Author Topic: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector  (Read 344 times)

Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« on: January 14, 2023, 08:53:41 pm »
What sort of interesting stories do you have that came about in your pursuit of video games, deals, or just building your collection. Specifically, do you have any weird, creepy, or hilarious stories about people you've bought games from or where you may have found some games? Any Craigslist or FB Marketplace deals that ended up being more than you bargained for, or possibly more entertaining than you thought they'd be? Share your stories, I'm sure some of us who've been doing this a while at least have one or two.

Re: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2023, 09:41:13 pm »
The first one is a friend and local collector's story and the second one is mine.

My friend sees an ad on CL back around 2014 or so with a guy posting some pretty rare games like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Snatcher, and Metal Warriors CIB. The person posting the ad says they're looking to "possibly" get rid of it, but didn't list any sort of price. My friend at the time was an obsessive collector who pretty much spent every waking hour refreshing the video games section of CL and immediately jumps on this ad in the chance he gets some crazy deal on some heavy hitter titles. The guy responds and tell him he can come by that evening and take a look at his stuff. The guy also sends up a bunch of other pics of more ultra rare and expensive games, but doesn't say anything about pricing, but my friend is still set on going over there. Later that day he drive over to the guy's house. The guy is super friendly and invites my friend in. They go down into the guy's basement and it looks more like some secret game store rather than a collection. It turns out this guy used to be a manager or something at an EB games from the mid 90s all the way until around 2002 or so. He used to pretty much buy everything they were clearencing out and just held onto it for years. The guys has multiple sealed copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga, Lunar 2, Snatcher, Shining Force 3, Cannon Spike and tons of other games released during his tenure at EB Games. My friend is freaking out and thinking this guy has no clue what he has and is going to sell it for peanuts, but then when he asks what the guy wants for it, he replies, "Oh, I'm not selling least not yet." My friend immediately is like WTF, and asks him why he said in his ad he was looking to get rid of it. The guy said he changed his mind, but still wanted to show off his collection of sealed rarities from the late 90s. My friend pretends to like what he has for the next 15-minutes before leaving super annoyed and pissed off the guy pretty much invited him over to flex and show off to a local collector. Several months later I find out this guy routinely does this, inviting collectors over to get them all hyped about potentially getting some rare games only for him to pull the rug out from under them and simply show off to another collector. Eventually the guy stops posting his BS ad on CL, maybe because someone actually flipped out on him for deceiving them, but it's definitely one of the strangest things I've ever heard while I've been a collector.

As for my story, it involves a now defunct used media store that used to be owned by the company Go Hastings before they went under. This store used to be a gold mine and at least for the first year it was open it was an untapped resource that I scored countless times at. They used to sell all retro games, which to them was PS2/XBOX/GC/Dreamcast and older for only $3 a piece regardless of title. They'd do sales pretty regularly and you could even score games like Skies of Arcadia or .Hack Quarentine for like $1.50. it was amazing! Unfortunately collecting got more and more popular at some point, as did reselling older video games, and before I knew it I was competing with countless other sellers and resellers at this store to try and find any cheap games. Because of this I started to get more and more creative on how to get the retro games this store got in before anyone else. I simply started asking employees in their buyback area if they got any new retro games in and initially this worked out great! There were a couple of employees in particular who used go way out of their way to find me some and for a time I was probably getting first dibs on all their incoming stuff. Unfortunately one day these employees began to act more and more resistant to helping me and even began lying about their ability to sell me stuff that had just come in, which I'd soon find out was complete BS. What happened was the employees began realizing a lot of those $3 retro games were worth exponentially more than that, so half the store became video game resellers, hoarding all the good, rare, and expensive games to themselves. I'd even learn years later from a former employee that there was a ton of inviting, theft, and other underhanded crap that certain employees did in order to get retro games before other employees did. Occasionally something good would slip through the cracks and end up on the sales floor, but that store eventually became a desert for good deals on rare and expensive games. Where my story gets weird is how some of the employees reacted to me continuing to try and get good retro titles before they ended up on the floor. More or less this ended up being me asking new employees who weren't yet aware of the reselling culture and practices of their coworkers to look for me, and on a handful of occasions I scored big again doing this. For a brief time I actually found another employee who was willing to do this for me regularly, until he too stopped because he began reselling himself. What ensued from all this was 90% of the employees hating me since they felt I was after THEIR games that they felt entitled to. And look, I never pressed the issue with the employees or acted like they needed to show me what they had. I'd always be polite about it and if they said they didn't have any or they couldn't look, I'd thank them and walk away. Unfortunately there were a couple of super infamous employees who had way more of a problem with me infringing upon the newly acquired stock of retro games than others.

Employee A) Some greasy looking dude with long hair in his early 20s. He used to follow me around in the game section like I was there to steal something, but he was scoping out games in my hand that he figured he'd try and look for next time they came in because he figured they were "rare." I know this is the case since the first couple times I met him he'd ask me what games I found and then proceed to ask how rare they were and also how expensive they are. They guy would literally peak around corners at me while I was browsing their game section, and I kid you not, I caught him at least twice staring at me from between the spaces in the shelves. It was super weird and creepy lol. Hilariously enough, this guy became a regular CL reseller who'd post games with a recognizable bedsheet in all of his backgrounds. I discovered this because one day I responded to one of his ads and low and behold he gets out of the car at the place we arranged to meet, reselling games he'd sniped from the store. He did this for about a year until he got fired for stealing from the store.

Employee B) Some young kid whose mouth was constantly agape. Initially he would just give me dirty looks when I'd come in the store, but one day he literally went off on me in what is still to this day the most bazaar retail experience I've ever had. I walk in one evening and ask another employee if they got any new retro games in. Before they other employee has even replied, this guy rushes up to me and literally starts screaming in my face "we don't have any, quit asking!" I'm not exaggerating or kidding. My girlfriend, now wife, even saw the whole thing happened and she couldn't even believe what she was seeing. I was in complete shock to the point where I didn't even know what to say. The guy backed off and walked away, but I immediately pull a Karen and ask to speak with the manager. The manager literally doesn't give a shit and gives me this apathetic, "I'll talk to him." response. Of course, the next time I go in, the employee is still there and shooting me death glares the second he sees me. I walk up to him and tell him he better not come up to me like that again (yeah I threatened him...maybe shouldn't have, but it's whatever at this point). The kid mutters something and just walks away. I guess it worked or he realized how much he screwed up because I continue to ask about incoming retro games and he doesn't do shit for the rest of the time he's working there.

Pretty much that store became almost pointless to go to the last couple years they were open, and I eventually stopped caring enough to even ask. I think I found maybe a dozen decent games the last few years they were open, but it was a wasteland during those final years. They went out of business in Fall of 2017 and while I have fond memories of many of my finds there, I can't say I feel bad for them going under given how repugnant and entitled many of their employees were.


Re: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2023, 11:19:50 pm »
A funny one I can recount... there was this local dude who resold games in an antique mall booth for years. Kind of a strange guy, very quiet and solemn look about him. I used to buy some stuff from his booth back in the day. He also would frequently post ads of stuff he was selling the local paper. One day my brother and I call him up about a red OG Game Boy or something can't quite remember, and arrange to come to his house to see it. It's the dead of winter, cold and snowy.

We walk up to his door, I slip on the stairs and fall back into the snow. Just as he answers the door, I'm lying there in the snow. He's kinda dumbfounded. I scramble to get up as he's inviting us in and the only thing I could think to say in the moment was "It's slick out there!". So we go into his house to look at this Game Boy, and I realize after I go in, that I'm just packed with snow all over my back and arms... The heat is cranking and I just start to melt snow onto his hardwood while he's showing us his wares. No clue what he thought of that, but it was super awkward the whole time, I'm just making this huge snowy mess all over his floor. After all of that, I don't think we actually bought anything. But we always have a laugh about that, every time it comes back to mind.

Re: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2023, 08:38:21 am »
Funniest Story is the following:

Once back in 1996/1997 me and my brothers were really proud owners of an uncut Netherlands Version of GoldenEye 64, wich was banned from market in germany due to brutality issues (things are way different today).

We really were possesed by this game, playing 4-Player-Mode for months, nearly years ... till Perfect Dark (the technical sequel) was released. After that, one of my brothers did lend the game to a "friend" ... same ol' story: the cartridge never found it's way back to us.

Switch the scene to about 2012 ... years after that I was hunting for games on a regular local flea market, browsing to the N64-Games one merchant had to offer. And suddenly, I recognized a copy of GoldenEye64 ... with a very distinct dent on it's label, which looked oddly familiar to me ^^'

Guess you guys know, where this story goes: I purchased the cartridge, only to find my brother's old savegame on it. After like 15 years, I actually found OUR exact game that went lost due do lending it away. It's my proud property now, vined with a personal history of it's own :D



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Re: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2023, 10:41:24 am »
I mean there was a reseller at a local flea market who was so concern with (at the time) overcharging you for Mario and Pokémon (he took Diddy Kong Racing out of a pile of games I found in his $2-$3 section then try to sell it for i believe $15) that I caught him slipping and got James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing on the Master System for $2.


Re: Strange, Funny, or Creepy stories you have as a game collector
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2023, 09:48:11 am »
I honestly don't have too many strange or funny stories for collecting retro games, but I have plenty of gaming related stories.

I guess the most relevant one would be buying an Atari Jaguar on eBay back around 2003 or so. They said it worked perfectly and came with two controllers and a handful of games. When I got it, I had to spend a half hour with needle nose pliers just so the controller pins were straight enough to be plugged into the system. It also had the red blink power light problem indicating it had trouble reading the cartridges. Still, I got to replay Aliens vs Predator and Wolf 3D on it for some fun times.


Another odd story is when I was trying to get a PS3 during its launch week back in Nov. 2006. I used to work at an EB Games and there were two of them nearby each other (within 10 min walking distance). Preorders for the system only lasted about 30 min and I was at work during the time so I was hosed. That relegated me to checking in daily at various stores at launch and beyond for the next week. For the most part, every day was as expected... "No PS3's in stock," but around the 6th day of asking, a different employee was at the counter and his take was a bit different.

He answered me by saying, "Why do you even want a PS3 when we have Xbox 360's in stock? They have better games and all those 'exclusives' Sony keeps talking about are coming to the 360 as well so you won't be missing out on anything. PS3 is a scam."

Needless to say this raised some eyebrows. Pretty sure he was used to talking to ignorant customers to get the sale but I was anything but. So I did a bit of polite pushback and repeated the question after shooting down his claim. He simply replied no but didn't like that I knew what I was talking about. Almost like he took offense that I was knowledgeable which was odd. He got pretty argumentative as well.

The next day, I came back to that store and saw him at the front counter again. I wasn't even going to bother, so I headed back out and started up a nearby escalator. Well, a buddy of mine that I had worked with at the other close by EB Games was coming down the escalator. I said hi to him and he asked what I was up too. I told him looking for a PS3 and then he asked if I wanted one. I told him yes and followed him back down to the store. Apparently, he had just been promoted to manager of the very store I had just left. He had about five PS3's in stock and was supposed to hold them for Black Friday sales, but was willing to sell me one because we were friends.

The glares I got from the Xbox fanboy were straight up daggers and I loved every moment of it as I picked up the PS3 with an extra controller and Resistance FoM.