Remember this thing? Nintendo's 1998 Game Boy Camera plugged into the classic handheld gaming system and let you snap black-and-white pictures of whatever you wanted. You could use the images in simple games or print them out on stickers via a Game Boy Printer.
But a few developers had something a bit more nefarious in mind, according to a new documentary about the game "Perfect Dark." That bestselling Nintendo 64 shooter was a successor to "Goldeneye" and made by many of the same people, but it featured more advanced gameplay -- including a curious Game Boy Camera feature that was cut from the final product.
An unreleased version of the game let you use the camera to snap pictures of your friends, transfer those images to the N64 and superimpose their faces on in-game characters. Then, you could shoot and kill those characters.
"That was really cutting-edge stuff at the time, which never ended up in the final game, unfortunately," Mark Edmonds, team lead of "Perfect Dark," says in the documentary.
You can imagine why not: "Perfect Dark" came out one year after the massacre at Columbine High School and, at the time, a panic over violent video games was in full swing. Allowing young people to snap pictures of classmates for use in a first-person shooter seems like an obvious no-go.
Developers in the documentary stop just short of saying that, though, and allude to privacy concerns that seem quaint in the era of smartphones.
"We had no degree of control over what people would take pictures of, or who they would take pictures of, and how they would use them," Duncan Botwood, level designer for "Perfect Dark," says.
That might be true, but Game Boy Camera was a massive cartridge with a huge, round lens that jutted out of a chunky piece of bright plastic -- the sort of thing you'd probably notice if someone was close enough to take a picture of your face.