cartridge the actual Gameboy you are playing it on. These are what people are trying to clean when blowing into a cartridge.
The design and placement of the parts of a cartridge are really what makes it unique and what gives a cartridge its identity. Hopefully now you can have a better understanding of what’s actually inside a Gameboy game.