I was born smack bang on 1980. While this meant I grew up with the destructive influences of acid wash denim, Mullets and Erkel from Family Matters, on the upside it did plant me right at the beginning of what could arguably be called the decade of gaming. I was raised in the golden era of the arcade cab and witnessed – at least with the perception of a child – the birth of the home gaming scene.
It’s for this reason above all else, that I find myself collecting ‘retro’ video game bits and pieces these days. My childhood was a Commodore 64, followed by an Amiga 500 (the single greatest computer ever made, and if any of you Atari ST fans come near me I’ll beat you to death with an Agnus chip) then finally an Amiga 2000HD with its whopping 52MB hard drive.
That’s right, 52 whole megabytes that as a child I had no earthly idea how to effectively utilise. But it sure was cool to have a hard drive back when they were something special.
Nowadays – as you can see from the photos – I’ve amassed a pretty reasonable collection of gaming gear from the 1970s right up till present day. A small slice of the world of video games over the past 30 or so years. That’s pretty impressive. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a particularly huge collection by any stretch of the imagination, not like those crazy folk who transform their homes or garages into shrink-wrapped shrines of complete PAL sets of Super Nintendo or Atari games. I wasn’t much of a console gamer as a kid (I played at other peoples houses or handed a $2 coin to the owner of the local video store to bash out a few rounds of Street Fighter 2 on his Perspex protected Super Nintendo) so my most beloved and sentimental items are my collection of Commodore and Amiga gear. Thus far, I own a C64, C64C, C128, C128D, Amiga 500 with A570 CDROM, Amiga 600 and Amiga 1200 with a 40MB hard drive.
On, and a CD32 console as well, which I love mostly for the fact it’s a gorgeous fusion of console gaming and the Amiga brand, as well as being somewhat of an oddity that you don’t see in every collection of retro gear you come across.
As far as the rest, I’ve got a smattering of consoles (28 at last count?) a decent swag of boxed and unboxed games for everything from the Odyssey 2 to the Sega Saturn, and even a never-been-used Super Nintendo. That’s right, it’s all still perfectly wrapped up in its plastic, with the ties still around the just-out-of-the-factory controllers.
It’s very minty.
I used to have two, but sold one on eBay to fund something, I can’t remember what. It went for over AUD500 which wasn’t a bad figure in the end.
There’s not a lot of surprises in the stuff I own, no super-duper-rare items, but I do like to think mine is a loved and played collection. Everything you see in the photos gets a play now and again, and I’m constantly hooking up consoles, or putting batteries into one of my 36 Game & Watches (yeah, okay, so they’re an expensive addiction!). I also have a soft spot for my cabs – an original USA Mortal Kombat 2 and a Hankin cocktail running Bombjack. I wish I had more room for them, but as I have only a single room to devote to all things gaming, I have to keep the cab-lust at a minimum.