Why Collect Retro Video Games?


I often get asked why I collect Retro Video games. Some people I have met find it bizarre that anyone would want “old” video games as they think anything other than the latest and greatest systems are simply junk that should be thrown away.

The reasons why people collect anything differs greatly, however I think it is safe to assume that anyone who collects something has some form of personal connection to the items being collected. For me personally video games are something I grew up with and I believe a large part of the reason I collect is an element of nostalgia. Many items in my collection reminds me of fond memories when I was a child; I believe this is a reason why many people collect a variety of things, the items act as a keep sake of a time period in someone’s’ past that they have a favourable connection with.

I also believe there is an element of unfulfilled childhood wish fulfilment when it comes to collecting; getting things you wanted as a child but could never have. This is a common reason for collecting video games that I have heard from many collectors.

On top of all these reasons I also collect video games because I love them. I enjoy playing them and I also play and collect current gen video games, not just retro. In my opinion video games are a form of art, how can anything created with such passion and talent not be. Only in very recent times have video games started to receive some of the recognition associated with being an art form, but this has come too late for enormous amounts of items that have been branded as trash and ended up in landfills. That is why many collectors of video games see themselves as curators; saving something they love from ending up in a dump and being lost forever.

I take a great deal of pleasure in owning and adding to my collection, and also to play and experience the games therein, be that a latest release or a game that is 25 years old in the same way that someone may listen to modern and classical music and appreciating both for what they are.

So why do I collect video games? And why do some people collect toys or records or comic books or anything really? Because of a love for something, be that video games or toys or comics books or something completely different.


So I have another PS3 download code to give away! This time it is Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. So get your comments in before 31 October 2015 to stand a chance to win!

Why Collect Retro Video Games?

Book Review – The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia

The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia is a very high quality collectors’ book published by Dark Horse in collaboration with Nintendo. 


The book itself is absolutely beautiful, it is clear that a great deal of effort and care was taken in the creation of the book. The book is bound in a dark green hard cover and even looks like something straight out of one of the Legend of Zelda games. Regarding content, the book is a hybrid between an art book and an information guide and contains a vast amount of amazing artwork as well as detail on every single character (including all the enemies), item and weapon from the Legend of Zelda Games. 

One of the treasures contained in this book is an official timeline of the Legend of Zelda games, showing how the games are linked together. Prior to this book Nintendo has never officially explained how the games are linked and for a lot of Zelda fans this was a very big frustration. 

The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia is an example of a game tie-in book done right and will form an amazing addition to any Legend of Zelda collection. I cannot stress enough how beautiful this book is and would highly recommend it to any fan of the Legend of Zelda. 

Book Review – The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia

Retro Video Game Collecting Tips

One of my vices is collecting video games, mostly retro, but current generation as well. My collection spans close to a thousand items, and ranges from the 8 bit era (NES and Master System) to the current generation (PS4 and WiiU). My collection is mostly focused on Nintendo, but I have branched out into collecting Sega, Sony and Microsoft as well.

So today I will share some things that I have learned over time collecting video games.

1. Know what to collect. By this I mean that depending on your region (PAL or NTSC) some systems might be easier to collect than others. For example, generally in PAL regions Sega had a much bigger footprint in the 8 bit and 16 bit eras than Nintendo, so finding Sega games and systems are a lot easier and less expensive, whereas in the NTSC regions this applies to Nintendo in general. This does not mean you should not, for example, collect Super Nintendo in a PAL region, it just means that if you do you should realise you will probably struggle to find items and will also pay a premium price for them when you do.

2. Know where to look for items. So if you decide to collect for a retro system, you can’t exactly go to a normal video game shop and pick up items for the system, you will need to look at places that have second-hand goods. Thrift stores, pawn brokers, second-hand and charity shops are all good places to check, and check these places on a regular basis, things come and go quickly especially if there are other collectors around. Online shops, such as eBay, are also an option, however this can get very expensive as prices are quite often seriously inflated on online auction sites, so if you decide to go this route check prices very carefully as you might end up paying way more than an item is worth.

3. Check item condition. This is most relevant for disc-based games, as they scratch and damage relatively easily. Cartridge-based games tend to be a lot more resilient, however it is still essential to check for label damage as this can greatly affect the value of a game. In general you also do not want to buy video game systems that are not working, except if they are really cheap, in which case it might be worth taking a chance and attempting to fix the system or using it for spare parts. This leads us straight into our next point.

4. If you are scared of a little bit of soldering and basic electronics then collecting any old electronic items (like video game systems) might not be a great idea. Sometimes you will have to get your hands dirty when trying to get a 20-year-old system up and running.

5. Have a short list of items to look out for. Have a general idea of what the very rare or expensive games for the systems you are collecting for are. I have on a few occasions picked up rare games with list prices of over $100(USD) for not even 5 percent of that cost, because I knew what to look out for.

6. Catalog your collection. When your collection is small it is easy to remember what you have, but as your collection grows, tracking what you have becomes a lot more difficult. So doing this from the start makes your life a great deal easier in the long run. Anything from a spreadsheet to specialised software can be used for this. Besides providing a quantitative view of your collection, this will also help to prevent unintentional buying of duplicate items.

7. Don’t be scared to pick up good items for trade. On numerous occasions I have run into rare items I already had in my collection at very low prices. I pick these items up and use them to trade for items I don’t have. This can be done directly with other collectors or with dealers where games can often be traded in for credit. By doing this correctly you can quickly double or triple you investment in trade credit.

8. Enjoy the hunt. If you don’t enjoy going out and looking for items, this is probably not a hobby you will enjoy. A huge part of the fun is looking for and finding rare and expensive items at a fraction of their value.

I hope this post gave a bit of insight into the addictive hobby of collecting video games.

Lastly I have a PS3 Minecraft download code to give away! All you need to do to stand a chance to win it is to leave a comment to this article. The best comment will receive the download code, so be creative. The winner will be announced on 1 September 2015.

Retro Video Game Collecting Tips