Many people think Nintendo's attempts to lure an "expanded audience" to gaming began with the Wii and DS. Not so. This magazine advertisement from way back in 1992 shows Nintendo with their marketing lasers pointed directly at Mom and Dad. Or at least anyone subject to the soul-crushing routines of work. Check out the full text below.
"Have you had your fun today?
Sure, you did everything you were supposed to do today. That's what adults do. Because they're responsible. They want people to like them. And give them paychecks.
And then one day they go berserk, and spend money they don't have on a car they can't pronounce. Don't let this happen to you. Get your fun in easy daily doses with Game Boy®, the personal game-playing system from Nintendo®.
But it's a toy, you're thinking, I couldn't possibly be interested. Oh yeah? Golf. Interested? Golf on Game Boy requires the judgement and skill of the real thing, and you can play it anywhere. So you can get in a quick nine on the way to work, without having to tell your boss your car broke down.
But golf is just one of over a hundred game catridges to choose from. There's a full range of sports, puzzle and adventure games as well. And the first cartridge is on us. It's Tetris, the jigsaw puzzle that fights back.
Look, it's no secret that having fun everyday makes you a happier person. If that doesn't appeal to you, find someone who's not as hopelessly grown-up as you are, get them a Nintendo Game Boy system and stand back. If all that fun still leaves you cold, we remind you, there's a day planner for Game Boy as well."
A few notes of interest…
Taken from Issue 626 of Rolling Stone, March 19th, 1992. Cover: Wayne and Garth from "Wayne's World," the movie. Price: $2.95
Best line from ad: "And then one day they go berserk, and spend money they don't have on a car they can't pronouce."
Best dramatic use of concision: "Oh yeah? Golf. Interested?"
Product I did not know existed: Game Boy had a day-planner? As Wayne might have said, "I did not know that."
Interesting tidbit for history fans: Remember the Tetris brouhaha? Check out the copyright information at the bottom of the ad. After the name "Tetris" in the text itself, there's an asterisk. Here's what the footnote says: "TM and © Elorg Licensed by B.P.S. sublicensed by Nintendo. © 1989 B.P.S. / Nintendo. Original concept, design and program by Alexey Pazhitnov. ® & TM Nintendo © 1992 Nintendo." Readers of Game Over by David Sheff will recognize some of the names, such as B.P.S. or Bullet-Proof Software. Anyway, this convoluted small print is a neat little piece of evidence from the infamous licensing mess that resulted in the industry-wide fiasco over Tetris rights.