The history of handheld sports in 26 acts

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mattelfootball

Harry McCracken’s unfortunately titled article, Smallball, is a round-up of all of those great handheld video games we all played on the toilet back in the 1980s and 90s as well as a few classics from decades past.

From the blip-gasmic Mattel Electronics Pocket Football, above, to the little baseball game we all loved, these things remind us that sports and hand-held entertainment were conflated to such a degree for so long mostly because handheld game play was, in a way, rules-based and simple and, in another way, horrible. I mean just because the thing was sitting around the coffee table while you were stoned didn’t make any of the Mattel games any easier understand or play.

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