The RetroGamesCollector games room gets a rethink
Nov20

The RetroGamesCollector games room gets a rethink

First World gamer problems I’ve decided it’s time I rethought how I go about using my consoles. Mainly because I am finding very little time to actually play on them these days, with family and work commitments having to come first. My gaming time is short but precious to me so I’m feeling the need to maximise my gaming efficiency. My main problem lies in the fact that I have all my consoles rigged up to be used. All plugged into a power source and most hooked up via a veritable spaghetti heap of wiring that lies hidden behind my Ikea units. This might not be seen as a problem to most, in fact I thought it was the answer to my problems but in fact has become just the opposite. Let me explain. Having all my consoles permanently rigged up has a few drawbacks. Firstly there are limited wall sockets in the room (4) and so I have had to rig the consoles up in sections. For example to play my Super Nintendo I have to flick a switch to a trailing socket that has 4 other consoles plugged into it. So while I’m playing Chrono Trigger (for instance), 4 other consoles have power supplied to them. These consoles are getting on a bit now and I don’t really want their PSUs to be powered up when unnecessary. Secondly, the consoles are all neatly stacked in their own space within the Ikea units. If I want to play one I have to hope the controller leads are long enough to reach my gaming chair. If not I have to hope that the power lead has sufficient length for me to pull the console out onto the table so that the controllers reach me in my chair. They don’t all reach meaning I’m standing up while gaming. I’m too lazy for that. Thirdly, and the most fundamental point for me personally, is that having all these machines rigged up permanently spoils me for choice. Which consequently means I spend more time deliberating over what game on what console to play than actually playing on said game. I also find myself flitting between games just to fit them in, giving me variety but not enough time on each game to actually achieve anything. The solution My solutions to my games room problems are as follows. I’m going to strip out all the power supplies and label them up (some of the Sega PSUs look very similar). Then keep them all readily available by putting them in a large container I can slide under the table just in front of my...

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The demise of the car boot sale or Why I won’t be getting up early next Sunday
May02

The demise of the car boot sale or Why I won’t be getting up early next Sunday

My reasons for penning this article are twofold. My first reason if I’m completely honest is just to vent off some mental steam after my latest visit to what was once a pleasant part of my pastime. The second is to reminisce about car boots of old, times now past before car boot sales became the domain of the online auction reseller. In times gone by… I have been going to car boot sales for as long as I can remember, at least 25 years probably longer. In that time I have seen them grow from 10-20 cars in a pub car park to 20 acre fields filled with regimented lines of thousands of cars, along with bacon buttie vans galore and facilities like toilets and electrical testing stations. From the organisation point of view, I have also seen much of the fun go out of them. Not only are they run on an industrial scale but they are run in an industrial way, with scores of stewards in flourescent jackets herding you in and out like a military operation and often taking money just for you to park up. I don’t have to go far back, maybe only 7-10 years or so, to remember a time when (before the retro boom) I could still find boxed Atari STs, 2600s, C64s, ZX Spectrums with crisp boxes full of software and often rarer items such as TRS-80s and TI-99s all just sitting there hours into a car boot sale, untouched and with people walking by uninterested. Indeed, I have bought much of my current boxed collection of consoles from car boot sales over the years. Those days are long gone. None of these reasons, although all very unsavoury to me, are why I am finally giving up on what was a really fun part of my pastime. All good things come to an end The straw that broke the camels back came last Sunday when I unusually went to a local car boot sale at its official opening time of 6.00am. Now, I normally turn up an hour or so after opening and for the past 5 or so years I have noticed a considerable decline in retro items for sale. I have (maybe naively) been putting this down to the retro boom and the fact that people know what retro gaming items are worth nowadays, therefore holding on to them and not taking them to sell at a car boot. The early arrival last Sunday opened my eyes to what is actually happening at our car boot sales now. What lay before me was only one row of booters...

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