If you haven’t heard of the Workboy accessory for the Game Boy this week, then you’re younger than me. Seriously though, this week a big piece of retro gaming news broke. After 28 years with nothing but a prototype shown, someone found a working Workboy for the original Nintendo Game Boy, and got it working with the software that was seemingly lost forever. I don’t want to retell the entire story to you because someone put a lot of effort into the video below to do all that. Please watch it, it’s a piece of gaming history that everyone needs to enjoy. After that, read on to see me tackle whether this accessory would be practical today.
My first games console was a Nintendo Game Boy. I still own it, and it still works. While I barely ever play it, I love it for what it represents about this industry. It was so popular that companies were making mad accessories like the Workboy for it. This was a periphery that was so out there that it would definitely have made some money, it was just a little too late in terms of the market.
When I realised what this accessory did, I started thinking about whether it would work in 2021. The thing is, a Game boy is about as cheap today as it’s ever been. I can get one for £10 if I spend an hour searching and bidding on Ebay. If I were able to use it as a calculator, currency converter, and language reference, I would be using it in my day to day life. I’m a bit weird like that though. There are apps and websites that do all of that stuff for you now.
However, if you needed to convert currency, or check a phrase, and you were on a plane where you’re not allowed to access the internet, you’d be screwed. With the Workboy though, you could easily do all of those things and more. You could even set an alarm to tell you when to start packing away because you’re coming to the end of the flight. Sure, it would be hugely impractical 99% of the time, but for that 1% that it matters, this accessory could still just about be relevant today.