Tuesday, January 10, 2017

GameShark for 32-bit consoles (1997)

Original ad published in the January 1997 edition of GamePro (no. 100)

Press to view or download image in higher resolution.

Risqué advert for a risqué product 

During the latter half of the 90s, a curious device called the GameShark appeared for 32-bit consoles. A direct successor to the GameGenie, this new contraptions would let you modify the code of practically every video game to achieve more lives, stamina, ammo, etc. Its printed add followed that same devious path.

You can't analyze the GameShark, released in 1995, without knowing that this was possibly the last great liberal era of our time. Various video game magazines would routinely run adds like the one you see above and no one would bat an eye. We'd get women in barely see-through clothes, profanity and lots of sexual innuendo. It's unthinkable for these ads to be seen in printed or online video game media today. 

The now defunct peripheral would connect via a port of the memory card slot of your system and work in conjunction with it to allow you to circumvent the programmers original code. This was a godsend for pirates everywhere that used the GS to bypass the console's various security mechanisms. I now this firsthand by a second-hand PS2 that was sold to me with various copies of games that would run thanks to the 'Shark. Companies were not very happy with Madcatz, the developers, and the peripheral does not exists anymore.

This is the original two-page spread of the ad.
Still, we have the great advert you see here. It's an interesting relic from a time gone by. It's just plain white with serif font. The sexual innuendo is there, playing on what would be a sex-ed class or government publicity. This was featured on the third and second to last pages of the PG-13 GamePro, which makes it even more interesting. 

Game Shark print ad copy

Friends don't let friends play unprotected.

It's risky out there. Too often people lose their lives or damage their health for no reason.
Smart gamers make sure they use the GameShark.

Responsibly select from pre-programmed or easily updated codes for infinite health, endless ammo, extra speed and more. It's your choice.

With space for thousands of codes, GameSharks provide extra endurance that keeps you going.
Rule the hottest games and revive old ones.

Play hard-you're covered.

PlayStation GameShark Available now
Sega Saturn Available now
Nintendo 64 GameShark Coming soon

www.gameshark.com(site no longer works)

GameShark Hotline
For the latest codes: 1-900-773-shark
Call costs $1-29 per minute. Must be at east 18 years of age or have parent's permission to call.

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