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Classic gaming is the new model railroad


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You like old games, and so do I. It's no secret that not everyone is into this hobby, not like they are with sports or celebrity worship. It's a pastime that most of us started as kids, but with age and money, there's no limit to how much time or money someone could sink into collecting, displaying, cataloging, talking about, and playing video games.

 

There's a slightly dirty joke about how model trains are like breasts -- they're meant for children, but it's the dads who seem to like them best. Both trains and Atari-era stuff evoke once-great technology of the past -- the arcades were never as big as the railroads, but their successors are: computers in their many forms are at least as widespread as cars now.

 

Rod Stewart is a big-time model train fan. Full-size trains have their fandom and language, which is inscrutable to outsiders, even those who ride trains for transport every day. Similarly, you can play games and not be considered a "gamer" by the diehard fans. You can pay a lot for games, or you can be very frugal like some people here who might be finished collecting. You might dedicate a whole room to your hobby, or it can be a side interest that only comes out for the holidays. Some people only interact with their hobby virtually, via computer simulations.

 

Our kids might be amused or even intrigued by our dedication to this stuff, but I doubt most of them will be as into it as we are. Every person is a product of her time. I never really understood the appeal of Westerns, it's all horses and cowboy drama about which I couldn't give two shits. Give me space opera! I want to fly a small, one-man fighter into the enemy battle station. People younger than me prefer games about desert camouflage and shooting would-be terrorists in the head. It's just like how older people dug trains, later people were into hot cars, and this generation is more about smartphones and social apps.

 

While games have broad appeal, there's always a bigger nerd than you, someone who has to collect them all, who has a podcast in which they read off the serial numbers, or complete-in-box displays of everything to rival in-store displays from 1981. Old stuff will get hard to find, the whole mess is expensive, and there's a very real possibility very few people will care about the moldiest oldies in the year 2050. Check out this story about "aging hobbyists trundle on" and tell me it doesn't sound familiar somehow.

 

Toddlers still adore Thomas the Tank Engine, of course. Nostalgic parents still buy train sets to trundle around the Christmas tree. Yet today’s younger set generally isn’t taking up model railroading as a lifelong mission.

“If it’s not a hand-held device or something free on the Internet, it’s of very little value to them,” said Charlie Getz, 67, president of the National Model Railroad Association, which calculates that the average age of its nearly 19,000 members is 64, up from 39 in the mid-1970s.

 

Agree? Disagree? Got opinions about old video games about trains?

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I kind of agree but I think we are more analogous to retro audio/videophiles. Imagine what their collections look like and their behavior. They have entertainment centers full of cassette decks, record players, LaserDisc players, VCR's, receivers, etc. They have more convenient ways now to make the same movies and songs come out of screens and speakers but they prefer a huge wall full of electrical equipment all wired together that they have to adjust many knobs and press many buttons to make it all work in harmony together to work the way they like. They don't settle for just any old gear. They want what was considered top of the line back in the day because they couldn't afford it back then and what once only the rich could do is what they consider the most authentic experience. Sometimes they mix it with modern gear. For an example, they may use converter boxes, upscalers, and the like to have it all display the best on an HDTV. On the media side of things they want book shelves full of VHS tapes, records, cassettes, LaserDiscs, etc. in minty complete packages. They want their whole collection clean, organized, and functionally maintained. Now what does a retro gamer's collection look like and what is their behavior? Exactly the same but all about games instead of music and movies. They are so similar that sometimes there are people who are of both groups.

 

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Wait.... I'm a retro audio/videophile? :( I hate the internet. I keep learning there are labels for everything.

 

As for the video game collector being more similar to the videophile or the model train guys, I think it's all just kind of shades of the same thing. My collecting seems to be a bit closer to my comic collection. I have the ones from when they were new, and the ones that I wanted then and never got or never saw at the store I bought later. Not for any reason really except I wanted to know what I missed.

 

Here's an example with my comics, Lets say I have Invincible Iron Man #213 from years ago, then missed a few issues, and got #216. If anything really major happened in 214 or 215, it would be referenced in #216. Even though I know Iron Man wins in those two issues, I still want to see what's in the pages, No idea why, but I do, and the only reason I look for the actual comic book is because I hate reading comics on screens. Just doesn't look right to me. No idea why. As for the quality of the books I go for, as long as it's not damaged all to hell, overly discoloured, or otherwise deemed by me to be in worse condition than it should be for it's age and the price is right, I get it. I have plenty that most collectors would pass on because they couldn't flip it for a price premium, solely because I wanted to read the story and see the artwork in a format that I enjoyed and honestly didn't plan on reselling anyways.

 

For me, the games are very similiar. If I saw an add for a game years ago, and never got to play it and I can find it at a reasonable price, I get it. For Sega Genesis games, it's more often than not a game that I played the hell out of, loved, but can't play on the system now because I played it on Sega Channel. The reason I do that instead of emulation? No clue. I just feel compelled to do it that way. That mindset has screwed me a couple of times due to games not being nearly as good as I remembered, or due to having never played the game, plugging it in and finding out it's a turd. More often than not I get luck and come out good though. Also I don't end up blowing much money anyways, mostly due to the fact that I don't care about the boxes, instructions, and if the game is a really good game, I don't even care if they label is mangled and the cartridge looks like it has been chewed on by a pack of wolves, so long as it works.

 

Im comic collecting circles, my collection has been referred to as a "readers collection." So I guess by that same logic, my game collection can be referred to as a players collection. Meanwhile, now that i've talked myself in to it, I guess game collectors are more similar to comic collectors.

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Wait.... I'm a retro audio/videophile? :( I hate the internet. I keep learning there are labels for everything.

I don't know if that is an official label but it is a perfect description because they are audio/videophiles with retro tech. Like us they also still fight old format(console) wars. For a hypothetical example not far from the truth: "DVD?! Oh, now you are excited about discs? Well, guess what VHS wasn't all there was. Back in the 80's we already had discs and had them all the way up until your DVD's. They were called LaserDiscs. Commentaries, scene selection, widescreen, and all the rest we had first. DVD owes its existence to LaserDisc. We even had something you still can't do which was view movies frame by frame or in slow motion to see all of the details because they were analog. If they were so good then why did VHS win the market you ask? Because you idiots were more concerned about recording football than the best picture quality for your movies. But wait, I'm not seeing you all buying DVD recorders. Most of you are just buying plain old DVD players for playing and not recording. You hypocrites! If you would have just listened to us from the get go the format would still be here, be better, have the same features you seem to be enjoying today, they would still be making movies for LaserDiscs, and not forcing us to buy new movies on DVD. DVD's on my shelf next to my LaserDiscs and vinyl record albums looks weird because the LaserDiscs and vinyl records are the same size but DVD's are small. It would have just made more sense to keep LaserDiscs because our movie collections and music collections could sit side by side but now we have to oddly stack these tiny DVD's in there which in the long run takes up more space because DVD's have thick cases instead of thin sleeves. Take a five shelves book shelf and fill it up with DVD's in a nice organized fashion. Then I will do the same with LaserDiscs. I assure you that I would be able to fit the same amount of movies with room to spare for vinyl records while being more nicely organized than what you can come up with. What do you mean that you don't have vinyl records but instead have CD's? Are you retarded, deaf, or both?" :-D

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Yeah! And don't forget these movie discs, either!

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0LrPe0rwXOU

 

Yuck!

Because I wanted Star Wars on a digital format (that wasn't LaserDisc), and the DVDs (let along the Blu-Rays) hadn't come out, I have some Video CDs from Asia with the original trilogy and Phantom Menace on them, 2 discs per film. Not a great format.

 

BTW your avatar makes me laugh. I hope everyone has read The Johnny Turbo Story. I'm so glad I was too poor and busy with school to waste my money on the early CD-ROM console systems, even though I wanted to. $400 in 1990 bucks was a lot of money ($700+ today!)

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BTW your avatar makes me laugh. I hope everyone has read The Johnny Turbo Story. I'm so glad I was too poor and busy with school to waste my money on the early CD-ROM console systems, even though I wanted to. $400 in 1990 bucks was a lot of money ($700+ today!)

Thanks! I sometimes wonder how many people know who that is. lol. I'm sure they've all been fooled by FEKA!

 

And I've had my Turbo since new and probably ruined many gaming mags by salivating over high priced accessories such as the Turbo-CD.

Edited by Eltigro
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I've never had a Turbo except for emulation and Virtual Console and PSP versions of the games. I get the sense that you had to be there. The VHS tape they sent me to advertise the Turbo Duo was certainly interesting, and I wanted one of those ...just not as much as a new Macintosh.

 

The idea of SEGA as "the man" who is out to take all the kids' money is so bizarre to me. I've always seen SEGA as an underdog, constantly teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, trying to take on Nintendo at their own game.

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I've always loved the hobby of model railroading. Creating these beautiful highly detailed worlds are works of art. If I had the time and space to dedicate to it I'd love to get back into it. I loved it as a kid and if there was ever a hobby aside from classic gaming it would be model trains for sure.

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I kind of agree but I think we are more analogous to retro audio/videophiles. Imagine what their collections look like and their behavior. They have entertainment centers full of cassette decks, record players, LaserDisc players, VCR's, receivers, etc. They have more convenient ways now to make the same movies and songs come out of screens and speakers but they prefer a huge wall full of electrical equipment all wired together that they have to adjust many knobs and press many buttons to make it all work in harmony together to work the way they like. They don't settle for just any old gear. They want what was considered top of the line back in the day because they couldn't afford it back then and what once only the rich could do is what they consider the most authentic experience. Sometimes they mix it with modern gear. For an example, they may use converter boxes, upscalers, and the like to have it all display the best on an HDTV. On the media side of things they want book shelves full of VHS tapes, records, cassettes, LaserDiscs, etc. in minty complete packages. They want their whole collection clean, organized, and functionally maintained. Now what does a retro gamer's collection look like and what is their behavior? Exactly the same but all about games instead of music and movies. They are so similar that sometimes there are people who are of both groups.

 

I think the audio/videophiles described here were running in parallel with retro-gaming enthusiasts as opposed to being a counter-part from an earlier era.

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I remember being young and listening to my friends' dad who was all into crystal radios and ham radio and morse code. Him and his little band of ancient lamers kept trying to interest us in how cool it all was, producing much eyerolling on our part as we played missile command.

 

Yeah. I just had 'that' conversation with my grandson, showed him my stuff, and HE THINKS ATARI'S ARE COOL! Of course, he's only 5, so he thinks anything is cool. When he's 15 he will probably need medical attention from spraining his eyerolling muscle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yuck!

Because I wanted Star Wars on a digital format (that wasn't LaserDisc), and the DVDs (let along the Blu-Rays) hadn't come out, I have some Video CDs from Asia with the original trilogy and Phantom Menace on them, 2 discs per film. Not a great format.

 

BTW your avatar makes me laugh. I hope everyone has read The Johnny Turbo Story. I'm so glad I was too poor and busy with school to waste my money on the early CD-ROM console systems, even though I wanted to. $400 in 1990 bucks was a lot of money ($700+ today!)

 

Thanks! I sometimes wonder how many people know who that is. lol. I'm sure they've all been fooled by FEKA!

 

And I've had my Turbo since new and probably ruined many gaming mags by salivating over high priced accessories such as the Turbo-CD.

I'm amused that, just a scant 2 weeks after you guys introduced me to Mr. Turbo, a Youtube video on him turned up in my subscription feed. Apparently, he was based on a real person. That poor man...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykCG8970LW4

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Yeah! And don't forget these movie discs, either!

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0LrPe0rwXOU

Love some CED's. They're my current favorite item to take to conventions to have actors sign. You'd be amazed how confused they look when they see them, even though they were in that movie. Barry Bostwick thanked me for keeping my CED player in working order as he signed my copy of MegaForce. Good times. Sorry for the necro post, just didn't realize more had been written in this thread till HoshiChiri bumped it.

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Love some CED's. They're my current favorite item to take to conventions to have actors sign. You'd be amazed how confused they look when they see them, even though they were in that movie. Barry Bostwick thanked me for keeping my CED player in working order as he signed my copy of MegaForce. Good times. Sorry for the necro post, just didn't realize more had been written in this thread till HoshiChiri bumped it.

I remember seeing the first Star Trek movie on CED. It was so amazingly sharp back then. I'm sure nowadays it wouldn't be so impressive. All relative, I guess.

 

Amazing to think that the CED technology was developed so much earlier than the system's 1981 release:

 

http://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Capacitance%20Electronic%20Disc&item_type=topic

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