Did Blowing Into Nintendo Cartridge Help?

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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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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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