Not a week goes by without my beloved wife (@redhead2376) insisting that I tidy up my study or put into “archive” (i.e. our loft) the majority of my retro collection that is cluttering up the place.
I insist that the latest package to drop through our letterbox courtesy of eBay/Console Passion (@ConsolePassion) or Retro Games (@Retrogamesbloke) is an “investment” that will be cashed in by our daughters once I’ve gone to the great arcade in the sky.
But yesterday I actually put a little bit of thought into this. With the hardware I have, as long as I keep it in good, working condition and the boxes in good nick they should still fetch a decent price in the future – that’s if we have enough electricity to run them! But the games? Processor power as it stands allows full emulation of the majority of home computers and consoles up to the previous generation of machines – XBox/PS1. It’s only a matter of time before emulation encompasses every machine that had a physical, collectable boxed releases of games.
Then what happens?
For example, I own many of the Magnetic Scolls titles (I’m an avid text-adventure fan) and want to complete the set. These are worth a decent amount of money on sites at the moment – some titles listed as much as £150 each. But will they command such figures once the generation that played them and courted them has gone? Computer games aren’t like collectable toys for example. In the future there won’t be a way to emulate playing with Scalextric. You’ll still have to go onto eBay and buy a set.
The value of retro games, is buoyed by the people who lived through the era, bought the games, desired other games and systems and ultimately the market is driven via nostalgia to buy them again. Gamers coming after me won’t see the same value in owning a boxed game for a start – something they won’t have experienced through a life of digital downloads. Second they won’t be interested in a game they’ve never heard of, or if they are, what would be the point of owning the box when the game can be emulated and played without cost?
It’s an interesting thought.
What I’m really worried about is, who is going to pay £30 for my mint copy of “Guild Of Thieves” on the ST?