How Gamers Took Screenshots in the 90s

Nowadays, capturing images from video of games is essentially effortless. If you’re using a modern console (or playing old classics on an emulator) the perfect screenshot is just a button press away.

In the 90s, however, getting a shot of your favorite game could get pretty complicated. These screen capturing instructions (from the March ’97 issue of Nintendo Power) show just how difficult capturing an image could be:

Good Photo Bad Photo

Of course, anyone that took pictures in the 90s knows that these instructions were just the tip of the iceberg. Although digital cameras existed in the 90s, film cameras still dominated the market. If you wanted to show off your Mario Kart times — or any other gaming accomplishment — you had to find a camera with film, keep taking shots until the roll was finished, and then pay to have your film developed. After that, all you could do was hope that a few of your images turned out.

The 90s produced some of the best games of all time. Titles like NBA Jam and Super Mario Kart were endlessly addictive; games like Super Mario 64 and GoldenEye 007 changed the face of gaming forever.  But unfortunately, the 90s didn’t produce a lot of impressive video game photographs.

As a result, many high scores and incredibly feats exist only as blurry, Bigfoot-esque snapshots.

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