Four Shades of Green: The GameBoy Camera

Grant Wythoff is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, and a Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

He studies the history and philosophy of media technologies, twentieth century American literature, and digital approaches to humanities research. Specifically, he is interested in the ways people think through tools, especially when those tools are highly complex, broken, or brand new, compelling their users to imagine new uses and new possibilities.

His current research project is a cultural history of the gadget in twentieth century America.

He is also completing a critical edition of essays and fiction by Hugo Gernsback titled The Perversity of Things: Writings on Media, Tinkering, and Scientifiction, forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press’s Electronic Mediations series. He is co-founder of the Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities at Columbia Univerity


One of the most prominent disciplinary languages we've seen emerge in the past five years to assess media historical curiosities like the GameBoy camera is media archaeology. But what is the relationship of media archaeology to the discipline of archaeology proper? How would an archaeologist of the future use an object like the Game Boy Camera to understand the culture of the past? As a gesture toward interdisciplinary exchange between these two fields, this talk walks through several different archaeological approaches to the Game Boy Camera as a case study, including use-wear analysis, the theory of technofunctional variation, and the interpretation of cultural form and functional adaptation.


Explore the original presentation images

Meredith Bak

The Gameboy Camera in 1990s
Kids' Media Culture

Demaray & JOHNSTON

The One Bit
Projector Project


Two Steps Forward,
Three Steps Back