A kid’s favorite UI- a Game Boy Advance

As a kid, my favorite UI was my Game Boy Advance. It was my companion on long car rides for many years of family vacations. The handheld size was the only size that allowed me to play in the back seat of a car, and the long battery life made it possible to play for hours (Dourish 19). Unlike a tangible UI that would connect me to the world, it acted as an escape from reality (Dourish 37). I would become so engrossed in games that I would not get motion sickness on windy roads. The technical features made it possible to use in a situation where no other UI would work.

The look and feel also contributed to my love of my Game Boy. The back was shaped to make it clear where to place my hands so my fingers could use all 8 buttons (Dourish 52). The comfort let me forget about any physical limitations. Even the exterior plastic color was important. The color (named “Glacier”) was a translucent blue that made all the internal components visible. As a kid who had received an electronics kit for Christmas the previous year, I was excited to see push-button switches that I recognized from my kit. I had a sense that someday I could understand every component I saw underneath the skin of my Game Boy (Kaptelinin 22). With my Game Boy, I could both escape the world and hope for a future where I could control every detail of my games.

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