Mental Floss article by: Chris Higgins
Excerpt: First up, Vince Clemente, producer of Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters — a documentary about players of the classic NES Tetris. Clemente said, “[Blowing in the cartridge] is actually terrible for the games and makes the contacts rust. You’re really not supposed to do it. But it works. [laughs]” This sums up the problem: although intellectually we knew that blowing into electronics was bad, we did it anyway. It seemed to work.
So I turned to another authority, Frankie Viturello, who is one of the hosts of the gaming show Digital Press Webcast among many other gaming-related projects — he also worked in a game store for years. Viturello’s first response was: “While I admittedly may have dabbled in a little cartridge-blowing as a naive NES-playing youth, I’ve long-since been an advocate for not doing it with the stance that for whatever it may do to aid in the temporary functionality of an NES, it ultimately opens the door for damage and distress to the hardware.” So I went deeper — in the following mini-interview, I have added emphasis in various places.
Higgins: “How did this lore about blowing into the cartridges spread across the US?”
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.
Read full article here at Mental Floss
Posted on Saturday, November 17th 2012