Blowing on NES Cartridges

Photo courtesy of Boule De

Thought of the day:

This is for those of you that came of age when the Nintendo Entertainment System was THE gaming system.

Do you all remember how the cartridges would stop working and the screen freeze? Remember how we all fixed the problem? That’s right, we’d blow on the cartridge and it would magically work again.

My question is this. How did all of us, spread out throughout the country, know that the way to get a game to work was to blow on it? There was no publicly available Internet back then. I doubt Nintendo Power printed anything about it. How did we do it? It’s like when in history that the same inventions  crop up at almost the same time, among different cultures spread out far physically from each other that couldn’t possibly have contacted one another.

Any ideas? This one might very well keep me up all night.


11 thoughts on “Blowing on NES Cartridges

  1. I’ve never played any Nintendo game but now I’m intrigued. How *did* we function before the internet? We just leased a Honda Accord and the headrests on the front seats are so annoying.

    It’s my husband’s car (thank Neptune) and it bugging the living shet out of him. He’s found numerous complaints on the web. He’s also found Honda’s reply — it’s safer in a crash and prevents whiplash.

    I can’t remember if my husband said all 2010 Hondas have that headrest now or all vehicles built since 2010 — regardless of the manufacturer — have that headrest now.

    I am SO glad we bought the van in 2007.

  2. My much older brother (18 years) taught me the trick of blowing on the cartridges when he passed down his old Nintendo to me. He said he learned the trick from his friend.

    Maybe the trick is like the old wives’ tales and legends–it was just passed from person to person. We’ve got lots of legends, myths, stories, wives’ tales, colloquialisms, etc, even though the people who started that stuff didn’t have the internet, either…

  3. i don’t remember blowing on cartridges, i don’t remember ever having seen any of those cartridges and i’m positive that my fingers have never touched a nintendo button, ever.

    but on the philosopher’s side, i think i have an idea.
    there must be a knowledge floating around in space (okay, not so much, but let’s put it this way) and when mankind is ready to get it, it justs gets it.
    no matter where you are, or what you do, you just get it from, let’s say, space.
    it’s a knowledge that is avaiable for all once most of the people are ready to understand and use it.
    that’s my idea 🙂

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