Game Boy Camera gets new life as a low-resolution, highly impractical webcam: Digital Photography Review
Hardware modder, retro gaming enthusiast and Everyday Carry co-founder Bernard Capulong has come to the rescue of an anonymous Redditor who recently expressed their desire for pettiness on the social media platform. The result? A video demonstrating the use of an old Game Boy camera as a modern, live webcam.
On Tuesday, September 1, a Redditor known only by the handle ‘/u/eye_for_an_homunculi’ posted a question on the Game Boy subreddit: is it possible to use an old Game Boy camera as a webcam? The reason, Homunculi explained, was to use the camera as a type of petty ‘gotcha’ in protest of ‘a long list of insane rules’ he or she had to follow when taking an online exam.
It didn’t take long before Capulong dropped a comment demonstrating that it is possible; he shared an image of his setup, as well as video captured using the Game Boy camera as a webcam. The process is expensive if you don’t have the right hardware and fairly convoluted, Capulong explained, making it quite impractical but nonetheless fun.
According to the video demonstrating the project, the Game Boy camera is run off a Super Game Boy 2, the adapter cartridge used to play Game Boy games on the Super Nintendo (SNES) for a bigger-screen experience. Things get a bit more complicated from there, however.
According to Capulong, the adapter cartridge is used with the Analog Super NT, an FPGA-based SNES that includes an HDMI for use with modern displays. Using this HDMI-out functionality, Capulong ran the video signal to an Avermedia Live Gamer ULTRA external capture card, which was then connected to a Windows laptop over USB-C.
Naturally, some interested users wanted to know whether it is possible to do this setup with the OEM SNES console, which quite obviously does not have an HDMI port. In response, Capulong said that while it is technically possible, it would require more effort, including an upscaler cable that would be able to deliver an HDMI signal to the capture card, ultimately increasing the cost and effort involved.
The end result is a novelty that isn’t very useful — many modern webcam applications include filters that could simulate the low-resolution appearance without the convoluted setup and extra costs. With that said, going with the more practical option is considerably less fun.