More about "the
by Sean Kelly
Hey gang! As uncharacteristic of me as it may be, I'm going to hold to the "Sequels" theme of this issue and do a little sequel of my own. I've had more comments on my "Chronicles of a Classic Addict" column than any other so we're going to explore a classic addict from the opposite end of the spectrum in an even more light-hearted fashion.
When we stopped spying on you, the classic addict, the last time you had just become "addicted" to searching for classic games. Little did you know that we never actually stopped following you around. We've had en eye in every bush and an ear to every wall for quite some time now and have even taken quite a liking to you - not to mention your wife, but we'll save THAT for another issue.
Your collection has grown considerably and we're proud of what you've been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time in a more and more difficult hobby. Our last count had you right around 500 titles for the 26000 with sporadic completions among the other easier to find classic systems - nice find on that 5200 Meteorites by the way! The 2600 is still your favorite as that was what you had as a kid, but carts you need are becoming pretty scarce anymore.
Much of this stuff has come with a fairly hefty price tag. So hefty in fact, that Belinda (that's his wife's name for the folks at home) has had to be kept in the dark as to what you paid or where you got the money on several occasions huh? She just doesn't understand does she? Yeah yeah....we've noticed her pulling up a chair to get her ass whipped at Centipede from time to time (you could show a LITTLE mercy ya know!), but for the most part she despises your collection. Lemme peruse some of our tapes (yes we have tapes) for some of the comments she's made: "You went to the flea market YESTERDAY! Do you really need to go again today??"
"Why don't you sell some of that stuff and make a little money BACK?"
"Where are you getting all the money for these games?"
"Will you get off the internet already - you have to get up in the morning!"
"Will you stop bringing home all that scummy JUNK already?!"
These are just a small sample of our library of comments, but it's pretty obvious that she's not real happy with what's come as a result of your addiction to classic collecting. Your lame bullshit responses we won't get into here to save you the embarrassment.
Well, you've been pretty proud of your collection until lately haven't you? This lack of any new additions is getting pretty disheartening and you're starting to actually get annoyed with the hobby nowadays. Sneaking off the job at lunchtime to the thrifts around your work aren't netting you anything cool anymore. The fleas are dead just like they are everyplace else. You're "exclusive hot-spots" have gone cold of late and you're getting damn frustrated. Even on the Internet you can't find much you need and those that you do see are getting so damn expensive that you can't even snake the money past the wife!
Did this stop you in your quest? Not by a long shot! You decided to search for "alternate sources" that others probably hadn't thought of. Used record shops was your first brainstorm wasn't it? Not such a bad idea we thought and you proved when you found that Starpath Rabbit Transit thrown in with a bunch of loose cassette tapes. We noticed you even came home once with several cartridges from one of these places! Impressive, but nothing you didn't already have. "Trade bait" as you called it, but that box is getting awful full isn't it? A lot of stuff to trade but nobody with anything you need to trade it for.
Some other avenues you decided to explore include the ad in that magazine. Did you really think you'd find many people with classic games in Hustler?! Yeah we know you thought you might score an X-Man or a Playaround title or two, but was it worth all those disgusting letters you got?? No finds on that route, but here again, those little "free ad" cards at all the grocery stores within 30 miles of your house did fairly well for you didn't they? You netted five carts you needed including that elusive Miner 2049'er Volume II - VERY COOL!
Here you sit again and it's been four months now since you've found even a single cart you needed. You have boxes and boxes of stuff for trade but you are still insisting on holding on to it for something in trade instead of selling it outright. You're more desperate than ever and you start picking up label variations - something you vowed not to get into. Your collection is growing in size but not content but you are pacified with the minor thrills you can scrounge by finding the likes of "61 Basic Math".
Your "trade only" box has gotten out of hand and you decide to thin it out a little by selling some of it off - an excellent idea we thought! The first "Classic Addict's Auction" is born on the net in rec.games.video.classic. In trying to be tactical about it, you watch all the auctions running and look for your chance to jump in and start yours. You wait...and wait...and wait some more until you finally get fed up with the fact that there's NEVER an opening and start yours anyway.
Not bad....that $60 bid on your extra Stargunner came in handy didn't it? Overall you did quite well in your auction and slipping the wife a few bucks out of the money was a slick move. That oughta keep her off your back for a little while. Unfortunately you didn't score a single cart you needed in any of the trade offers you received in the auction!
A few more months have passed and you are still new cart-less. Those label variations aren't doing it for you anymore and you're starting to feel pretty disgusted with the hobby overall. Either some of these people bidding against you in the auctions on the net are friggin' RICH or even more desperate than you are. The bidding has gone completely berserk and you can't compete at all. You've run out of ideas as to new places to search, and as has been the case for seemingly ever, your regular stomping grounds are cleaned out. You start pondering your options......
"Self: Have you noticed that this hobby has been causing us more aggravation than anything else these days?
"Self: Yes I have thank you very much. What do you think we should do about it?"
"Self: I've been exploring some ideas and about the best thing I think we can do is move on to something else about now. We've done all we can with this hobby so I'm thinking we should just sell it all off and start collecting something else now."
"Self: Well that seems like kind of a drastic solution in my opinion, but I can't deny the same thought has crossed my half of our mind more than once."
"Self: All along we've been figuring that the value of this stuff should remain at least constant for quite some time so if we sold off our collection we could probably do quite well!"
"Self: Yeah I agree. Maybe we could sell off all our games and get that motorcycle we've been dreaming about?"
"Self: Dude!! Great idea. Let's do it!!!!"
"WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!!", the Digital Press guys secretly hiding out under your house bust in to this conversation going on inside your head. Didn't think we could read minds did ya?
"Where the hell did you guys come from?!?!?!" as you frantically reach for the phonebook to look up the number to 9-1-1...
"We've been listening in on your discussion and have a few things for you to think about. First of all, why did you get into collecting in the first place? In case you've forgotten after all this time it was basically a nostalgia trip. Hey...that's cool but you got carried away. Do you really NEED to have a Magicard? All the damn thing is is a lousy way to program the 2600! You don't get to play it or anything. What about that River Patrol you've offered your first born (with a side order of fries) in trade for? The game sucks by most people's accounts! Did you ever have it? Did you even know it existed when you were a kid? Of course you didn't so lighten up on that one. We can go right down your want list and scratch off probably 90% of what's on it as a lousy game, not worth the money it's fetching, or something you really shouldn't care about having for whatever reason."
"Yeah but", you rudely attempt to interrupt.
"Hey shut your face man - we're not done talking!", as you clam-up immediately and cower in the corner.
"This is a H-O-B-B-Y and does not need to be an obsession! You collect videoGAMES not priceless oil paintings. You do not have unlimited funds (you should demand a raise at work by the way) and even if you did, you never intended to build some type of shroud to videogaming in your basement did you? If your collection gets to a point where people would be driving from thousands of miles around to see it, great! If not, so be it. You haven't done so bad for yourself as it is." We pause to munch on some of your leftover pizza from last night.
"By all means if you've lost interest in the hobby or need the cash you could get for your collection for something else, sell it off. What we hate to see is people getting fed-up just because their collection can't be top banana. Although friendly competition is cool, it's really not a contest and winning or losing the "race" doesn't get you a prize or a sharp stick in the eye. The purpose of virtually any hobby is relaxation and fun. Try to keep that in mind in the future."
"We're sorry...." both of your self's say with your head bowed.
The point I've tried to get across surrounded in some fairly heavy absurdity is the fact that too many people take this collecting stuff WAY too seriously. There's absolutely nothing wrong with placing an insane bid here and there even if it's not a game you'll ever play or care about, BUT at the same time, if don't have the extra cash to spend, let it go. An average number of 2600 titles that can be had at reasonable prices, even in auction, is probably around 300. Above that you start either getting lucky from time to time or you start paying some decent coin for it. Do you really need to try and get ALL of them? I've got news for you - it's not going to happen. Nobody will EVER have everything there is for the 2600.
Hold out for the luck if you don't have the bucks. Hey....I'm a poet!
One other thing I wanted to mention although I'm not sure if it will be mentioned elsewhere in this fine volume of DP, is the fact that John Dondzilla's new Vectrex game, All Good Things, is now available! It consists of four new titles for the Vectrex on a single cartridge. The games are: Rockaroids which is an Asteroids clone, More Invaders which is a smoother running Space Invaders clone than John's previously-released Vector Vaders is, Vectris which is a Tetris clone, and Spike's Water Balloons which is Kaboom with the cast from Spike. All in all the games are cool and John should be supported for his efforts. You can contact John for ordering information on the net at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach him via regular mail at: John Dondzilla 22 Harold St. Old Bridge, NJ 08857
That's all guys and girls! Until next time....
Sean Kelly is a long-time collector and gamer, and part-time dealer. He's well known for his multi-carts and excellent deals on collectibles. You can visit Sean's Home Page at http://www.xnet.com/~skelly/
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