Drew Scanlon of Cloth Map has released the first part in a series exploring video game culture in Brazil. His first video, “Brazil’s Video Game Gray Markets“, explores how a political dictatorship in the ’70s and ’80s influenced the path for video game production and consumption in Brazil.
Scanlon mentions that he will release more videos featuring Brazil’s fandom, game development community, and the “most dangerous” place in Brazil.
Bootlegs & Brazilian Manufacturers
André Campos of Brazilian video game podcast Jogabilidade! escorted Scanlon through Santa Ifigênia Market in São Paulo. One of the biggest differences in Brazil’s market, according to Campos, was that their government required electronics to be manufactured in Brazil. Even though they had bootleg hardware (shown below), they also sold systems that contained the circuitry of an actual system but was produced by a different company in Brazil.
Below are several images from the video featuring the unique landscape of Brazil’s gaming culture.
In 2004, Gizmodo posted an article with images of Santa Ifigenia Market, although most of the images have been lost through various CMS and website changes. However, images can be obtained through an Archive.org snapshot.