Childhood = Ruined: The Ol’ “Blow on the NES Cartridge Trick” a Hoax!

Apparently, someone out there is being paid to completely ruin and destroy everything that I have believed my whole entire life.  Somebody actually told somebody else to research whether or not blowing into those old NES cartridges actually helped the game to work better or not.  Couldn’t just leave well enough alone, could you?  And what’s worse is they paid them to fake the results, telling us that our very air is poisonous to that little plumber who did so much for us while we were growing up.  Ha, like I’m going to believe that the moisture in your breath is bad for the copper pins on the cartridge.  If you’re going to lie, at least try to make it sound scientific! Psh.  Keep reading to see more of the so-called science that went into this stupid experiment.

Viturello: “It was very much a hive-mind kind of thing, something that all kids did, and many still do on modern cartridge based systems. Prior to the NES I don’t recall people blowing into Atari or any other cartridge-based hardware that predated the NES (though that likely spoke to the general reliability of that hardware versus the dreaded front-loading Nintendo 72 Pin connectors). I suppose it has a lot to do with the placebo effect. US NES hardware required, on most games, optimal connection across up to 72 pins as well as communication with a security lock-out chip. The theory that ‘dust’ could be a legitimate inhibitor and that ‘blowing it out’ was the solution, still sounds silly to me when I say it out loud.

Higgins: “Why would blowing into the cartridges have any effect? It feels like it works, sometimes.”

Viturello: “While there are some collectors/enthusiasts who will defend their position that the moisture in human breath will likely cause no damage to an NES cartridge, based on what I’ve personally seen over the past 20 years, I not only disagree with them, but feel strongly that the connection/correlation between blowing into an NES cartridge and the potential for long-term effects including wear, corrosion of the metal contacts, mold/mildew growth, is sound logic.

So suddenly “sound logic” is supposed to take the place of millions of years of tradition? “Games haven’t been around for millions of years.”  Don’t you start with me too!

So, Viturello, if that’s even your real name, why did the games suddenly start working when I put them back in, huh?

Viturello:“So, WHY does blowing into a cartridge have any effect? I’m not a scientist and I don’t have any real empirical evidence, but I’m happy to speculate. The most reasonable explanations — in my opinion — are: 1.) The act of removing, blowing in, and re-seating a cartridge most likely creates another random opportunity for the connection to be better made. So removing the cartridge 10 times and putting back in without blowing on it might net the exact same results as blowing on it between each time. And 2.) The moisture that occurs when you blow into a cartridge has some type of immediate effect on the electrical connection that occurs. Either the moisture helps to eliminate/move any debris/chemical buildup that has occurred when the contacts and the pin-readers rub together, or the moisture increases conductivity to a degree that it can send the data through any existing matter that was previously interfering with the connection. Those are my best theories.”

That’s it.  I’m officially sad for America.  Tradition is dead and we might as well all give up.  No more choo-choo train spoons, UFC or Slapsgiving meals.  4th of July will soon become a thing of the past as these guys become the leaders of our bicycle gangs and underground Tamagotchi black markets.  Just give up now and go eat your vegetables.  It’s over.




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