Old games are selling for thousands of pounds and it is hard to understand why. DESIblitz explores why fans will spend so much to indulge in retro games.
"Physical game media and old consoles will be a novelty to future generations"
It is baffling to many how games from before the noughties (pre-2000) can cost hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of pounds.
The graphics of these retro games tend to be sub-par, and the old technology can be off putting to some.
However, it is the price many willingly pay for nostalgia and to be taken back younger and more simple times.
It can be seen as a form of time travel with this analogy, but these games to bring back old emotions to a time when they would spend hours with their friends just playing games.
It definitely also bring players a level of glee when they’re beating up old villains and solving puzzles that they used to struggle with.
David Kaelin, who owns the chain of shops Game Over Game alongside running the Classic Game Fest in Austin, Texas, says: “It was a more innocent time in gaming. They were easier to pick up and play, less violent, more universally accessible than they are now.”
Many examples of these games costing ridiculous amounts can be seen around the web, with some games even going into the thousands.
Avid gamer, Omar explains: “People age 20 and up are going to have the nostalgia factor that will make them want to buy their old games. Right now the majority of the hardcore collectors are probably in their 20s and 30s.
“But think when the NES/SNES generation of kids are in their 60s and 70s, and their children buy them a Christmas gift of a NES with games. The retro games will always have their value, regardless of how the generation ages.”
Although gaming stores are great for getting games, many search online for their vintage game needs, and more often than not they’ll use EBay. The deals found their include a boxed PlayStation 1 for £126.99, another one is the original unboxed Mario Kart for the Nintendo 64 for £100.
Naturally, the franchise of the game is important, however in some cases the amount of money spent is incredible. Take Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past unsealed on the SNES as an example, costing a whooping £4,999.99!
In other walks of life, people have been surprised and have engaged in discussion about how much an unpacked old vintage Star Wars figurine can sell for. The same goes for original copies of certain comics in the Marvel and DC Universe.
Clay Routledge, keen gamer and assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at North Dakota State University says:
“I believe that the games serve as a cue or a reminder of experiences we had in our youth that were truly fulfilling for us. For example, I have very fond memories of playing The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Brothers on the NES.”
Although nostalgia is a big part of bringing up the prices, it isn’t the only reason. The limited supply of old games, plus the online auctions are also making prices sky rocket.
Alongside the online bid wars on EBay becoming competitive, there are YouTube channels like RetroLiberty being solely dedicated to retro gaming. The popular channel has 29,000 subscribers with videos reaching up to 100,000 views. It has episodes centered on the top retro games, and some focus on the crew going to swap meets and getting good deals.
This also boosts interest in older games as viewers will be interested, and hunt down the games mentioned. But is it fair that such old games which initially retailed below £20 are now ten times as much? Will such retro games ever return to their original, much lower price?
Adam says: “The reason NES and beyond won’t ever dip hugely is that gaming is going all digital and won’t ever go back. Physical game media and old consoles will be a novelty to future generations. Furthermore, games from the NES onwards will stand the test of time. Super Mario Bros will always be an amazing game even if Nintendo went under.
“The NES was when video gaming became awesome, and I believe any physical game media after that era will hold value long after TVs don’t even have composite inputs anymore.”
It’s safe to say that the gaming community is one heavily entrenched with nostalgia, especially those with memories of the older consoles. It was a time in which people played games together in the same room, spurning on the hero, and battling evil villains on consoles that were (back then) ahead of its time.
It was the time when the future of technology was becoming a reality and young minds were free to imagine and play within a endless magical world stored inside their GameBoys and PlayStations.
Whether it was friends working together on boss fights, or getting extremely competitive and wanting to beat one another, the older gaming experience is one that is hard to emulate with the most recent generation of games and consoles.
So if you have some old games out there collecting dust, check out their worth, as you could be in for a surprisingly high amount of money.
Win FREE tickets to see the wonderfully funny Dead Sheep at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) on 1st October 2016.