Snow & Video Game Cartridges

December 15, 2008

Why, why, why must it snow? A whole inch, although half of it is gone.

And its cold. Like low 30’s cold.

Here’s the part where I plea for some mercy from Zeus, but I can’t come up with anything clever, because well, if I were to be in Chicago, things would be much worse. Ah, stupid optimism.

(insert witty transistion here)

For whatever reason, the topic of why people blew on video game cartridges has come up a few times the last couple days, so I decided to investigate the true reason.

It appears issue of the cartridges was partly due to the accumulation of dust, as according to Videogamey,

"Though they were considered to be practically indestructible compared to scratch-prone CDs, video game cartridges would sometimes simply stop working. Especially in the NES and Sega Genesis era, an aging, dust-prone game console would sometimes simply not boot up the cartridge you inserted."

Dust accumulated on both the cartridge and system, and the process of taking cartridges out and putting them back, was probably what was actually getting things to work. It is true that blowing increased

"conductivity on the cartridge contacts by lining them with a thin (on in some cases a thick) layer of moisture by way of human breath (spit, bacteria, and whatever else is in the person's mouth doing the blowing ... yuck)." ([DP]([ Mythbusters](

However, if you’ve seen the cartridges and system, the contacts were fairly large, so its likely there was an accumulation of dust that was worsened by the accumulation of crap from your mouth, which in turn degraded the contacts even more.

cue shooting star