Jump to content
IGNORED

How and when did video game collecting become increasingly popular?


Recommended Posts

I remember as a kid before the age of YouTube, game prices would be like Japan where the older stuff (even games of a beloved and popular series) are usually cheap with a few exceptions. We played it, loved it and move on from there. Nowadays, people are obsessed with having a complete set, somewhat uncommon games are getting super expensive, retro gaming on the rise, etc. Now people seem to focus on getting a Switch collection, it's like "this console is too recent to collect for!" How did we get to this? I would like to know.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I'm not sure where it really took off, but I'm sure the early love thrown to what would get called retro and then the indie stuff over a decade ago started it.  But when it really increased sadly in popularity was when people figured out they could game the system and treat it like a business or stock and commodity trading to make solid profit on it.  As more got in who cared about the games was nice, a lot more got in to see what they could get out of those games.

The point there with your questions at the end, the popularity also causes concern.  In the past people just played to have fun, some kept, many dumped to get the next.  But now it's like, fear of not missing out, but getting hosed later so you try and speculate on rares and buy anything you care about even slightly or just all of it, so you have it just in case, or maybe to make out on it later.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s probably more complicated than anyone could possibly fully explain. But in simpler terms, those of us that grew up with these games got older and came into disposable income due to growth in our careers. We started buying back our childhoods due to nostalgia and slight cases of OCD. 
 

Then they started gaining in value, and others started joining the fun and trying to profit from it. Big events like Yahoo and every other publication featuring finds like the big Stadium Events find from 2010 started fueling it even more. Now video gaming in general is as popular as ever, and younger kids than ever are starting to explore the histories of the cornerstone characters like Mario and Zelda, sometimes due to their parents and other times due to their curiosity from what they’ve been playing themselves. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything started taking off around 2012ish. I think part of it can be tied to YouTube. In particular the angry video game nerd. He brought the NES to the forefront. Once it was mainstream, more people jumped in and it gained steam and the rest is history. There are probably many other factors like the economy recovering after the 2008-2009 crash and people having money to spend and also kids who grew up on older systems now having real jobs and money to recapture their childhood, but I do think the internet had a big part in video games becoming much more well known. There are so many games I never knew about and would not have known about if it hadn't been for NA.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

Collecting has probably been a thing since there have been human beings.  I'm sure some cavemen had nice pile of "pretty" rocks that everyone else in the clan thought was a little odd, but was just a quirk of Uug.  Nostalgia collecting has been a thing for at least 100 years, if not more.  How many grown adults have collected video games, comic books and ball cars, model trains, disneyana, kewpie dolls and original teddy bears?

As other said, kids of the early generation of games got older and we had expendable cash.  This meant we collected nostalgia, and since collector markets have been big-business, it made natural sense that at some point video games would take off.  And collecting will never die.  It might ebb and flow, and some older stuff might see huge spikes but in 20-30 years crash into practical worthlessness, but there will always be those "gems" that will be collectible for as long as people enjoy video games.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

I think it’s a range of factors that are both generic in the collecting scene as well as uniquely inherent to video games collecting. 

A quick formula that is not scientifically proven:

(Increasing number of grown up kids with money) + (Nostalgia) + (Internet [accessibility/discussions/hype]) + (reselling/flipping mentality) + (false perception that everything will become a profit) + FOMO/OCD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you that one of the things that planted the seed for me was Smash Bros. Brawl. Seeing dudes like Pit, R.O.B., Ice Climbers etc. motivated me to get into Nintendo’s history and track down their NES carts.

As for people collecting current gen... I’ve never really been able to properly put this phenomenon into words, but there’s this other slightly different faction in game collecting where dudes from YouTube and Facebook are super into everything from Wii/PS3/360 and up, frequent buyers of Limited Run, etc. and really seem to get off on feeling like they’ve gotten ahead of the bubble so to speak. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking those systems and anything newer and collecting for those things, I’m just acknowledging that it sort of feels like a different type of person and different mindset from the types like us who tend to lean a little more retro, discuss variants, the history, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been collecting since '99, and let me tell you, there are two distinct eras: pre-2012 and post 2012.  I remember distinctly during Christmas of '11 games were their regular old cheap-ish prices (always rising, but slowly) when I went out hunting in December, then something happened in spring of 2012 and everything skyrocketed, seemingly overnight.  I can't explain why it happened, but that's when it happened...

Edited by Dr. Morbis
spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Around 2012 sounds right to me. That's when I saw several new community groups (like on Facebook etc) popping up around for my local area which had up until that point always been a pretty limited group of the same few people, and suddenly people were paying high prices for stuff that'd been cheap for ages.

At that point stuff started getting more and more expensive, and I barely got to sigh about stuff costing much more than it should, before that became the new "cheap".

EDIT: Just checked out some key dates for me, and it seems 2013/2014 might be more apt, but even at that point prices had started going up, so probably any date between 2012-2015 would be correct as the point where it really started messing up.

On 11/1/2020 at 3:51 AM, Californication said:

The retro game scene was actually on the decline for a year or two before the pandemic hit. Almost everything was dropping except for sealed. 

What are you basing that conclusion on? I saw no signs of that.

Edited by Sumez
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Sumez said:

Around 2012 sounds right to me. That's when I saw several new community groups (like on Facebook etc) popping up around for my local area which had up until that point always been a pretty limited group of the same few people, and suddenly people were paying high prices for stuff that'd been cheap for ages.

At that point stuff started getting more and more expensive, and I barely got to sigh about stuff costing much more than it should, before that became the new "cheap".

EDIT: Just checked out some key dates for me, and it seems 2013/2014 might be more apt, but even at that point prices had started going up, so probably any date between 2012-2015 would be correct as the point where it really started messing up.

What are you basing that conclusion on? I saw no signs of that.

The game collecting forums dying, the prices of games dropping on ebay, and stuff sitting there for longer periods that you are trying to sell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Sumez said:

Yeah, didn't see any of that. Must have been isolated to very specific platforms and/or regions?

I mean two years ago I was only collecting NES, SNES, PS1, N64 everything was dropping. You can go look at pretty much anything on price charting and you will everything dropping bedore the pandemic.

Go look at Racketboy, Price Charting, Atari Age, Cheap Ass Gamer, Sega-16 these used to be forums busy with people.

The main N64 games were going for like $20 - $25. PS3 was down to like $3, most Gamecube games were like $20-$30, PS2 rares were at like $100 with a couple that were $200, uncommone PS2 were generally $10-$20. 

I think the Sega Genesis was the only thing getting a real pop before the pandemic hit. And that was coinciding with the release of the Mega SG and people like myself discovering the library.

 

 

 

Edited by Californication
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said, it was some time in the early 2010s. It was the rise of retro Youtubers starting with AVGN, increasing nostalgia from those who grew up with the games, and newer consoles starting to resemble all the bad sides of PC gaming thus making retro seem like a more attractive option.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was 100 percent addicted to collecting from 2010-2015. I collected before and after that time but during those years I was pretty much out of control. Packages in the mail and pawn shop visits every day, hunting every weekend, alerts going for eBay/Kijiji, buying filler for no reason, fomo on all new Nintendo merch/amiibos, etc.

It took a while to break the cycle and realize how much it was impacting my life. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Californication said:

Go look at Racketboy, Price Charting, Atari Age, Cheap Ass Gamer, Sega-16 these used to be forums busy with people.

I can’t speak for the others but AtariAge is alive and well. Atari collecting is almost a separate world itself. People don’t really seem to look past the dirt cheap common carts and cheap CIBs, but there’s a lot of depth to that scene. And AtariAge has always rivaled (and bested, at times) NintendoAge in terms of active user base

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd attest to 2012 too and bare with me there is a point to this.

That was the few year period I was back in southern California and the area was then just flooded with masses of games for all sorts of systems, exotics too, shops and flea markets, even the overseas Japanese and chinese knockoff stuff.  I left that state towards the end of 2012 for the last time thankfully, but it gave me a window into the mass of stuff in two states very distinctly apart both in miles and well availability and price.

The late part of 09 into much of 2011 prices weren't all that off from what they were when I left CA in the end of 02 the first time.  Prices were pretty flat even between here and KY too, just far easier and more prolific supply.  Even with the 7 year gap nothing really changed and you could get MOST games for like $5/ea at retail, little was much over $10-20 for the most exotic stuff, the worst I'd recall was $50 and prices on games were flat as game, game+inserts, CIB too as people weren't greedy shits about it.  KY when I moved was the same, an easy walk of retail or flea market pull up types or indoor, $20 could take you into a nice stack of goodies, from a few to many if you haggled.

2012 though, and it was about the time when people started snarking on the administration for the free 'Obama Phone' but mockery aside, that was really the moment in time when a few things happened where data phones with 3G level access was on point and really taking off.  For me the moment was like that comment earlier, strange and like a wall got run into as it wasn't gradual.  I think the shitty cancer started on the west coast and migrated within the year east, or maybe coastal inward.  This guy who has had this real shop for years in the area there (san diego near the border) decided after seeing some (I talked with him some to figure it out) online early videos like the hidden gem/rares/wow I found stuff cinemassacre and a select few others started (as they were the few early who did what too many do now) gave him some investment ideas.  He setup a 2 stall sized super tent in the middle of my swap meet he had to drive an hour north to.  Within just under ONE month, he ruined the local honeypot and the cancer rapidly spread not just there and retail there but county wide down to the border.  He had his family members, a few with carts, fan out and buy up every car pull up and every regulars games that were worth at least $5-10 in value, and then he did like a 200%+ mark up on them matching or topping ebay.  The car people caught on about the same time as the regulars, 2-3 weekends, and suddenly they a month into it started using ebay to price all their stuff, asking, not even getting (getting did match later in 2012 so it was a dog eat tail moment if there ever was.)  OF course he got mad, sold nothing within a month, and packed it in never to return 2 weekends later.  Where I had been able to score a mighty final fight for $7 (known flat value of it then and then some) and various others for $1-5 there each depending on singles/bundle, I could barely get shit out of $20 after that, had to start bringing $40 as the ghetto games were $5-10 after.  The NES got it first, but having him do that, SNES, GB, TG, Sega whatever, etc all went up at a slow pace just behind in a matter of months of stagger.

When I got back here later in 2012 the prices hadn't got fubar yet, I was deluded into thinking it was stupidity of the CA moron mentality.  But hey, get what, 2012's post-christmas shopping into new years and 2013 said otherwise.  I used to love Half Price Books, I could get a lot of stuff, as they were formerly honest about, at 'half price' of the used (ebay) rates.  They used to price locally, but on Dec 26th they rolled out their now known national bar code big sticker.  I got a game on the 24th, Captain Commando for $4 off a shelf, and they had 2, but I thought nothing of it.  I remember others, but I left stuff I didn't want or felt I needed.  I came back in the day after with christmas bucks, the stickers were on, and CC was now a $40 game.  Got to love that 10x increase.  I was friends with the manager there, he wasn't very happy either, but told me that they were now required to use the national pricing system and bar codes, and said that they are now required to check all items to make sure that amazon and ebay aren't under their prices or to do a classic sticker to cover that.  So by the end of 2012, national second hand chains were doing what the flea market twat waffle was doing and that's when all things turned to speculative bs, at least in my experience between 2 states with very different pools of buyers, economic level, social feeling, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it depends what you’re collecting and what region. 
 

US stuff has gone pretty mental across the majority of retro systems.

I mainly collect Japanese stuff and the majority is slow and steady increases. Even during this pandemic I haven’t noticed huge increases.

PAL stuff is still mostly not too bad too.

I feel WATA & the pandemic have really screwed over US collecting though. Glad I’m not too involved with that scene, I’d be broke after one CIB game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Shmup said:

I think it depends what you’re collecting and what region. 
 

US stuff has gone pretty mental across the majority of retro systems.

I mainly collect Japanese stuff and the majority is slow and steady increases. Even during this pandemic I haven’t noticed huge increases.

PAL stuff is still mostly not too bad too.

I feel WATA & the pandemic have really screwed over US collecting though. Glad I’m not too involved with that scene, I’d be broke after one CIB game.

Ever since the pandemic, I just stick to emulation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DefaultGen said:

I stopped collecting around 2010, came back in 2016, and let me tell you y’all done gone lost your minds sometime between those two points. People started caring about N64N64.

I’ve seen what you do to eBay auctions with your Instagram story. You just keep ignoring N64, at least until I’ve got what I want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TL/DR Got feet wet in 04/05 took a few more steps in 2012 and then dove deep in 2016.

I bought about 40 NES games in 2004/5 and the main N64 titles when I got my first job. But I had a PS3 and 360 close to the time they were released so I put more time in them. I actually had a backwards compatible PS3 out of the box and I never once played a PS1 or PS2 game on it, it never crossed my mind. And then when it acted up Sony wanted $130 to fix it so I got rid of it.

I carried the NES and 64 games around for a while. Played the N64 more than the NES. Then in 2012 when I went to college I really played the NES and started expanding into SNES. (I had both consoles as a kid, but never went deep) I graduated in 2016 and started making some okay money and I really started to expand. Really, I think my collecting has followed how much disposable money I have. 

Edited by Californication
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...