Home After 34 years, the Gulf War Gameboy finally leaves active service and returns to Nintendo HQ

After 34 years, the Gulf War Gameboy finally leaves active service and returns to Nintendo HQ

Wars are not generally full of stories that can make you smile, but the tale of the Gulf War Gameboy has always interested many.

Having launched in 1989, less than one year later, one particular Gameboy found itself in a warzone, presumably in the hands of young American soldiers who had been deployed during Desert Storm.

Its owner, Stephen Scoggins – a registered nurse from Oklahoma who was stationed in the Middle East told The Verge that the machine was damaged in a fire when the tent burned down. There had been a bombing at the location, but it was the dire that damaged it.

Stephen originally sent his damaged Gameboy to Nintendo Power magazine in 1991 and they sent him a replacement for his service. Somewhere along the way the Gameboy, which incredibly still works, ended up at the flagship Nintendo Store in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, on display and became the subject of many a photo and stories of urban legend.

However, it seems to now have finally finished its tour of duty and a shopworker confirmed that it had been sent to Nintendo’s main headquarters in Washington state.

Gulf War Gameboy
The top of the Gameboy seems to have somehow avoided damage.

I’ve repaired and modded a fair few Nintendo Gameboys in my time and they have always been resilient little things that could often be brought back to life. The screens were always the issue and this one seems to have taken most of its damage on the back and sides of the case, but it is still remarkable that the heat did not kill it completely.

Hopefully, this little piece of unique gaming history won’t just find its way onto somebody’s shelf at home, or be locked in a store cupboard somewhere.

As a display piece covering not only the Gulf War but significant gaming history, we would love to see this particular Gameboy on permanent display somewhere soon. Come on Nintendo, do the right thing.

Images courtesy of Sean Hollister

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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