Did Blowing Into Nintendo Cartridge Help?

Like many of us, when Chris Higgins was young, he blew into his Nintendo game cartridge to make it work. But did blowing really help? Now a grown man, Chris looked into the subject matter and consulted with several experts to find the real truth:

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. 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.“

Read the rest over at mental_floss: Link


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"Prior to the NES I don’t recall people blowing into Atari or any other cartridge-based hardware that predated the NES "
We totally did. On our Commodore 64 too.
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No one told me to blow in the cartridges. They just tended to visibly collect dust, you would have trouble getting it to run, look in there, and see a lot of dust. Dust is actually not very conductive so I'm not sure why it sounds silly to the guy. I agree that blowing didn't really work better than just reseating though.
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