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Dear Fruitman... - The Atari Times

Dear Fruitman...

Keep it or you'll be sorry!
by Fruitman

October 4, 2001
What is your take on collecting video game stuff? Is it best to buy only what you like, or buy two of everything and keep one in the shrink wrap? I've really been debating with myself about this collecting Atari stuff.

Thank You, Big C 

Dear Big C,

I've been acquiring Atari video games for 20 years now. And to this point, I have yet to sell them for profit. (Not like you could actually GET anything for 3 copies of Pac-Man or Asteroids!) Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I am a terrible pack-rat. Here, read this quote from my pal, LeRoy:

"Fruitman keeps everything. I mean everything! I swear, if I have to move him and all of his video game stuff again, I'll either go crazy, or kill him on the spot."

I have never bought a video game simply for the sake of collecting it. All of my games are played because that's what they were created for, plain and simple. To go around buying games sealed in their original packages just so you can turn around and make a profit on it is nothing short of blasphemy! These people don't really care about video gaming as much as they care about the almighty dollar! Perhaps there is a certain nostalgia or prestige on finding a rare new game sealed in its original packaging. But... then what?

For me, playing the game is all the prestige anyone needs. I mean, where is the glory of saying, "I bought a new copy of Chase the Chuckwagon. I never played it, but I made $50 on re-selling it." ? No, the honor of owning these games comes in playing and keeping it safe. To own an important bit of gaming history is a big responsibility.

This is what we are really talking about here. To own a game of such importance means that you are now the caretaker of video game history. That honor has been bestowed to you when you acquired the game. You have certain responsibilities to take care of the game and make sure that everyone knows you have it. This is where the REAL honor comes into play: Bragging rights!

Bragging rights is a big thing in the collecting world. It's like owning a Ferrari, except owning a rare video game isn't nearly as expensive. You'll be the envy of all your friends! BUT... Only if you KEEP the game, not sell it. To sell it turns you into a goat instead of a hero.

So, remember: Buy games to play them, not to collect them for the sake of turning a profit. Sure, if you find a rare game, buy it! Then play it! Then keep it safe for posterity! God knows we need to rescue these games from the clutches of the flea market fannies waddling around my town.

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