April 30, 2011 12:00 PM |
['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day.]
When I wrote in this column a month ago about how I wanted to give away my collection of old video game and computer magazines, I wasn't expecting much response. I never found that many people interested in my collection before, after all.
Back a few years ago, when I was accumulating the majority of my collection, which spans around 8,000 magazine, I felt like I was very much on a solo mission. Lots of people collected classic video games, but I only knew one other person in the US who specialized in game magazines and he didn't live anywhere near me.
It's always been a quixotic mission, one that a lot of people don't understand. Let's say, for example, I took my girlfriend home for the first time. If I had a large collection of NES games, maybe my girlfriend would look at them on the shelf and say "Wow! I had one of these as a kid! Do you have [game name]?" and I'd say "I sure do" with a smug look on my face. (Dork fantasy fulfilled.)
That same person, face to face with a room full of 25-year-old computer magazines and ferret toys -- her reaction could very well be "You must be one of those hoarders like I saw on TV," and her stance would be completely justifiable. Average people my age see value in old games, but not so much in the assorted ephemera that comprised the game scene as it existed in the past.
That's why I was surprised at the large response I received nationwide after writing that column, which described how I wanted my collection to be handled in the future. I'm talking, like, dozens of people, from large research institutions to university libraries to commercial outfits to random collectors asking of my complete GameFan run was for sale.