Whether that’s eBay, a local store, or a subreddit
Realistically, I spend way more time thinking about video games than I do playing them. That habit has manifested in some interesting pastimes, whether it’s watching YouTubers scrub out and fix disgustingly broken consoles, or, every so often, firing up a few tabs to see which retro games folks are buying, selling, and just generally jazzed about online.
It’s kind of an unwieldy interest, but it basically boils down to deriving a small amount of pleasure from seeing others participate in a hobby I enjoy. That’s the high-level appeal.
I get a (maybe weird?) satisfaction from seeing my local used game shop update their online storefront — it’s neat to see what kinds of retro games are floating around the area, especially titles I’ve never heard of before — and that also extends to other marketplaces, including eBay. How much time have I “wasted” poring over Game Boy Advance SP listings? If you’re spying on me, please, don’t answer that. It’s too much.
Someone paired a green GBA SP with Catz and The Powerpuff Girls: Him and Seek — and that low-key fascinates me.
Heck, it’s even fun to pop into, say, the SNES or PSX subreddit from time to time to catch someone’s latest flea-market haul, or to hear about their first-time experience diving into one of my childhood favorites. Given the age and rarity of certain games, you never truly know what might bubble up next. Seeing weathered instruction manuals, funky regional console or controller colors, carts with Sharpie signatures — it’s all a blast to me.
Right now — and this could change at any moment if inspiration strikes— I’m at a point where I have little to no desire to spend more money on old games I will probably “mess around with for an afternoon” at most. As the next best thing, I’m enjoying living vicariously through other players’ finds, whether they’re familiar to me or totally fresh.
It’s a sometimes pleasant, sometimes wistful time-waster. And considering retro game prices right now, it’s a way to stay partially engaged without breaking the bank.
Given this site, at least some of you will relate to my retro neighborhood watch. But what platforms or niches do you like to “check in on”? Any Dreamcast fiends in the room?
[Header Image: pn1ct0g3n]