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The Game Boy Advance is good. But it could be better. Evidenced by the tinkering of one eccentric YouTuber, what if the handheld console was wider, longer, and generally larger than Nintendo ever wanted it to be?
The Retro Future (also known as Elliot Coll) has over 61 million views on their channel where they restore old Game Boys to their former glory, like this rare Pokémon one, creating custom units for fellow content creators, and showing off strange accessories for the classic handheld console. It's no secret that the game industry has an issue with preservation and archiving, so it's awesome to see a modder and engineer like Coll give this project their all and share the final product with their fans.
"Historically, games haven't really considered themselves as being a cultural industry," said Iain Simons, director of culture at the National Videogame Museum, in our chat with him after it was announced that the PlayStation 3, Portable and Vita stores were set to close. "It's literally baked into their business model that the next game is always the most exciting one, the one you really need to have - and that the previous one is now obsolete."
Taking this Game Boy Advance apart, watch how The Retro Future turns it into something that is similar to a teeny tiny Switch. Even if you don't understand why, you've got to give them props for the effort.
So, this Wide Boy Advance is actually two consoles that have been chopped up and glued together. Obviously, the YouTuber has access to all of the required tools to complete this project and still have all ten of their fingers at the end, so don't try this at home, kids. Watching the thing take form is actually rather relaxing but I know there's a handful of you who will skip to the end of the video, you cool cats.
"Hours of precise sanding, priming, filling, more sanding, crying, breathing, sanding" were needed to ensure that the two consoles could be stuck together to become the new wider shell. Then the console's PCB had to be extended to accommodate the size of the handheld and, you know, actually function so that the user can play their favourite games.
Gazing upon the transformed console, commenters are shocked with how good it looks. "I thought someone has literally made an official shell," said Awakened Spirit. "Are you aware of the fact that these works of yours cross over into the field of art rather than modding? That is, to build an object for the sheer pleasure of doing it and enjoying its form, which has no function other than to exist... This IS art, Elliot, no kidding," added Luca Blight. So here you have it. The Wide Boy Advance is: art.
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