The Journey of The Retro Game Corner
As gamers, we all have that dream to have as large and as varied a game collection as humanly possible; there’s just some immense satisfaction in amassing a large collection. Personally, I’ve garnered a somewhat respectable game collection over the years, as I have kept all of my games since the beginning, with the exception of my NES game collection, which was unfortunately out of my power to keep at the time (still haunts me to this day). All in all, my game collection was nice, though it has never been anything remarkable.
That mostly changed recently, with the advent of the Retro Game Corner. A collaborative effort amongst friends, the Retro Game Corner is a group effort with the goal of obtaining as many retro consoles (and their respective games) as possible. Think of it as walking into a Funcoland, Electronics Boutique, Software Etc., or Babbages back in their prime, pre-GameStop iterations – a place where you could experience the wonders of gaming both past and not-so-distant past, all in one stop.
Before showing off what the Corner looks like now, perhaps it’d be best to talk about its humble beginnings. A few months back, there was a small gathering at a friend’s house, and the motif of the night was retro gaming. Someone had brought in a small 15-inch CRT TV, though while flat screen, brought the appropriate amount of nostalgia (and scanlines!) for the NES that we had hooked up to it. It was a night filled with booze, old-school gaming and fond memories of gaming’s past; in-between all of that goodness, my friends and I wondered how great it would be to have some kind of dedicated space where we could collect as many retro consoles as we could, and have them on display (and playable) for everyone to see. It was certainly a nice thought, and made us all dream of what could be, but none of us thought that this would be anywhere near remotely possible, and as such it was left there that night with nary a thought of it coming to fruition.
Fast-forward a few weeks later, and this is what my eyes are bombarded with when visiting one of my friend’s houses:
Needless to say, I was rather dumbfounded when I saw this in person. In essence, it was exactly what my friends and I had mentioned just a few weeks prior. Sure, it was a bit messy and cluttered, but it got the job done: it had various consoles (from 8-bit to disc-based) at the ready, various video switches to make jumping from console to console easy, and even two different televisions (one curved CRT and one flat screen CRT) so people could play different platforms simultaneously.
My friend had purchased some of the consoles, while others were donations from friends (fun fact: I had given my friend the PSX pictured in the photo above around a year ago, never knowing that it would be put to such good use), and it all culminated into the first iteration of what would be known as the Retro Game Corner. Sure, it was an electric bill’s worst nightmare, but it was also every retro gaming fan’s dream. And so there it was: the foundation was set and the pieces of the puzzle were all there – all that was left was some fine-tuning.
A few weeks later, after purchasing some shelves and accompanying strips, version 2.0 of the Retro Game Corner was up-and-running. Gone was the clutter and haphazard layout of the original incarnation, and in its place is a cleaner, more streamlined layout reminiscent of an old-school video game retailer such as Funcoland. And would you look at that, a Virtual Boy even managed to end up in this place of gaming beauty! Now, we could have called it a day there, but it was agreed upon that a little something was missing; something that would bring even more nostalgia to a place brimming with it.
Tearing out a few classic game advertisements from various gaming magazines did the trick! Not only did we have decades of history with the consoles themselves, but the various game ads brought in some additional nostalgia to round everything out and truly make the Retro Game Corner into something unique. Classic gaming ads are a lost art form – some marketing groups back in the day were very creative with their ads, and you couldn’t help but look at them due to their eye-catching nature. It’s a damn shame this sort of print advertisement is all but gone nowadays, though at least it is preserved here!
And there you have it: from casual hopes and dreams to reality, the retro gaming dreams of my friends and I have come true. Of course, there is always room for improvement, such as additional consoles (we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface, after all!), more games and better organization, but that’s the beauty of it all. Regardless, it never ceases to make me stop and smile when seeing the Retro Game Corner in person: it is these fond memories where my love for gaming began, and it is here where they will live forever.
Below is a quick video I managed to take over the weekend, giving a quick tour of the Retro Game Corner:
Lastly, if you want to keep appraised of any updates/additions to the Retro Game Corner, I have a Facebook album that I regularly update with any additions to the Corner!