Retro Game collecting 101 – Getting The Bug and taking the plunge

You Tube can be a really addictive thing. Hours can be magically zapped away by watching Cats tripping on Catnip….

…making your own 90’s flashback (radio joke, sorry)…

…finding your (sort of) current favorites…

…sourcing witty comebacks for arguments on forums…

…or learning how to cook japanese food from a canine…

(Seriously, how do they keep the dog from eating the food?)

Of course, it goes without saying that You Tube has a massive place within the gaming world. From parodies to play-throughs. News wraps, interviews, trailers, even user reviews. You Tube has given the average gamer a voice, enabling them to both criticize and create. Even I’m thinking of starting up my own channel (that will come soon.)

Of particular interest to me as of late has been the retro gaming scene. What started as watching a few videos of ‘game room tours’…

…has slowly progressed into finding a rich, vibrant community of Retro Game enthusiasts (granted mostly in America.) There are dozens of channels from Game collectors, covering everything from showing off their massive collections, game collecting tips, reviews of games gone by (which I have previously had a taste of via the Angry Video Game Nerd) and, something that has become somewhat my personal favorite, some great field trips to flea markets, game stores, and garage sales.

If I may, let me take though a few of my favorite channels so far…

From the city that’s pretty high on my ‘to visit’ list, Seattle, there’s avid games collector and vinyl fan, MetalJesusRocks.

Another collector from around the Washington State area, a Mr Pete Dorr.

(These two guys also run a podcast, All Gen Gamers.)

I also found some great channels featuring field trips to flea markets and game stores. The Game Chasers, a show that wouldn’t look out of place on the discovery channel…

…and from what I understand, these guys are somewhat the pioneers of the ‘Retro Field Trip’ video, although sadly they’re now defunct, The Retro Hunters.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. there’s a whole great community of Retro game enthusiasts in North America, most of which are connected through the power of youtube. Offline they hold Retro Gaming conventions, such as Too Many Games and the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, coming together to share their rare finds and all knowledgeable things about Retro.

So of course, with all this viewing of game collections and Flea Market field trips, it was only eventual that I would get the itch to start a collection of my own. Luckily there are plenty of collecting tips as well, such as those from lithium017. Most suggest starting out by picking just a one or two retro systems to collect for. I also wonder if, with the upcoming release of the two big new consoles, whether or not the PS3 and X360 can start to be counted into the retro banner. In which case I have a good head start with the 360. I do however believe I still have a retro system buried in a shed interstate – the good old Mega Drive, coupled with a japanese import of the Mega CD.

MegaCD small

I remember when I first got that package when I was a kid, bundled with a bunch of Mega CD’s in japanese, as only japanese versions could be played on the Mega CD. However, the Mega Drive was local, so I was able to pick up a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Countless weekends would be spent on that system. In fact, I credit the Mega CD (in particular Earnest Evans) with getting me into Anime.


  Two of my favorites from my old Mega CD collection.

Two of my favorites from my old Mega CD collection.

That wasn’t the first gaming system I had though. Although my grandparents had an NES that I would occupy my visits with Super Mario 2, Zelda, and a large number of rental games over my childhood, my first system was back around 1990, in the form of the Amiga 500.


I think I played an abundance of games over  the 10 year period I had this system. From Indiana Jones, Giana Sisters (the first horror game in my opinion – that scream when you died was just brutal) to Defender of the Crown, King Of Chicago and Chase HQ. And thats before you get to the demo disks – man did I have plenty of those!


So what happened to my Amiga? To be honest – I can’t for the life of me remember. I think we just threw it out – something that, upon a quick visit to ebay, makes me slightly regretful of such an act.

But I digress, in the end I’ve decided my collection will start with Sony, in which I mean the PSX, PS2, PS3 and Vita. If I end up picking up an N64 so be it, although I do own a Gamecube and a Wii, but that will all come in time.

That’s it for this week! I did manage to check out a local car boot sale last weekend, where I was able to nab a few gaming bargains. However, I might check out a few more and do a part two on markets around the Sydney and Central Coast area.

So next week – Retro Gaming 101: To Market, To Market! Thanks for reading!


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