Sunday, July 17, 2011

A collector's nightmare!

Remember the childhood memories of opening up the box and pulling out that brand new NES game, popping it into the system and playing until your thumbs hurt and your eyes bled? How about when you grew away from the NES and took all your old games and systems to your local game resale store to put the credit into a more modern game or system? Remember them giving you an ultra low (often times insulting) offer, and when you told them you would rather not sell any of it they handed you a receipt and shoved you out the door? I do!

I was always late into the console wars, except when I was 16. With my summer job money I bought a brand new Sony Playstation about a year or so after it's release... that was new to me! (The PS later became my down payment for my first guitar!) After playing some games I borrowed from friends, I wanted to start building my own collection and since my NES and Genesis were just sitting there collecting dust, they were the keys to getting credit for my new collection. I did what any other absent minded teenager did, I took everything in a large box to FuncoLand (now ShameStop) and awaited the fortune they were about to offer me so I could clear out all of their Playstation games.

What really happened was a lot less exciting. The store didn't even want my Genesis simply because I didn't have the OEM power supply, however they didn't have any problem offering me pennies for the games, controllers and everything else. During the "think it over" time they allotted me, I was busy pondering whether I should take the credit and buy Resident Evil or just take everything home and save up to buy RE on my own. I decided I didn't want to part with my goods, but as I turned around they shoved a long receipt in my hand and told me to have a nice day. I didn't even get the chance to open my mouth and say what I planned on saying!

I remember trying to correct him and telling him I'd rather not sell my stuff, as he handed back my Genesis, to which I was quickly shot down with a "Too late man!". All that was left was to just go ahead with what I came there to do, buy Resident Evil. I can remember the game was used and it was $14. To tell you how bad it honestly was, I still had to pay almost half of that out of pocket! That day I walked out of FuncoLand with a Genesis deck and Resident Evil, in the wrong case.

Most of the NES games I lost weren't brand new, but they did have their boxes and manuals because I bought them from a local video rental store that was selling off their old games and systems. I had games like Wayne's World complete in the box but since the game sucked I didn't worry (at that time) about passing it off to get a game I would rather play. To be honest, I love Resident Evil. I played it all summer and didn't give a single thought more about being completely and totally screwed over by FuncoLand, it was over and done with as I was shooting Zombies and solving puzzles through a giant mansion out in the middle of nowhere.

As time went on I never really cared about what games I kept and what games I let slip through my hands, all in the pursuit of something I wanted or just the fact I'd forgotten what I had. Many times I sold games to help buy a new guitar and other times I lost games through no fault of my own. An example of  this would be my first Atari 2600 and games (including Harbor Escape!), which my dad forgot was stored inside an old truck he owned and he sold it with everything still inside!

Today I wish I had a tighter grasp on the games I let go, games that I can never get back in the condition I parted with, without shelling out a small fortune. Recently I was just messing around online to see which of my current games might be the rarest, as suggested by an online rarity guide. While going through the guide, I noticed many of the games I had lost; the CIB Wayne's World (NES), Harbor Escape (2600), CIB Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) are now worth huge bucks, and that is just to name a few.

Through ignorance of my own as well as other's, I've lost a ton of games. Whether or not most of those games had any value beyond the pleasure they brought me as a child, I'm not sure but I know that from here on I'm going to make sure I keep a tight grasp on what video games I own. I've learned my lesson, and even when adding to my modern game collection I want it all to be as close to complete as possible or I'll just pass it up. I know someday I will look back and be glad I had saved them in the condition I did and never sold them off. 

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