Retrogaming Collector Hysteria
The brisk morning air penetrated my ultra-light jacket as thoughts of doubt and regret blanketed my hibernating brain. 5:00am comes but once a day, and usually that’s more than enough for most people, myself included. There was a Craigslist ad that promised a 7am yard sale at my residence, and I demanded to know who had the gall to make this kind of commitment! After some investigative research, I was embarrassed to learn that it was I who agreed to this 7am “shindig” at my house. Note to self: Think before you type a Craigslist ad.
So with a self-inflicted obligation in hand, I began to move the pledged items from the shed to the front yard, such as the 1980s and 1990s video games (known as retro games), mismatched and unraveled wicker furniture, a half-full kitchen knife block, my coveted VHS Rocky set, and all the other junk I refused to toss out over the years. As I mentioned before, my Craigslist ad stated that the yard saleganza would promptly begin at 7:00am, so you can imagine how surprised I was when a vehicle stopped in front of my house at 6:00am asking about my video games.
Being an avid retro game collector, I knew I could handle any seasoned haggler with ease, but what I didn’t anticipate was the bombardment of retro gaming enthusiasts who would arrive pre-7am and tie up my time nonstop for nearly two hours. As the retro gaming hunters argued over who was going to go home with gems such as Super Mario 64, a complete boxed Sega Genesis model 1, a complete boxed Super Scope and a Philips CD-i gaming system to name a few, I sparked up a conversation with one of the less competitive and more laid-back individuals of the motley crew.
He was a lanky young man sporting your traditional nerdy wireframe glasses and Star Wars t-shirt. He clued me in on the details of the mass of hysteria unfolding on my front doorstep. Like a philosopher who specializes in how video games affect the brain, he said, “More than once I’ve seen ‘fake’ Craigslist ads that use wrong addresses with the sole purpose to draw retro collectors AWAY from the real yard sales. Retro game collecting is an obsession, as you can see. We get fixated on these nostalgic memories and they become like treasures. You can find anything on the internet, but hunting these retro games down at yard sales and thrift stores is where all the fun is. Considering that these games are no longer made, and we know there is a finite number, all we can think about is completing our collections. Hell, we won’t even have enough time to play 75% of the games we get.”
We chatted for about 15 more minutes, exchanged phone numbers, and vowed to talk about video games again one day even though we both knew we would probably never cross paths again. The premise behind this story is to draw your attention to the underground world of retro game collecting. As I’ve said to many gamers in the past, you very well could be sitting on a nostalgic gold mine and not even know it. At least twice a week I meet someone who tells me they can’t believe that the “junk” in their attic is actually worth money!
Now is the time to get busy folks! Check your attics, basements, storage units, sheds, garages, and anywhere you’ve been relocating your “junk” for the last 30 years! You might find a box with an original Nintendo Entertainment System or an old Atari 2600! If you’re not inclined to keep these treasures, post them up at your yard sale and STAND FIRM on your prices. If the first person doesn’t want to pay for your games, the next person will. After all, the T-Rex doesn’t want to eat. It wants to hunt.
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