Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Longing for the good old days

If I was just starting to collect games, I would probably be too discouraged to continue to do so after a few months.  The constant feeling of defeat by coming home week after week with nothing would sour me on the hobby for sure.  How difficult it must be for someone just starting out now.  I certainly don't envy them.


Maybe my area is hunted out.  I'm not the only one doing this, after all.  These games that were once in the wild are getting snapped up by people like me and then they're not going anywhere.  In my case, the games I buy get absorbed into the collection, and they'll never (at least more than likely never) be released back into the wild again.  There are only so many of these things in existence, so I do understand why they're not as easy to find as they once were, but man... that doesn't make it easier on me.

The places I have been going to for literally over a decade are bone dry.  Seldom do I leave the store with any new games.  I resorted to buying NES screw variants of games I already had, and then that dried up.  Then I started buying seal of quality variants, but I quickly found that those are difficult to find as well.  I started hunting for these things so I could come home with something after hitting all the stores in town, but I'm still coming home empty handed.

The first pawn shop around me I saw that started charging eBay prices for all their games used to be my favorite.  The guy that ran it was always giving me and my friends "the deals" when we'd go in there, shaving a few bucks off of games when we'd get up to the register.  It was a shame that it went downhill so quickly because they used to always have a decent selection.  Now all their games are priced in the double digits in a locked glass case like some sort of ancient relics.  You can't even touch them without having someone come over and unlock the case for you.  Meanwhile, this glass case is right in the front of the store window with the sun blasting in bleaching all of them.

Near that pawn shop is another one that I have been going to since the late 90s.  They suddenly began marking up some of their games because one of the employees "knew what they're worth."  One of the other employees there is also a collector and he is trying to put together a complete NES collection.  That makes him my direct competition.  As such, there is no reason for me to go back into that shop.  There more than likely won't be any NES games in there I need since the collector employee snatched them up when they came in, and the games that are left will be outrageously priced.  I have been in there maybe three times in the past five months, and every time I leave there I leave angry.

Then there's the final pawn shop, which is the only one I continue to go to on a regular basis.  Their prices are fair and every old game costs the same regardless of what it is.  That being said, I have not found anything noteworthy at this pawn shop since April of 2012 when I found a copy of Pocky & Rocky there.  I have since discovered that one of the girls that works there is a collector, and one of the guys that works there buys every RPG for his daughter.  They used to have an amazing selection of SNES games, but now  it's almost entirely sports games.  Even their current-gen selection isn't as good as it used to be.

I know, I know.  "Waaah!  I can't find cheap games I don't have!"  First world problems and all that.  It's just frustrating.