Justin and Justina make up The New Leaf Journal’s fictional Brooklyn-based dialogue duo. We have featured many of their adventures in the pages of the instant magazine. You can find their series archive here. In today’s dialogue we discover that Justina, who is not known for playing video games, has acquired a Nintendo Switch. Why did Justina acquire a Switch? What will Justin, who has some experience with video games, have to say? Read on to find out, and be sure to check out more of their adventures if you enjoy the content.
(Aside: See my author’s note at the end of the dialogue for my own Game Boy story and see how it compares to Justin’s.)
Justin and Justina are not together on a hot August day in Brooklyn (although recall that Justin maintains that heat is a state of mind). Justina sends Justin a chat message (Justin receives the message with JMP Chat).
Justin: What happened!?
Justina: I bought a Nintendo Switch. What do I do with it?
Justin: You kinds with your new-fangled toys.
Justina: …You have a Switch. And a PlaySystem.
Justin: Station Justina.
Justina: And you were telling me about DM games on Smoke or something.
Justin: DRM-free games on Steam.
Justina: So why are you scoffing at me!? I don’t know what to do with this thing.
Justin: Back in my day, we were happy with Game Boys.
Justina: I remember those. I saw a few and liked the colors.
Justin: I got the big ‘ole brick one with a yellow screen.
Justina: Why was the screen yellow?
Justin: Yellowish-green, Justina.
Justina: You just said yellow…
Justin: Came in a clear plastic box. Heavy, because it was big.
Justin: You know what game I got with it?
Justin: How old do you think I am?
Justina: But you said that was your favorite game.
Justin: That would have only been my first game if I was Japanese. I’m older than that.
Justin: Are you ready for this?
Justina: Just tell me.
Justin: Kirby’s Block Ball. Oh man. What a riot.
Justina: Isn’t Kirby the little round guy?
Justin: Yeah. They put him in a breakout clone.
Justina: I hate breakouts.
Justin: Wasn’t really anything like the mainline games. Was kind of surprised when I popped in Kirby’s Dream Land next.
Justin: Also got into Tetris.
Justina: I heard of that one!
Justin: Then I got a pink Game Boy Pocket.
Justina: Why another?
Justin: Smaller, better screen, half the batteries. But then I got a Game Boy Light.
Justin: Japan-only. Backlit screen.
Justina: You just said you’re not Japanese.
Justin: Then a Game Boy Color. Pink.
Justina: A pink Game Boy Color?
Justin: From the Toys ‘R Us in Manhattan.
Justina: But you lived in Brooklyn…
Justin: But anyway, you kids – you just don’t know what it’s like.
Justina: I’m slightly older than you.
Justin: Just get a Switch. Fancy graphics. No replacing batteries. Dock it or play handheld. It even emulates Nintendo 64 games now. Disgusting. You don’t deserve it. You need to work your way up. Does yours dock?
Justin: Is it actually a Switch or that Switch Lite nonsense that doesn’t Switch? Those don’t last long. Victor would know. They don’t make controllers like they used to.
Justina: There’s a black thing that came with it. Is that a dock?
Justin: Thank goodness. You got the real one.
Justina: There are fakes?
Justin: A Switch that does not switch is a lie.
Justina: I’m confused.
Justin: But it’s too soon for you. You need to pay your dues. You know Game Boy games are in again.
Justina: So I have it in the dock?
Justin: Then plug it in and attach the HDMI.
Justin: Use the joy-cons but I’ll give you a spare real controller. Those things are too small.
Justina: These things on the side.
Justin: Yes, but see? You didn’t learn the basics with Game Boy. This is why you’re lost. You even skipped the DS era!
Justina: I’m making an account.
Justin: Why did you buy a Switch anyway? You never sounded interested in games.
Justina: It was 2 AM and I was scrolling through Instagram while going through a bout of self-loathing. You know, hating yourself and everything at 2 AM, it’s interesting. You should try it. Anyway, I saw someone with a Switch in a short video (what’s with all these videos, it’s like TikTok now) and then you know, one click on Amazon and it was on the way.
Justin: Regular Instagram was bad enough. I should have thought about the effect that the TikTok-ification of it would have on you and physically cut your internet until we ban TikTok and things like TikTok.
Justina: It didn’t make me feel better at first but then I thought about how irritating you would find it for me to just go and buy one on my own after ignoring you for years.
Justin: That’s why I’m here.
Justina: That made me feel a little bit better.
Justin: Did you get any games?
Justina: It came with Mario Kart.
Justina: What? Is it not good?
Justin: No, it’s pretty awesome. You know Marie plays too. I’ll get her in on this.
Justina: She does?
Justin: Indeed. This will be clutch.
Justina: Wait, why are you telling me things I did not know about my friend from high school?
Justin: Surprising because we usually just talk about how strange you are.
Justin: You’re going to give an example in the next line.
Justina: Where do I put the cartridge?
Justin: Not as good as I thought…
Justina: Hey, does Pumtake play?
(Note: Pumtake is “Justina’s” pet guinea pig that she entrusted to Justin.)
Justin: That’s more like it. I’ll buy you an online account so we can get started.
Justin: No checking Instagram while we’re playing.
N.A. Ferrell: Like Justin, my first Game Boy was the original giant Game Boy with the yellow-green screen (acquired in 1996). It did indeed come in a plastic box. My first game was Kirby’s Block Ball. At the time I did not know who Kirby was or what the main Kirby games were like. Because I enjoyed Kirby’s Block Ball, my second game was Kirby’s Dream Land (acquired at The Wiz), which was indeed quite a bit different. I also went from Game Boy to Game Boy Pocket to Game Boy Color. Unlike Justin, I never had a Game Boy Light. I almost did though. Despite the fact that Game Boy Light was a Japan-exclusive, there was an electronics shop in Brooklyn that had one for $50 and I almost asked for it because I liked collecting old consoles (I did eventually get a Sega Saturn and the small model original Nintendo Entertainment System at that shop, both of which I still have). My Game Boy was gray, my Game Boy Pocket was transluscent gray, and my Game Boy Color was purple (not pink, but I made up for it with my desktop computer).