Why Your Brain Kept Tellling You To Blow Into NES Catridges

Why Your Brain Kept Tellling You to Blow into NES Catridges

We all know that blowing into an NES cartridge is a useless and potentially harmful activity. But why did we still do it, even though it never actually worked? Science has the answer.

The folks at It's OK To Be Smart have a pretty comprehensive breakdown about the psychology behind everyone's favourite NES habit. One tiny fact they missed though: blowing into your NES cartridge is actually a badass magic spell that imbues your game with magic powers. A wizard told me, trust me.

It's OK To Be Smart via The Mary Sue


    but it DID work on the SNES, amirite?

      It certainly did on the N64.

        I never had a problem with the N64, but then I haven't actually used one lately

      Yep, I have hard evidence that it definitely worked on the SNES.

        It might have temporarily cleared dust, but you were still doing long term damage with your saliva/moisture in your breath.

          My SNES carts still work, so how long term are we talking here?

            Difficult to test, but I'd wager that they don't work quite as reliably as they did when new.

              What does?

                I'm suggesting that they would be more reliable today if WhitePointer had merely taken the cartridge out then put it back in again than if he had blown on the connectors.

    There was none of this new-age hippy dippy "blowing doesn't actually do anything" type thinking in those days, it was hindsight and a bit of research that led to the discovery that blowing in the cartridge didn't do anything. I learned that here on Kotaku 2 years ago. It was the act of removing the cartridge and reinserting that gave the pins a chance to connect, but because we all blew on it before reinserting we thought the blowing did the trick. In those days I was kid who just wanted to play some Metroid, I didn't give a firetruck minus iretr as to whether the blowing really worked. It seemed to work, so we all did it, understandable.

    Well it sort of worked. Except it wasn't the blowing that actually did it, it was more just the repositioning of the cartridge which happened by taking it out and putting it back in again. I had the 64 start to get finicky and not work if the cartridge was resting against the back of the slot, but turn it off, push it towards the front, turn it on and it'd work. No blowing required.

    Naww, I call BS on this one. I BELIEVE.

    While I don't disagree about the electric fan part, the reason you die in old style Korean housing is the heating system which can cause a build up of carbon monoxide so if there is not adequate ventilation... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondol

    On the NES, you had to blow into the console as well.

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