I've had the Super NES and NES sitting in my basement for years, at four different apartments or houses. I've amassed about 30 NES games and about 15 SNES games. I never play any of them. In some cases, I've bought Virtual Console or Xbox Live Arcade versions to replace them. It's always hard for me to justify this, but who wants to dig out a 15 year old video game system just to play a few rounds of Street Fighter II?
Originally I'd put them into the spare room with a TV, thinking it would be sort of a classic video game room. Instead, the room became storage. Even if I wanted to sit in that room and play video games (I don't, it's dark and kind of musty) I couldn't because it's too full of crap.
And yet these classic gaming collections sit in this room.
Yesterday it dawned on me that I didn't really care about them anymore. With modern technology, I can replay any of these games any different number of ways. I can emulate, (both legally or illegally, if necessary) these experiences perfectly on either a handheld or a television set. Most importantly, I'm not a collector anymore. I once was, to a certain extent, but I'm not anymore. Another thing I've noticed about video games: the more of them you own, the less you care about any one of them in particular. One of the reasons most of us loved our NES so much as a kid is because we never had more than 1 or 2 new games per year. We had to sit, and focus in on those games. These days, I acquire a new video game on SOME platform or another just about weekly, and that adds to a backlog of thousands of games that I own in some capacity and never play.
So, I decided to box them up, and trade them in. Initially I thought about going the eBay route, but these would require pretty hefty boxes, and I always hate shipping something like that on eBay. Seems like no matter how much I charge for shipping, I end up paying for it in the end.
Instead, I took them to Gamers, a local used video game shop that, unlike Gamestop, deals in classic gaming as well as modern gaming. I sat the giant box on the counter, and found an employee to begin the trade in process. As I watched him go through game after game, testing the NES and Super NES (but strangely not testing every game), I wrote on my phone "I estimate $57" and showed it to my wife so that when they gave me a total, she could gauge my facial reaction properly.
Everyone who's ever traded in a video game or video game system to a store like Gamers or Gamestop will tell you the same thing: keep your expectations low. Whatever you think you DESERVE for the loot, halve that, and then minus another 5-10% or so depending on the rarity of the items. I expected maybe $10-15 each for the NES and Super NES, and maybe $0.75 per game on the average.
They offered me $175 in store credit.
I absolutely could not believe what they were telling me. This is by far the most I have ever been off on my trade-in estimate, and in this case it was to my benefit. $175. For a bunch of games that were no newer than 14 years old.
I swallowed the lump in my throat that had formed as I watched them playtest Super Mario World on my SNES and quickly agreed to sign the ticket which gives them my loot, and gives me a buttload of store credit.
So, I'm sure you're asking, what did I buy with my store credit? Why, since you asked...
I am now the proud owner of a fitness video game, a super-realistic golf video game, an attachment that makes my Wii remote do all the things they said it would do when they sold it in 2006, and an update to a classic NES arcadey sports title. Am I sporty or what? I will try to update this blog in a few weeks with impressions of these games, most notably how I'm doing in EA Sports Active (which, from what I can tell, is Wii Fit for those who actually desire a game that will get you in shape).