Interests: Fiction Writing, Art, Pipe OrganQuote:
Likes: Gothic Horror
The fear of blood tends to create fear for the flesh...
People don't buy from flee markets and pawn shops; guys do. More specifically, sumguy does. sumguy is always getting there before you. Yeah, had a whole box of carts, but sumguy came and bought them all. And so begins the jealous traumatic pursuit of collecting rare video games.
The great classic game god, Bira Bira spawned, not from a flea market, but from a thrift store. Someone was looking through a large bin and discovered a tiny wooden tiki idol in a basket with a collection of rare 2600 cartages. The idol is now worshiped by all who wish good karma to fall upon us, we who build Bira's throne from Intelivison carts and we who praise Bira Bira with the 23rd Psalm of gaming! But Beware fellow congregation! Fall not into the grasp of the false god Mr. Friendly who will turn all your thrift store Atari 2600 finds into loose Madden 95 genesis carts. Or loose ET carts. (a game which was so unsuccessful, the company buried 5 million unsold copies in the New Mexico desert). May Mr. Friendly forever burn in the fires of Damnable internet-flash Pac-Man remakes! But honestly, sumguy is the cause of the most traumatic stress and depression upon a collector, though. The game was there. You were just too late. Some things you would rather not know.
Flea markets are awesome. You cannot deny the sheer joy of digging through yellowing, oily NES cartridges and Genesis systems smeared with unknown radioactive substances. I once heard of a guy whose Vectrex doubled as a roach motel. Like something out of CreepShow. Speaking of roaches, I also heard of a guy who had a cockroach crawl inside the modem jack of his PowerBook and lay eggs. Little roaches popping out of every opening in that thing for ages. I mean what can you do? You can't really pour boric acid on it.
Thrift stores are great, flea markets are even better, but my mother went into a pawnshop once where an old guy was trying to pawn a gold ring, and the guy behind the desk wouldn't take it. The old guy got frustrated, pulled up his jacket and placed a handgun on the desk. My mom freaked out. It's a pretty normal occurrence, actually. His next words were, so then, how much will you give me for this gun But besides firearms, stolen DVD players, and jails, to me, heavy barred windows can mean only one thing: Potential rare video games.
My name's Andrew. And I'm a Video Game Collector. (hi, andrew.) I have failed. I was a fortunate child. When all the good little children got NES's for Christmas, I was able to greedily capture all their Atari 2600 goodness at garage sales. But I must make a confession. My mother (may she be smitten with long grocery-store lines and banana yellow kitchen wallpaper!) gave me permission to smash all our Atari cartridges, controllers and accessories since we didn't have a working system anymore. Being the destructive child I was, I took her up on the offer, using the parts for a 5th grade Halloween robot costume. Everyone else had cheap Jason hockey masks, (and not even real cleavers) but I always won the most original award. I will never live down my failures.
One time I casually asked my friend what happens when you collect all the rare PS1 games. His answer was (in a epic Tolkienesq voice) You become immortal. (Though I still need that one last Valkyrie Profile manual.) And from the burden of many more failures I must repent, lest I be doomed to forever burn in one of Mr. Friendly's Sega-Genesis-Madden-'95 hells. Anyway, Earthbound. Arguably, the most sought after SNES RPG. Once upon a time, many ages ago, in Farmington's Wal-Mart, there existed an entire stack of unopened Earthbounds. On clearance. $5 each. I bought one. Only one? (stupid.) I opened it (gasp.) And I tore the scratch and sniff stickers from the strategy guide (heretic.) And ...played it... (murderer!) Then I eBayed it in a lot of SNES stuff. There. The secret is out, and I feel better. Ebay is evil. It seduces one to turn great treasures into worthless cash. Suikoden II, Inteligent Qube, Final Fantasy II; I had them all at some time, salvaged from the pawnshops where they sat, the broken-hearted rare games, just waiting for me, but Ebay's evil got to me. I think my brother bought a brand new Virtual Boy (the headache inducing, eye destroying 3D Sci-Fi goggles). And a top-loader NES at Humane Society! Guess who got it? What say I regarding my little precious gemstones now? Don't even think about trying to give me money for them. I have learned.
Such traumatic experiences we collectors encounter (and they wonder why we spend our time locked up, the dangerous Cathode Rays boring into our eyes, waiting to blind us).
Games frighten me. Computers frighten me. Old computers. DOS computers. Green-Screen Apple 2Es. Ataris. Especially Ataris. I remember going to bed one night, crying profusely in the presence of my mother because the ducks on Adventure had suddenly, miraculously become smarter. When I chased them with the arrow, they would no longer let me to stab them, but instead ran away into the evil maze where they would wait to eat me. (no one ever told me there were multiple difficulty level options)
I checked out some creepy looking books on computer viruses from the library when I was seven. I knew computer viruses were bad, though I didn't know what exactly there were capable of. Just a looming concept, some unseen force that could mess up my brain, some mental disease? I couldn't believe that viruses only affected computers! They could get me too. Yes, I actually believed this. Oh, Symantec, where are the lonely Friday nights of reading *rare* virus definitions, fearing what they might do to my body?
One time I saw this very message scrolling upon the screen of my parent's computer: "ELVIRA ! Black and White Girl from Paris You make me feel alive" (Lovely God, I shudder to even write it now). It was a virus. I received the horrors of waking from a nightmare, and cowered out of the parent's evil room, petrified to even mention the sacrilegious heresy I had witnessed! It remained my dark secret. Then the virus scan wouldn't work. Computer said it was out of date. So I turned back the computer clock (oh devious seven year old) successfully tricking the computer into deleting the virus. Whew. I never have to look at that computer again! But the machine didn't like me. It beeped at me! Not just one beep, a series of beeps. I freaked out again and ran from the room. I knew that if I was not in the same room, the computer couldn't possibly hurt me. I think all those old people are right. Computers are evil.
So now I'm a techie. When computers traumatized me for life? Why? I can't answer that. I would never admit to loving a computer, though I have been known to sensually pet my Mac Mini periodically. Nope. Can't tell you why, except that the machines have gotten into my childhood mind and made their little marks of death. It's like a drug.
Computers are evil. Now pawnshops are becoming evil. True pawnshops are those run by a long bearded man with dirty clothes, who sit behind newspapers, smoking cigarettes, either not taking notice of you, or (if your wearing a trench coat) staring you up and down two times. That is what God originally intended pawn shop owners to be! None of this TV-commercial, halogen lighted, Ebay-looking-up-for-price-guide, organized crap.
Pawnshops and Computers are evil and now even Video Games have followed suit. Game characters look shockingly human now. The look even more human then humans do. Let not the beautiful 4bit squares fade! Don't stop the pixilated penises and breasts of Mystique's Bachelor Party! No one is afraid of what they can understand. And until Video Game characters sound like the old movie projectors used exclusively in classrooms taught by a seventy-year old geography teachers, I shall not have it.
I don't play games anymore, (well, an occasional Silent Hill keeps me from going too far into the happy-house), and thus I have now become a true collector. True collectors do not longingly wish to tear into unopened packages just to (by heaven's name) PLAY the game. Games were not meant to be played. And so ends the story of my childhood trauma that has inevitably caused me to dress in black ever since. I still cringe, still run from the dark screens of DOS, still present Barbie doll sacrifices to Bira Bira.
I understand nothing of the greatness of the world. We can only hopelessly blast away the giant Asteroids that only split apart and multiply when our bullets occasionally hit them.