In 2014 the worldwide biggest collection of video games was to be sold for 750,250 Dollar. The owner Michael Thomasson wanted to put his more than 11,000 video games up for auction on Ebay. 2,600 of these games were never opened by the owner and were still in their original packaging. No wonder, for collectors of video games it is by far not only about gaming.
„I buy two games per day on average,“ Thomasson said in an interview of the online magazine “Retro”. For his collection he received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest video game collection. Very much understandable, that the gamer was not able to play all his games. Or maybe he did not even want to, since games in original packaging would have earned him the most money? The deal did not work out in the end, but for other reasons.
Collectors of consoles and video games are not different from any other collectors. For many it is not about actually playing the games, but to own them.
The memories from childhood are probably the reason why collectors put an old Super Nintendo console in front of the TV. Retro games boom. The knowledge about the rarity of some games spurs the ambitions of the collector community. Thanks to various shops, fan websites and online databases like rarityguide.com enthusiasts easily get into the collectors scene. Products are compared and reviewed, practical knowledge about titles, prizes and the degree of rarity exchanged. Meanwhile, restauration and cleaning have become part of a collectors’ knowledge. And so, tips and strategies to take care of the collection are discussed, too.
Nowadays the internet is full of virtual home computer museums or Commodore-64 game lists. The number of collectors is growing. Hence, the demand for certain games is rising. This not only requires good research skills and knowledge, but also quite a bit of money. Furthermore, websites like Ebay make the market transparent. The knowledge about the most popular consoles and games push up prices as well. For example, the originally packaged NTSC version of the video game „Stadium Events“ (Bandai) of the year 1987 was sold for 41,300 US Dollars in 2010.
In the end it is less the financial value of the collection, but the rummaging and search for good offers, which make a collector’s heart skip a beat. It is the feeling of happiness to explore – the hunt for the personal favourite item.