I used to have a ton of video games in the 80s and early 90s. Hey I was kid/teenager with zero athletic skills, what other hobby was I supposed to have? Of course the first batch of games were mostly Christmas or birthday presents. When I was old enough to get a crappy mall job I spent a good portion of the earnings on more games. By 1995 my collection was roughly somewhere in the low hundreds.
Then along came two evils that almost wiped-out my game library: trade-ins and emulators. Until 1996 I spent 8 hours a day surrounded by video games but could only afford a few here and there. Then I discovered that I could download and play every NES and Genesis game for free. Who needed cartridges anymore? I traded-in a huge number of games to buy stuff for systems that weren't yet emulated.
Over the next few years my collection stayed relatively low. 1996-1999 I was in college full-time and didn't have much availability for gaming. Living in a small apartment didn't help either. I moved to a bigger apartment in 2000 but didn't buy too many games then. I eventually bought a Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, but only 3-4 games for them. In 2001 I got married and moved into a three bedroom house. Of course one of those rooms was reserved for a future inhabitant so my wife and I shared a small office in the spare room. It was cramped and I wasn't going to make it any worse by buying even more stuff. I was going to graduate school in the evenings anyway and didn't have much leisure time to spare.
As the family grew we moved to a larger house; four bedrooms, finished basement, all the standard things I guess. This meant I finally had a dedicated computer/game room. Nah it wasn't huge, just regular bedroom size, but it was still very exciting. It filled-up rather quickly with the stacks of game systems and computers that tightly packed our previous office. My original goal was to make it something of a hybrid computer lab and game room.
So to finally get to the point... in early 2006 I realized that I wasn't really into working on old computers any more. Heck, I don't really enjoy working on new computers either. What I really wanted to do was get into video game collecting, to find all those games I traded-away or couldn't afford back in the day. I dumped several bulky old computers to make room for video games. I started stocking up on games through a serious eBay binge. It was an easy way to find stuff but was missing something. The real fun would be finding old video games "in the wild" - at garage sales, thrift stores, rummage sales, in boxes on the side of the road - truly hunting for classic gaming treasures.
This went great for a few years then in the early 2010s people decided to try and get rich on old video games. By 2015 it was almost impossible to find anything good and by the end of the decade I slowed down the hunt considerably. My collection grew out of control and there just wasn't anything good to find it seemed. Although buying less these days it's still fun to see what's out there. Landing a great deal is much more satisfying when there are so very few to be found.
The photos in the early years are pretty terrible and they get progressively less-terrible as time goes on. I just use my camera phone for these and I don't understand how lighting works.
Trophy Room 2010
2010 had a weak garage sale season but stores were filled with great finds to make up for it.
Trophy Room 2016
This is the year when I started to question how long I would keep doing these galleries. With retro game prices going through some kind of bubble there are fewer things to find. Compounding the issue is me having less free time to go hunting.
Trophy Room 2018
2018 had one amazing find but not much else. I suspect this will be the last year I keep posting these galleries (until I change my mind in 12 months).
Trophy Room 2019
This is definitely the last year I'm updating this section. You all know how 2020 turned out already. I think there's about a 1% chance I'll update this again at best. I thought that last year too though.
Trophy Room 2022
What's this? I'm backtracking just two years after saying this section was dead? With this little forced hiatus over I'm back out looking for game deals on the weekends. It's still a scarce market but I managed to find a few good things anyway.
Trophy Room 2023
After 17 years this section has fully evolved into something I never intended but enjoy all the same. Instead of talking about video game finds I'm looking at ludicrous game prices and just slightly gaming-adjacent deals.