I wonder if anyone ever pulled the rental scam my friends and I thought of for the old 8-bit NES. We never did, but I wonder if anyone else tried it.
For those who remember, most of the old 8-bit NES cartridges were made of two halves of plastic screwed together by tiny little screws. You could undo the screws if you had a screwdriver small enough, and the insides were just a single circuit board sitting in there. It was pretty much all the same, though what was on the circuit board obviously made the individual games very different.
My friends and I realized this, and wondered if we could swap out the board from a crappy, cheap game we owned with the board from a good, expensive game we rented. The technique was sound…we’d switched around enough of our own games just for fun and they still worked (no reason why they wouldn’t). However, we didn’t really intend to try this scam. We particularly didn’t want to get caught.
After all, we’d be pretty sure the rental place would figure it out if all you did was swap. When the cartridge came up as a different game, people would probably figure it out. You’d have to break something so nothing came up at all. Then suspicion would be averted, as you could still see the connection portion of the circuit board out the end and it wouldn’t suggest any tampering. We suspected they might try to charge for damaging the game, which was a risk, but we thought we could avert that by swapping right away and claiming it never worked. That would shift the burden to them a bit to prove it was still working when it left their store or that it hadn’t even been broken by a previous renter.
Still, we never did it. I wonder if anyone else did?