Anyway, now that I've mostly recovered and my appetite for gaming has returned, it seems like the right time to start blogging again. My comeback was inspired by some of the big names in the business; guys like the anonymous editor of VGJunk and The Gay Gamer's impossibly cordial Bryan Ochalla. Beyond that, I need to sharpen up my writing skills, because lord knows I wasn't getting that practice when I was in the hospital for all those months.
So, let me get those of you who are just joining caught up. Last August, I'd gotten a Sega Genesis in the mail, along with a stack of games... most good, a few less so, and one OH GOD THE HUMANITY. After encasing Heavy Nova in concrete and burying it in a radioactive waste dump where it belongs, I set out to strengthen my rather anemic library of Genesis games. That... has not gone so well. The thrift stores in the Mount Pleasant area, which used to be a rich source of 16-bit software, have all been cleaned out in the five years since I lived there, leaving me with this...
|Image courtesy of Justgovintage.com|
...and dozens of cartridges just like it. You'll note the unusual shape and the yellow tab along the side... that's your warning that the game in question is by Electronic Arts, and is likely one of the company's throwaway sports titles. These games aren't bad, exactly, but they're not nearly as exciting as the system's finer moments. Moreover, from a collector's standpoint, they're damned near worthless, engineered to be antiquated the moment a new game in the series is released. You can't even use the cartridges as shells for reproductions, homebrew games, or flash cartridges, because they clash with standard Genesis carts and the yellow tabs get in the way of any modifications you'd want to make.
In short, I don't want these. NOBODY wants these, which is why they're in abundant supply in nearly every pawn shop, thrift shop, and consignment shop you visit. They'd be easy enough to ignore if there were something, anything else to buy, but it's all vanished, apparently looted by "Sumguys" and speculators. The story's the same everywhere you go, and the grass is no greener on the Super Nintendo side of the fence. It's hugely aggravating, especially when you consider that all the good stuff was there just five years ago. In 2009, you could find everything from Target Earth to Alisia Dragoon in the wild. This year, I found a lonely copy of Midway Arcade's Greatest Hits hidden in the detritus of EA's sports games, and I felt damned grateful for the opportunity. Maybe things are different elsewhere, but from what I've heard from other collectors, I kind of doubt it.