The only thing that can dampen a ‘90s nostalgia trip is seeing an old, beloved gadget fall victim to the cruelty of time, specifically the degradation of a consumer electronic device until the point it barely works properly and is covered head to toe in grime. And gadgets as old as the original Nintendo Game Boy, which came out in 1989, tend not to hold up too well unless they’ve been lovingly cared for and protected from harm over the years.
Thankfully, there are those brave souls out there willing to revive these fallen devices, and YouTube channel Odd Tinkering has done just that to Nintendo’s first handheld. Detailed in a nearly 15-minute video posted last month, and resurfaced yesterday by Gizmodo, Odd Tinkering’s Game Boy restoration project is a meditative experience for Nintendo fans.
Not only is it aesthetically pleasing to watch the half-working, dirt-encrusted Game Boy be brought back to life step by step, but Odd Tinkering’s fantastic mic setup turns the whole video into a borderline ASMR affair. The video has no music or voice over, so you’re left with only the sounds of the restorer’s handiwork in action, including everything from the crunchy pop of AA batteries being pressed out of their plastic case to the accelerated noises of turning screws when he pops the internal circuitboards out so he can water bath the case in hydrogen peroxide.
Odd Tinkering gives a detailed explanation of the work in the video’s description, detailing how he solders missing lines in the broken screen back to life and his process for cleaning every part of the case and its various components.
The description says the whole restoration took around 15 to 20 hours in total, but he cautions against trying it at home unless you’re willing to break your Game Boy; he mail ordered his already mucked up straight from Japan. “This is not a tutorial but a piece of entertainment,” reads the description, “and something to give you inspiration what to find out before starting project like this.”