Sunday, April 11, 2010

You're Welcome, eh, Game Genie!

When U.K.-based Camerica Games announced its intent to enter the North American market with the Game Genie, a device allowing players to modify game cartridges temporarily by entering arcane codes, the company was quickly slapped with a lawsuit by Nintendo.  Nintendo's lawyers argued that the product somehow damaged Nintendo's products and/or reputation, and succeeded in keeping it off the market while the civil matter worked its way through the courts.  The lawsuit was eventually dismissed, but cooler heads presumably prevailed in the North and beat the American legal system to the appropriate conclusion, favoring consumer choice over proprietary competitive considerations.  The Game Genie therefore became available in Canada before it showed up in the US.

Camerica was so excited about this development that they ran a full-page ad in Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine.  It's ostensibly a big fat thank you to Canada, but presumably it was also aimed at gamers who lived near the Canadian border and could nip across to pick up a Game Genie for themselves -- because as noted in the ad, it's ONLY AVAILABLE IN CANADA! (hint hint):

I like the handy 80's lexicon near the bottom of the ad... I, like, totally forgot that DRASTIC was part of the slang of my youth... and the fact that the Game Genie was distributed through several unconventional outlets, including Canadian Tire, Den for Men and Bi-Rite Drugs.

I also like the way the ad thumbs its nose at Nintendo.  Camerica produced some fine titles for the NES, completely outside the official licensing system, and the Game Genie was an inventive piece of technology.  The company deserved a moment in the spotlight, even if they had to pay for it themselves.

GENIE'S ALIVE, all right.

RADICAL, indeed.

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