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Not For Resale: a documentary on game shops and the end of physical media

Retro Gaming Documentary Filmmaking Video Game Shops

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#1 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 7:52 AM

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AtariAge, here's a feature-length documentary in the works covering the subject of the transition from physical media to a digital marketplace. Its focused around local video game shops and collectors.

Here's the thesis:

Not For Resale is a new feature length video game store documentary about the mom-and-pop retail shops that still sell physical goods in the face of an increasingly digital marketplace.

This film takes a snap-shot of the state of small businesses dependent on material goods and the path forward with digital libraries.


Some of the places we've visited:
  • The Library of Congress
  • Game Zone in Salem, MA
  • eStarland in Chantilly, VA
  • Control Freak Video Games in Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Arch City Gaming Company in St. Louis, MO
  • Classic Game Junkie in Glenside, PA
  • Iceman Video Games in Toronto, ON
  • Robot City Games in Binghamton, NY
  • Lost Ark Video Games in Greensboro, NC
  • Digital Press Video Games in Clifton, NJ
  • Thrillhouse Games in Tulsa, OK
We currently have about a year to go with our production and a year under our belt as of today. You can see an overview of the story behind the movie in the campaign video if you're interested. Here's a clip from Digital Press Video Games in Clifton, New Jersey if you want a quicker look.

The film will dive into internet accessibility in rural areas, the benefits of buying retail or going digital, and the history behind starting these stores. We're talking with game developers and physical media manufacturers, too. I've seen this subject come up countless time on Gaf, on how the march forward into digital distribution has plenty of hurdles left for consumers and publishers to jump. Needless to say, my discussions here over the years have influenced the film.

I hope you dig the idea. We're aiming to have a rough cut in early 2018.

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Edited by GameStoreDoc, Fri Jun 2, 2017 8:02 AM.


#2 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 9:43 AM

Sounds interesting. Hopefully screentime with teary eyed shelf decorators is kept to a minimum. I'd much rather hear from those who contribute, like shop staff, than those whose only attribute is a loose wallet

#3 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 9:47 AM

Sounds interesting. Hopefully screentime with teary eyed shelf decorators is kept to a minimum. I'd much rather hear from those who contribute, like shop staff, than those whose only attribute is a loose wallet


We're keeping the focus mainly on the people who started the stores. There's the occasional anecdote from someone trading in their collection, but we're mainly interested in the transition to digital sales and the effect on local retail.

There's a sentimental edge to the film, for sure, but I agree with you on the distribution of the running time.

#4 Metal Jesus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 9:55 AM

Very interesting. You might consider coming to the Portland Retro Gaming expo in Oct and interviewing Kelsey who owns two Pink Gorilla Games locations here in Seattle, as well as Matt who owns 4 Another Castle locations. We have 11 retro gaming stores in the Seattle area alone and we're a good barometer for successful retro game businesses in a heavily populated area. 



#5 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 9:57 AM

Very interesting. You might consider coming to the Portland Retro Gaming expo in Oct and interviewing Kelsey who owns two Pink Gorilla Games locations here in Seattle, as well as Matt who owns 4 Another Castle locations. We have 11 retro gaming stores in the Seattle area alone and we're a good barometer for successful retro game businesses in a heavily populated area.


Absolutely. You're not the first person to bring up the Expo to us. Depending on how well our crowd funding efforts go we're likely to hit the western half of the US sometime in the autumn.

#6 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 10:03 AM

We're keeping the focus mainly on the people who started the stores. There's the occasional anecdote from someone trading in their collection, but we're mainly interested in the transition to digital sales and the effect on local retail.There's a sentimental edge to the film, for sure, but I agree with you on the distribution of the running time.


Excellent! Sounds like you're on the right track then.

#7 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 10:04 AM

Excellent! Sounds like you're on the right track then.

 

 Thanks! We're going to try and have one 30-60 second clip up a week during the IndieGoGo campaign. The next one should be from Lost Ark Video Games in Greensboro, North Carolina.



#8 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 10:09 AM

Would probably be worth visiting the National Videogame Museum. For the simple fact they have a 80's game store mock up. Complete with counter, bargain bins etc..(As well as old living/bedroom)

Edited by keepdreamin, Fri Jun 2, 2017 10:10 AM.


#9 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 10:11 AM

Would probably be worth visiting the National Videogame Museum. For the simple fact they have a 80's game store mock up. Complete with counter, bargain bins etc..(As well as old living/bedroom)

 

We've been talking with Joe Santulli from the Museum about doing just that!



#10 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 4:49 PM

I'll be brutally honest... I absolutely love this concept and am really interested in seeing this movie. However, I will never touch an Indiegogo campaign. Too high a failure rate for my liking. I truly wish you all the best, though. I'd be happy to buy a finished copy from you directly, when the time comes.

#11 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 5:38 PM

Hey, to each their own, but the team on our movie has a perfect track record with crowd funding if that helps. Everything we've worked on has made it to market within our earliest deadline estimates.

#12 Scotterpop ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 2, 2017 5:49 PM

I had both the honor and misfortune of living through this exact scenario. I was a manager for Blockbuster Video for 9 years and went down with the ship when they closed my store in 2011. Digital distribution played a huge role in Blockbuster's eventual downfall, and I really loved that job, so this topic is very near and dear to my heart. I wish you guys the best of luck with this project and I'm really looking forward to seeing the final product. 



#13 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 11:17 AM

The weekend was pretty good to us- we hit 32% of our crowdfunding goal!

 

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We also had the good fortune of getting mentioned on Pat Contri's CUPodcast, too. He gave his thoughts on the movie along with some positive & constructive sentiments about the subject matter. 

 

We've got a little under three weeks left with the campaign, if you're interested in a perk.


Edited by GameStoreDoc, Mon Jun 5, 2017 11:18 AM.


#14 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 6, 2017 10:38 AM

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Here's a new clip from Lost Ark Video Games in Greensboro, North Carolina. This place had an original Pokémon Snap machine complete with hordes of printing paper. You could even bring in your own N64 cartridge and print stickers from it!

 

Dan (the owner) had some thoughts to share on just what made a game valuable to his customers. Take a listen and, if you like what you see, we could use your support over at GameStoreDoc.com.



#15 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:43 AM

Big thanks to Metal Jesus Rocks, Pat Contri, and Lazy Game Reviews for their shout outs this past week.
 
On top of that, we landed James Rolfe to interview for Not For Resale.

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We're down to the last 11 days, so now is as good a time as any to back the project if you'd like a copy of the movie, exclusive footage, a credit in the movie, etc. We're over at GameStoreDoc.com.



#16 Swami ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:34 PM

I remember how gamers freaked out when Microsoft tried to end unmonitored used cartridge sales with the "games on the cloud" and "always online" requirements. They had to back-pedal on that, but are still trying to ratchet it up on a voluntary basis. I think it is a horrible thing. Just ask the millions of people who put hundreds of dollars into Xbox Fitness media on the cloud only to have it vaporize. You don't own anything that is on someone else's server, it can and has been taken away on a whim. I think even Steam had to allow off- line access to make a go of it.

#17 blankcrows OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:58 PM

Good project. When you get out to the west be sure to check out The MADE Museum in Oakland. The museum collection has over 5,300 games. It is a hands-on experience there with vintage and more modern systems on display and playable. My brother volunteers there and nurtures a lot of the older gear.

https://www.themade.org

#18 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:31 AM

Here's another ~1 minute clip, this time from Toronto, Ontario at Iceman Video Games. 
 

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This place was hard to leave. We must have 4 hours of video from this one stop alone.



#19 RARusk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:08 PM

If you come to the south Texas area we have the excellent Game Over video game store chain.



#20 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:42 AM

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We just swung past 70% of our campaign goal this morning. What a whacky percentage to post, but a good one nevertheless!

 

Things are trucking along well behind the scenes. We're scheduling with Psyonix Games and Luna Games in San Diego this week for a trip in September. Our campaign ends in just under two weeks, so if you want your name in the film or a copy of it you should swing over to GameStoreDoc.com soonish.



#21 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 7, 2017 1:30 PM

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We just hit 85% today, going into our final weekend of fund raising at GameStoreDoc.com.

 

We have a few games and blu-rays signed by James Rolfe we're giving away as perks, but they're going pretty quick as of this posting. 5/8 are long gone as of me typing this. 


Edited by GameStoreDoc, Fri Jul 7, 2017 1:31 PM.


#22 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:20 AM

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So, we're at the final day with Not For Resale's crowdfunding campaign over at GameStoreDoc.com. If you've been sleeping on backing the movie, now's your chance to get a thank you, a blu-ray, and other goodies. 

Thanks for everything, Atari Age. I remain pleasantly surprised at how constructive and helpful everyone has been about the movie thus far. We'll try and deliver something people want on their shelf.



#23 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:33 AM

Hi again Atari Age!

 

Here's an update from our recent trip to California. We flew out there a few weeks back to get some interviews for the film. I'm going to copy/paste some text from our IndieGoGo page here to sum up what we got up to:

 

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First off, we are proud to announce that Kinda Funny, IGN, and Podcast Beyond veteran Greg Miller has joined our film’s ranks! We were invited to the Kinda Funny studio to sit down with Greg for a discussion on the evolution of digital distribution and what it means for physical retail. As a long-running commentator and someone who exists outside of the worlds of retail and game development, we’re excited to have Greg’s candor and perspective as part of Not For Resale.

 

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Previous face of GameStop TV, future host of the Nintendo World Championships, What’s Good Games Co-Founder, and freelance producer extraordinaire Andrea Rene was next in our line of California interviewees. Andrea recalled the early days of the 7th generation of gaming consoles and explained why she still had some boxed copies of games she could easily be playing through digital means.

 

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With a desire to talk to a retro gaming collector, we spent a night talking with none other than Pat Contri, an enthusiast of all things classic gaming, published author of Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library, and, of course, our executive producer. Getting the perspective of someone who’s closely watched the trends of the enthusiast market made for a great interview. We’ll be sure to see Pat again next month at Portland Retro Gaming Expo where we’ll run into our next interviewee...

 

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Curator of the Video Game History Foundation, Editor in Chief of Lost Levels, and all around gaming historian Frank Cifaldi made some time for Not For Resale during our California trek. Frank’s talk at the 2016 Game Developers Conference and efforts in the arena of digitally archiving tangible game media brought him to our attention early on in pre-production, so we’re glad to have him on board for the film. His pro-emulation, progressive stance on the medium highlighted the benefits of digital access to games.

 

 

This October we will be making a trip to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, so if you see our crew on the show floor be sure to say hi! Until then, we’ll do our best to keep everyone in the loop on our production here, on Twitter, and Facebook. Thanks again.

 

-Kevin J. James, Not For Resale Director


Edited by GameStoreDoc, Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:34 AM.


#24 GameStoreDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 6, 2017 9:17 AM

Another month, another update! This is pulled from our ongoing IGG blog, available here:

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Hello once again from the team at Not For Resale!

A belated happy Halloween to all! As always, we’d like to bring you up to speed on the progress we’ve been making on the film. Here’s what we did this past month:

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This October we made our way to the 11th annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo in Oregon, a convention centered around the culture and collection of classic video games. During our three days at the convention we were able to meet up with old friends from the Video Game History Foundation and make new ones with Kelsey Lewin, co-owner of Pink Gorilla Games in Seattle.

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One of our main interests in the expo’s was the opportunity to talk to vendors and enthusiasts directly about the market for physical media in 2017. Collectors, panelists, and academics in attendance took time to chat with us about the changing nature of how we access media and why so many people would come out to a convention when they could shop online. It didn’t hurt that the Expo had a near-complete collection of the entire Atari 2600 library in box on display, either.

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We had so many interviews to cover that we brought on some extra hands in the sound department just for Portland (a wise choice, looking back on the material we covered that long weekend). We take pride in our documentary’s efforts in the sound department and it will absolutely show in the final product.

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November and December are bringing us back on the road for some trips we need to keep hush-hush on for the moment, but in the meantime we’ll be working diligently behind the scenes to continue to bring the movie together. Thanks again for the support, we’ll see you soon here and on Twitter & Facebook.


-Kevin J. James, Not For Resale Director

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Edited by GameStoreDoc, Mon Nov 6, 2017 9:18 AM.


#25 tbb033 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 1, 2017 2:40 PM

Screw download media (all media for games is digital) if I can't hold it on cart or disc, it has no monetary value to me.







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