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Skippy B. Coyote

What made you choose to collect for certain systems over others?

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This is a topic that has interested me for a long while, ever since I started pondering slimming down my collection and narrowing my focus to collecting for just a few different systems, and since I couldn't find a preexisting thread on the subject I decided to make one. :)

 

It seems that most people who are into video game collecting have one or two systems that they are particularly focused on collecting for, and I'm interested in finding out what drew you to whatever systems that you feel especially passionate about and enjoy collecting for the most. There are so many systems out there with enormous libraries of games to choose from, so I'm curious to find out why someone would choose to collect for a particular system over all the other options out there.

 

Is it nostalgia for a system you grew up with? Or is it the genres or diversity of the game library on that particular system that you find appealing? Did the cost of the games for the system versus the entertainment value you get out of them factor into it? I could go on and on with questions, but I think it will be best to simply leave it up to the respondents to determine why they chose to collect for any given system over all the other options available.

 

Have fun pondering the question and I'll be looking forward to reading any replies this thread may get. :)

Edited by Jin
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For me, it started back during the Bit Wars. Everything was either Nintendo or Sega. Somewhere along the way during that time, I heard about something called "Atari," which had come and gone before. Anything that wasn't Nintendo or Sega was fascinating; as a 6- or 7-year old in 1991-92, I didn't really know there *was* anything else. 3DO and Jaguar weren't very visible except in magazines; CD-i and Turbografx were nonexistant. Going beyond Nintendo and Sega effectively meant going back in time. If I had to define the origin of my lifelong fascination with pre-16-bit consoles, I think that would be it. Learning about the systems of old was like discovering lost treasure.

My family did have an ancient Commodore 64 when I was very little (like, 4-5 years old) that I'm sure was my first experience with electronic games. The neighbor kid had an Apple IIc, and of course our school had a bunch as well as one or two random C64s, but that was about as much exposure as I'd had to any early '80s systems until I got my Odyssey 2 in 1998.

Of course I also enjoy the SNES and Genesis, as well as the N64, Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation, and other '90s-'00s systems, but the 8-bits have always been special to me.

Edited by BassGuitari
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Nostalgia for an entire era is what initially drove me to collect. Over the past ~15 years, I've had just about every console/home computer in my collection at some point, but, of late, I've managed to trim it down to just the few systems I actually owned back in the day. Nostalgia, I suppose, is still what drives me, it's just of a more direct and personal nature these days.

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Well, in my case it a feeling of moving into the future and having a powerful computer, maybe even an AI that could do magic. I remember taking apart and looking at the inside of the various pong consoles of the era. They were simple. Then I came across the Apple II and saw the motherboard being this one huge array of chips, about 100. It even had a full size chip and 5 or 6 medium sized ones too. With 100 chips I figured it's going to be a really smart computer. I didn't pay much attention to the idea of expansion slots, I was barely out of diapers at the time and advanced concepts like that weren't at the forefront of my thinking yet. But I somehow knew Apple was a good thing.

 

In my imagination the mainboard also looked like a KIM-1 computer. But a 1,000 times smarter and more intelligent. Which was another thing I was fascinated by at the time thanks to it being used to control a robot that looked remotely like the lower part of the Venus Death Probe in the 6-Million-Dollar Man TV show.

The pictures in the early ads, as sparse as they were, appealed to me. I understood the game controllers. I understood only some of the text, and the sidebar of specifications was beyond my undertanding except for the amount of memory, 48K, that stuck in my head. And it was the only benchmark I needed to know. It was simple, a child could understand it. It was universal, all computers had "K" in them. The more K you had the better, stronger, faster, your computer was going to be. 48K was light years ahead of any pong console (which really didn't have any) and the upcoming VCS had fractions of 1K inside the console and only 2K Game Programs.

So I built up a collection of brochures and advertisements to help keep it all focused in my head. I even taped one to the inside cover of my math book so I could see it every day in school. Worked summer and winter at all kinds of chores and neighborhood jobs like lawn mowing and taking the old lady's garbage out and sweeping leaves in the fall and shoveling snow in the winter. Running to the post office and doing other stuff that netted me between 2 and 5 bucks a pop. I soon had enough to buy my first console and off I went.

The Apple II was at the center of all kinds of science experiments involving communications and modems and Lunar Lander and model rockets. Deep space communications too. Electronics projects. All the good stuff a kid from that time dreams about. The up and coming era of TRON and WarGames just amplified all that and made me do it even more! BBS'ing. WaReZ, phreaking.. Learning word processing. Programming. Exploring mathematics. Running my "PrintShop" business. The Apple II was so many things. The best of times..

 

So you see, It's all about remembering the good times of fun and discovery and imagination. Not so much the nostalgia to go back to those times. And, still, today, I have fun discovering all kinds of ways to do new things on the Apple II. That's worth taking the time to collect for it! Or, rather, accumulate things at a slow and steady pace. Whenever stuff comes my way. I don't have a specific list saying I have this this and this, but not this this or that.

 

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I grew up with some of this stuff. We had an Atari 2600 (first one fragged on us, replaced it with a 2600 Jr. Still have it), and 8 bit computer. Didn't get an NES until 1988 or 1989. That was *awesome* by comparison (game size, depth, story, music, graphics... the whole mess was great). Didn't even know of the other systems until we came back to the States. It was Atari, NES, and Arcade. I want to say something around 1991, or 1992 I saw an preview in a game mag for Super Mario World, and got really excited for "SMB4." It took my sister, and I bugging the parents to end up with one for Christmas. This too was amazing. My other friends had Sega, I had SNES. Of course, we didn't care as much, games were games! It's all good. For a long while I really wanted a TG16, because they seemed powerful, and had a neat library. Never got one, never even really saw one for sale.

 

I didn't get super excited again until Playstation. I thought the Jag was awesome, but never got one, same for the Lynx (I corrected this years later). The PSX was the first console I was able to buy with money I earned. I had a couple friends who really, really loved theirs. Has some amazing titles for it. PS2 was the next in line. I liked the N64, and the Saturn, Dreamcast etc. They just didn't seem to have the same clout.

 

I've owned a lot of stuff... but the systems that I have decided to keep, and build on, are systems that I have a very personal attachment to. I also collect Famicom, and some SFC stuff, because it's fun, it's Nintendo, and just a little different, and there are some pretty damned cool exclusives that never made it to our shores. But, they are just the Japanese equivalents of NES and SNES, so I lump them into the same category. When push came to shove, and I had to decide what I was going to keep, it was nostalgia/personal attachment, and library.

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It's not entirely nostalgia that I've been collecting NES. The Atari 2600 was my first console that I got when I was a kid and it's totally nostalgic, but I have little interest in collecting Atari.

 

The NES is the happy medium between the more simplistic Atari generation and the more complex and involved stuff that came later. It hits that balance just right for me.

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Nostalgia mostly when comparing the older stuff, but fun factor is way up there too of course. Good to have a variety of old to modern systems to play to try and cover all the bases. :)

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A lot of my early days of collecting was nostalgia driven, retreading the same territory with familiar systems but with a new perspective. I had a chance to enjoy and explore those systems more than I could when I was young. It was amazing to have all of that stuff I never could have afforded all of those years ago.

 

After a few years my priorities changed and I wanted to move onto new experiences, trying hardware I didn't have a chance to before. Gradually I developed new favorites, systems that mean more to me now.

 

the good times of fun and discovery and imagination

 

That sums up my current collection. I didn't own the A8, VIC-20, and Vectrex in the 80s but I now enjoy them more than a lot of my old favorites. It's fun to explore and discover new stuff even if it is old :)

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Sometimes my choice to stick with Apple II was arbitrary in that there were so many things happening on the consumer electronics front in the 70's and 80's I couldn't absorb it all! I just had to concentrate efforts in one platform and stick with it instead of diluting myself across 10 others.

 

Ohh I had them all, all the 8-bit consoles and computers, and learned their operation. Learned how to load and save and program on them. And always found myself doing pioneering work on the Apple II. It was the nexus of knowledge. It would guide and shape the future of computing for me. The II was so influential that when the PC came out I would eventually go to that platform rather than the MAC.

 

Despite the MAC being made by Apple, it was very different from the II. It had no hardware expansion. There was no continuation of II material. And the price was exorbitant. Whereas the PC was a lot like the II in philosophy and architecture. Open, inviting. The MAC was essentially closed and the software became to difficult for me to grasp. It had few games, and BW graphics. Blech..

 

The Apple II was long-lived for me. Had the platform about 20 years. As I outgrew the games and childhood science fantasies I found many productive uses for it. Eventually I'd migrate to the PC from the Apple II by way of the Amiga. Because I could not afford a PC right away, Amiga was the interim solution. I could have stayed with the Amiga but support for it was lax and no one pirated games for it so therefore it was a boring machine. A prick tease, all the graphics goodness locked up and away from me. The writing was on the wall.

 

There were hardware cards on both sides of the equation that allowed the II and PC worlds to interact. Something called the TrackStar from Diamond Computers, and the Transporter from Applied Engineering. And the beginnings of Apple II emulation would start showing up in good time. As early as 1992 I think I had something.

 

I had notions of getting back of collecting cartridge systems again, after the cult of the crazies got a hold of all my 1st generation consoles - Atari VCS, 400, 800, 5200, Intellivision, Odyssey, Vectrex, C64, TRS-80 Coco, TI-99/4A, Astrocade. I thought of rebuilding my collection. I actually got a SMS and a couple of games, even a NES, too. But I didn't have my parents' support in doing that, collecting. And they started to discourage me from playing baby games. Push my ass and get out and get a job. It quickly became a half-hearted endeavor. And I stopped there. Never really had a TG16, Genesis, N64, or SNES. It was seriously overwhelming due to the sheer number of things out there. Especially to a snotty kid working pumping gas and doing oil changes.

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One other aspect of collecting or getting-into a system, for me anyways, was the projected longevity. How far into the future would the system take me? For how long would the knowledge be useful? Would it be transferable? While I didn't actively think about these things in this exact manner, I didn't want to put money into something that'd be defunct and outdated or out of favor in a few years.

 

And a big part of determining how popular a system was how many BBS'es did it have. How many WaReZ "conferences" could I go to. Surprisingly I knew more people with an Apple II than I did Atari 400/800 or even Commodore-64. Knew nobody with TRS-80 anything.

 

The Apple II's higher price tag didn't seem an issue.

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It's fun to explore and discover new stuff even if it is old :)

 

This is part of why I have branched into import stuff for some (most) of the systems I still own and play. This includes pirate carts, and consoles, as well as hardware revisions. Keeps it relatively fresh, while holding my attention, and keeping me pretty well involved.

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It is important to note that collecting (for me) back in the day wasn't really "collecting" at all. More an accumulation of stuff and simply not wanting to throw away anything I paid good money for. Collecting as we know it wasn't something I did. I didn't make lists or inventories or any of that. It was just slow accumulation over time.

 

There was no intent to get every game from every publisher. Nor was there any competition to see who had more stuff. Hardware or software.

Edited by Keatah
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There was no intent to get every game from every publisher. Nor was there any competition to see who had more stuff. Hardware or software.

All that came later. Lol.

 

I kept an inventory back when I had a lot of systems. Now I keep pictures, and a binder. Not nearly as active. My inventory binder is waaaaay out of date. I may go back and revise that.

 

I can say that I do not feel the need to own games from every publisher. That seems a bit over-extended. I have some series that I really love, and I have most of those titles (better exemplified in the PSX/PS2 library). I find that I enjoy Capcom, and Konami releases on NES/FC, and SNES/SFC. I don't feel the need for all their titles, but those guys did a pretty good job. Some guys go hyper specific, and will do things like get all from a handful of publishers. More power to them.

 

Ya know Keatah... my "collecting" started the same way really. My parents are sort of packrats. Video games were expensive, even when cheap. They were always able to bring entertainment, so even when we "upgraded" to newer systems, we never got rid of the older stuff. I care about this stuff more than any other family member, so I sort of inherited game collecting. Being a gamer was a monster created about the age of 4. Lol. As soon as I could manipulate the joystick, I was in. Lol. I've got no complaints...except for too little space, and too shallow a wallet.

 

Some of the best stories I've experienced have been from video games.

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I utterly refuse to buy from online retailers, so my collection is limited by 1) what I can find available at (local) retail and 2) how much I want to spend.

 

That means I will never own some of the more obscure systems (e.g. Channel F, Studio II) or systems that never saw wide-release in Canada (e.g. Atari 5200), but I am entirely ok with that.

 

My budget for games is relatively modest; I have never spent more than about $40 for a single title, and I am normally very reluctant to spend more than $20 for one item (unless it is a massive RPG or strategy game).

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For me it's a combination of games, as in what games are available for what system, and nostalgia...But while it's easy to think of what it's like to collect nowadays, I'm old enough to remember when times were Very Different and this probably affects me.

 

Millennials probably won't even believe me when I tell them I can remember a time when getting a game meant you had the choice of what games were on the store shelves, and that was it. In the oldest days, there were no video game stores, there were no magazines, there were No Used games for sale, and for the most part, nobody in their right mind would put their prized Atari up for sale in a yard sale or garage sale. It was kind of like seeing a movie in the theater (First run). Only imagine that said movie would never run again on pay per view or streaming or movie channels or Blu-Rays. In those days if somebody told you about a game, and you went to the store and they didn't have it, you might never see or play it. Later, magazines had lists of games for sale in the back of them and that made used games available and they started turning up in pawn shops and flea markets and then there were video game stores, at first in bigger cities. At any rate I tend to collect for systems I've always owned or always wanted or for import versions of what I've always owned or wanted, because those seemed so exotic at the time...

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It's all about nostalgia for me.

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I think im totally driven by nostalgia (and money, whatever I'm able to afford).. trying to gather all the games and systems that I've always wanted way back when I first started collecting as a kid, reading stuff from Digital Press. ColecoVision was my first system and then came NES. I definitely tend to collect CV stuff over NES because it's pretty much been a lifelong obsession.. it's easier to collect a full set vs. NES and it's not as popular as the NES, which the demand for is insane right now. On the other hand, collecting ColecoVision has Always been very expensive, so it's been a slow going process for me.

 

With that being said, I've really been digging on Intellivision lately - since it's dirt cheap compared to CV, NES, etc, and it's also one of my favorite classic systems, one that I've owned/collected for since the late 90's, early 2000's. Atari 2600 would come after that. I acquired a Vectrex a couple year's ago, although I swore I'd never bother with one.. Glad I changed my mind, it's the most unique system out there and I love mine alot. The Homebrew scene(s) are thriving with all these consoles and there are a ton of top-notch, quality games avaliable which I buy when I can. The funny part is they're really the only video games I buy and play anymore period.. I'd rather buy a new Homebrew over any brand new console/game, which I don't even own in the first place. Lol. I left off at the Wii. My collecting also depends on my mood, it all depends what I'm into at the time.. I go through phases with different systems but I try to keep everything 'balanced'. I've done pretty good so far and I got rid of what I wasn't passionate about anymore. It's still a lot of systems to collect for but now I have a little more focus on what I'll truly enjoy owning in the long run. :)

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It's all about what I grew up with to me. Born in 2000, for some reason I grew up on a 3DO. It was my first console anyways and had my first video game, Star Fighter. Nobody else in the house wanted the thing as it was old, and we have consoles like the Playstation 2 and Xbox and Gamecube sitting around after a bit, but I stuck with that dumb FZ-1. I guess the reason had to be just what was available, my brothers and dad would always be on the newer systems and I didn't have any games to play apart from Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, so 3DO was my open option. Games like Star Fighter, Escape from Monster Manor, DOOM, Wing Commander III, and Shockwave were always there, and I always liked them. Eventually, around 2005 or 2006, just the love of the console got me into collecting for it, and even with all the stupid titles on it that aren't any good, I still like the thing and collect for it - it's one of the only systems that I can really say I'd love a full game set and dev hardware for, and even maybe a M2 unit just to mess with.

 

Also, with what GoldLeader said, I can understand with a good few people not knowing about how whatever the game store had was it, but I remember that stuff a good bit myself. A lot of figuring out what to buy was from friends at school, we'd all talk about games and tell each-other about games, and hoping that your friend wasn't making up some dumb story and telling about how the game actually was ended up leading to some purchases. Box art was also a big draw, I liked looking at the box art on games so I'd always go for the ones that I thought of as "cool". Did that lead to some bad purchases? Yeah, and I regret a good few of them, but overall it was kind-of simple and fun. Maybe it was just because I live in the country of PA where about nothing happens and we didn't get much stuff, but compared to seeing a million reviews from a million critics, and then all the user reviews, and then judging a game based off of that stuff, it was a lot of fun in the end and I almost wish sometimes that I still got games like that.

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I utterly refuse to buy from online retailers, so my collection is limited by 1) what I can find available at (local) retail

I'm confused. What is the difference whether you grab the game/console from a retailer online or if you just go to their brick & mortar store?

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Price and interest

 

Like I would like a coleco vision had one growing up but price for a toy... Eh

 

But my cousin had a 2600 and a 7800 later and geez you can get one of those for about the price of postage if your not making a monument to gaming

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For choosing what systems to add to the collection, it's a matter of 3 things: 1) Availability. Can I get said system? Nothing will spur my interest faster than seeing a new console available in my favorite local shop- to the point that I have to avoid going for fear of coming come with something new I don't really need. 2) Library. Can I find enough titles I want to warrant owning the system? One or two games doesn't cut it, I need to have a good selection in mind (usually at least 6-10 games after minimal research). 3) Space. Where am I gonna keep the system? I'm pretty picky about keeping my game collection neat, so I'm careful not to buy something I can't find a home for.

 

As for what system I buy games for... really, that boils down to pure space right now. I go through phases of what system I buy games for- there's a big spike when I acquire a new machine of course, but after that I'm a lot more likely to buy for a system I have a goof amount of extra shelf space for. Considering I could keep buying for most any of my systems nearly indefinitely, it's just easier to focus on ones that don't require a big shift in my setup.

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For me it's mostly nostalgia coupled with what I remember liking most as a kid and the design. I grew up with the Atari 2600 so that's something I'll always like but, to be fair, that is a weak system. I like it as much for the box art and great memories as anything else. My best friend owned an Atari 5200, that one I get also for the art of it but also because I really like the games themselves. I also grew up with an Atari 800 computer (which I still own) so I collect a little bit of that, too. I was always a huge Atari fan due to the arcade games (grew up in the golden age of arcades, the '80s), most of my favorite arcade games are from Atari. My favorite arcade games are vector games so the Vectrex (another friend owned that) immediately went to the top of my list. Couldn't afford it and the Atari 2600 as a kid, own one now along with a lot of games (love the homebrews). Nothing beats vector games on an actual vector monitor.

I love Atari's design work on the original line of 8-bit computers the most -

atari800-us-1.jpg

 

I also collect the old arcade flyers that companies sent to arcades to convince them to buy their new arcade games -

 

spaceduel.jpg

 

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11010101.jpg

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If it's collecting, along with occasional gameplay and historical interest, the great motivator is that for certain systems it's actually possible to obtain a full set of games, to get a complete collection. Odyssey, Channel F, Studio II, Vectrex, Arcadia 2001, Nuon, etc- these are actually possible to complete, there is an endpoint you can reach and be finished.

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This is a tough question because as much as I like certain systems I tended to keep most of what I bought back in the day. I have recently gotten back to older roots getting a 2600 since my 7800 just does not play 2600 games. But remembering back in the day when I was on the east coast just outside NYC nothing normal was normal. I knew more kids with Master Systems than NES which was an oddity in itself.

 

Those same childhood friends also grew up building PC's moving from an Apple to an IBM XT then to a 286 then 386 and so forth. That exposure for me made me want a PC so bad back in those days because what you got was pretty much better than the consoles. But at the time you could pretty much afford one or the other and I watched the progression of new stuff coming out and about. I did build a 486 machine from parts sold at a computer fair (yeah remember those?). Cheaper parts and cheaper software. I don't have the machine anymore but it was a blast putting it together and loading it with games like Civilization,Doom,Wolfenstein,D&D games.

 

As for consoles and this is where I have issues on what to collect for since I tend not to think of myself as collecting. I want stuff to play and find new stuff but since I never threw anything out I ended up with quite a few systems to get games for (mostly Sega). I like my Genesis and the CD and I like my Dreamcast but if I had to really pick one I think I would stick with the Saturn. Big problem is nothing is cheap for that one but being with my roommate who bought the very first PS1 we would compare the 2 and enjoyed both for that time period. I ended up with his PS1 anyhow in a trade deal.

 

Recently though not having as much NES exposure I am enjoying it more and more and usually pick up more titles for that since there are so many yet to try.

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