By: Richard Chappell
The earliest memories I have as a child are playing my sisters NES. She got one for Christmas and didn't play with it for years. She had an Action Set, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong Classics, and Excitebike. I remember spending all my weekends playing Zelda, because my parents would only let me play on weekends.
Skip ahead a few years, (now having a SNES, Pc-Engine(dad got it when he was in the Military), Sega/Sega CD) and of all that, I'm still enjoying my nes with games like Renegade, Double Dragon II, Castlevania, and Rescue Rangers. My dad believed that at that age I should play video games anymore and severely limited my time with them. Even so, I continued to play. It made him so mad that he took my NES and SNES, tore up the boxes, smashed them with a hammer, and ran them over with his car. I was devastated to say the least.
I remember seeing an advertisement for a top-loader nintendo for $39.99 a few months later, and I had to have it. At age 13, I mowed yards all summer and split wood to obtain my toploader. It wasn't just a game console to me, it was a symbol of my hard work and dedication.
I then went to Texas to take some time off of school and get my head on straight. And for the first time in my life, I meet a game collector.
I believe I was reborn on that day. I realized that having games as a hobby wasn't weird, stupid, or strange. I was just stuck in Alabama and needed to leave.
Now I that I returned home to finish my schooling, I come to find all of my games missing. It seemed I would have to start over from scratch again. I worked several jobs to save money for my collection, including being a correctional officer last year.
However all was not lost. When searching through the basement, I came across my toploader and most of my snes games. I remembered everything that had led up to that point and was ecstatic.
Last year, I woke up one morning for class and I had a sudden urge to skip class and go to Replays. Upon entering there I find this:
It felt some force was guiding me to that store.
I'm only 23 years old, but I have the largest collection of games on my campus, and probably in the entire small town of Jacksonville, AL. But I will never forget what I have gone through to achieve my collection. Mowing grass, splitting wood, having urine thrown at me as a correctional officer, it was all worth it. And I will never have any greater treasure in life than my toploader.