The world of video games is so vast and so are the people playing them. I wanted to show some of the great people we have in our community and this time we have Carl from New York. I made a post on Digitpress.com asking to interview a collector. Well he was the first to volunteer and I thank him for being so eager. Being a video game collector is more than just collecting a game or two. It allows us to connect to the times we loved as a child. Fond memories of sitting in front of the TV playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out or going to the arcade to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These memories take us back to when things weren’t so crazy or stressful. The only thing you had to worry about is, if your game froze while you were at school today.
1) At what age did you start collecting video games?
I started collecting video games at 19 when my parents gave me an Atari 2600 for Christmas back in 1977. At that time, the 2600 was going for $249.00 and the games were $30.00 and up. So I had to be careful what I bought.
2) How many video games are in your collection?
Right now I have over 3,000 games for 15 systems (Atari 2600,5200,7800,Jaguar,Lynx, Intellivision, NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Game boy, Sega Master System, Genesis, Dreamcast, Nomad, and Game Gear).
3) Where do you try and find a lot of your games?
I normally try to hit flea markets and garage sales, but the amount of vintage games and systems available is not that great these days. I have purchased a lot on eBay, and from websites such as LukieGames, Trade n’ Games, JJ Games and E-Starland. All 4 are very reliable and give great service for the money.
4) Is there a certain system you prefer collecting?
The Atari 2600 is my all-time favorite. There are so many games out there and new ones are being produced each year so the collecting never ends.
5) What lured you into the world of video game collecting?
I was fascinated by the fact that I could play all the arcade style games that I use to play as a youth right in my own home. The Colecovision was perfect for that as was the NES. Also too, there were so many systems out there in the 80’s & 90’s that you could not afford to buy every one. Now you can, and experience a new system whenever you want.
6) What is your biggest find to date?
When the video game crash of 1983 happened, all stores were dumping inventory at insane prices. I picked up an Atari 7800 for $25.00 brand new. All Atari 2600 games which were $30-40 each were now $5.00. I essentially spent weeks going to every store around me and put together and entire 2600 collection. Only game I am missing is Air-Raid by Men-o-vision.
7) What item are you still looking for?
I was looking for a Master Joystick Interface for the Atari 5200 in which you can use an Atari 2600 joystick on the 5200. As everyone knows, the 5200 joysticks are non-centering, which makes playing pac-man close to impossible. I found one on eBay at a good price and it works great.
8.) What does your spouse think of your collecting?
When I met my wife in 1984, she had a Colecovision and I had a 2600. It was a match made in Heaven. She supports my habit, but many times reminds me that I buy too much. She still plays games on the PS2, WII and DS.
9) Where do you keep them all?
I keep all the games in the basement in plastic storage bins and 3 drawer units. All the games are stored in polyethylene zip bags with a silica gel pack in each bag to absorb the moisture. The bags are marked with the games name and the system it belongs to.
10) Do you collect anything other than video games?