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Retro Gaming Preservation

Never, ever throw away a video game console, game or accessory... EVER!

It doesn't seem that long ago that yard sale proprietors were begging me to take that Atari 2600 they couldn't get rid of. I finally began saying NO. I never stopped to think about a very important fact.

Retro gaming hardware & games are in finite supply There will NEVER ever be more.

Video Game Preservation

Nintendo and Atari are still active companies with active brands... but neither is producing the consoles they sold in the 1980s. The only retro consoles & games we'll ever see again are those that were manufactured and sold decades ago!

You don't have to construct a museum with environmentally-controlled display cases to help the cause. There are plenty of simple things you can do to help ensure that retro gaming has a future beyond simply playing ROMs.

5 Things You Can Do To Help Preserve Retro Gaming

  1. Educate people about the finite supply of retro video game consoles, games, and accessories

  2. Explain how all video game items - functional or not - hold great value

  3. Rescue games and video game consoles that you see in trash cans, dumpsters, etc.

  4. Never dispose of ANY retro gaming items - give them to someone who CAN make use of them

  5. Learn basic electronics repair and apply it to the video game consoles you own

Retro Gaming Preservation

We've already lost the majority of consoles and games that were produced in early days. Over time, attics and rooms get "cleaned" which usually means anything that hasn't been used, played, or worn lately gets thrown in the trash. Cleaning can be quite cathartic, but if you casually dispose of gaming items YOU don't want, you're doing a disservice to gaming's history... and future!

Set aside any gaming items you no longer want and offer them to someone who can properly care for them or repair them. You may be surprised at how excited a collector will be to have the games you regarded as "clutter".

Sell Unwanted Games to Friends or Collectors, NOT GameStop

GameStop began taking in retro games to be resold on their website. Some will see this as the company expanding their gaming to cover bygone retro eras. Others will see this as corporate intrusion into the retro gaming community. We see it as the destruction of retro gaming's history and future!

In large scale retail, you track and sell your inventory by SKUs. Each product has a unique SKU. We know that the condition of a retro game affects it's price. GameStop only knows a game by it's SKU. Thus a battered Tetris cart is the same as a CIB Tetris game - each title has one SKU. GameStop only sells retro game carts and discs. All other items - boxes, manuals, inserts - are thrown in the trash!
Read more about how GameStop is disposing of retro gaming artifacts in their dumpsters.

Learn Basic Electronics Repair

Are you really savvy enough to diagnose a "broken" video game console? Just because the power-light won't illuminate or the start-up screen wont't appear, doesn't mean the console is forgone and should be thrown in a dumpster. I often hear of folks throwing away retro game consoles simply because they don't know how to fix them. Find someone who can fix them! These consoles, games and accessories are vital pieces of gaming's history!

Retro Gaming PCB soldering

With retro game consoles in finite supply, how long before they can no longer be found at yard sales, flea markets, or auctions? Knowing how to repair these amazing devices will be a critical facet to the preservation of retro gaming on original equipment. Wouldn't it be great to know how to troubleshoot game console problems? That would make you a retro gaming hero!

I hope this page inspires you to begin to learn more about your favorite game consoles and how they really operate. Just as basic plumbing or electrical knowledge is important to home ownership, electronic repair should be equally important to retro gamers. If you can't fix it - find someone who can!

Next time you encounter someone making lamps out of an NES console, 8 game carts, and a light-gun - stop and think about how much retro gaming artifacts are being cannibalized for the sake of a a talking-piece. Gamers know the value of those parts, functional or not, and a lamp is a poor use of these gaming assets. Tell the seller exactly why you won't be making a purchase!

Everything YOU do to save just one video game console from being disposed of in a dumpster, helps the future of retro gaming! We thank you!

Additional Video Game Preservation Articles:

Please share this info with other gamers. The future of gaming's history may depend on it!

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