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Classic Games (Games)

Old Computer Game Covers - Collectible, Or Just Nostalgia? 152

zentechno writes "While cleaning out some very old boxes in a long-untouched closet, I discovered my first supply of PC games, some of which came out when 386s were new. While there's almost zero use for these, I still think the cover art is quite cool. I found the original Zork, its sequels, Enchanter, and Sorcerer from InfoCom, Star Trek: 'The Kobayashi Alternative' from Simon & Schuster, Pool of Radiance and Eye of the Beholder from SSI, Loom by Lucas Games, Nuclear War from New World, Annals of Rome and FireZone from PSS, Sidewinder from EA, and Defender of the Crown from Mindscape, to name many. I loved these games, and wonder if there's any sort of serious collector's market out there as exists for vinyl album art — or is it just a personal thing?" I know I'll always hang on to my copies of Star Control II and Think Quick! from when I was a wee PC gamer. What's still rattling around in your closet?
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Old Computer Game Covers - Collectible, Or Just Nostalgia?

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  • sim game boxes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) *
    I still use the boxes that originally held sim farm, sim ant, sim life and sim city for storage - though I don't have all the contents any more. I used to really enjoy all that came with a game- the nice box, the manuals, etc.
  • Ogre! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:19AM (#23536055)

    I've still got my original C64 Ogre box. Complete with rulebook, backstory, and even the radiation badge. Although the radiation dots have long since maxed out.

    They just don't go out of their way to add cool stuff to games like this today, AFAIK. Like an actual working radiation detector.

    • Re:Ogre! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @12:46PM (#23536519) Journal
      not gonna happen. it cost to much.

      also, the future of gaming is probably steam and similar. just look at games via xbox live or the ps3 equivalent.

      still, this reminds me of when i bought a b-17 fight sim for amiga 500. it came with a microprose sweater, a history book about the b-17, and i think two manuals. one that covered everything for the game in detail, and one that simply held the hotkeys and interface guides.

      all this for a game that came on 5 (iirc) 3,5" diskettes...

      last fight sim i bought didnt even come with a hotkey list printed. i had to print the pdf myself.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kkwst2 ( 992504 )
        Yeah, Steam certainly does it's job of getting me to pay closer to full price for games. Usually I would wait a few months and order the games significantly cheaper online, usually waiting for the $20-$30. However, the "now" factor of Steam has suckered me into paying close to full price for several games. I generally could care less about the packaging. The really nice thing about Steam is that i don't have to worry about losing the disk/package to reinstall it. I'm willing to pay a couple extra bucks
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        A lot of companies did it, as a method of encouraging sales on platforms where piracy was the norm and actually buying the game was considered kind of odd.

        These days you barley get a printed manual.

        Strangely enough, today there are quite a few gamers who are not in touch with "the scene" and more likely to buy games, even though the internet makes piracy so much easier.

        I think that might be a reason why such things fell out of favor.
        • by JoshJ ( 1009085 )
          There's still a few collectible things. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PSX remakes of an older game) had all kinds of collectibles- especially Eternal Blue.
      • by morari ( 1080535 )
        If the future of gaming is online distribution then it can count me out. Not having a physical copy while relying entirely on some company's server (both to download and install, as well as connect to authenticate and play) just screams lost games to me. I own plenty of games where the developers have since gone extinct. I sure would hate to have to try to play one of those without the actual disc, or worse, try to connect to a long since defunct authentication server.
        • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
          I'm with you. I want nothing to do with any game that requires me to have an internet connection.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hawk ( 1151 )
            As usual for gaming questions, nethack is the answer!

            Not only TANPIN, TANIE!

            nethack--the only game that matters

      • Costs too much? They can work it into the price, for a limited run (further increasing the perceived value of the bonus pack).

        There's special editions of many of the big games. I saw a Halo 3 set with all sorts of extras. Sure they can't throw it into every box, but plenty of diehard fans will pay a little extra for something cool.

        Steam, etc, are certainly the future for mass distribution, but there's always a market for something truly special. I wouldn't consider these special editions to be investmen
        • by hitmark ( 640295 )
          true, special editions may have these kinds of things. but i think the original post was about including it with the general release.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Cruciform ( 42896 )

      and even the radiation badge. Although the radiation dots have long since maxed out.

      Cool. If you adopt you can pass it on to your kids!

      (I hate preview. I always click it and then go on to something else thinking I've submitted.)
    • Speaking of cool, Star Control II is now known as Masters of Ur-Quan - and it was made GPL in 2002. (The change of name was due to Star Control trademark being separated from the game).

      It is quite enjoyable to play still, and whoever wrote it spent a good deal of effort making space travel details realistic: with star colors, marked habitable zones and even reasonable approximation to spaceflight dynamics.

    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      I still have all of the paraphenalia that came with the original Pirates! (map, manual, and the 3.5" with copy protection so that you had to boot to it to play) as well as several other games that I considered "awesome". Civ, Wing Commander (several of them including the film tin and box for the FMV one), a several more.

  • Go to the source (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ubrgeek ( 679399 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:22AM (#23536087)
    Just a quick search on ebay [ebay.com] shows that there's not a lot of interest. Don't know if you'd have luck at a comic con or something similar. While I agree that they're cool, I think that's mostly from a fond-memory kind of thing and not something that could be turned into something financially tangible. That and my wife would kill me if I offered to buy them ... ;)
    • I think the reason is that if a game has meaning to you it's probably because you played it and loved it. If you played it and loved it you probably still have it yourself.

      Personally I loved FF7, but lost the game during a move (I think), so I paid dearly for it on eBay (compared to the RRP, at least). Even though I had downloaded a copy the box and manual etc still have a sentimental value that was worth extra to me.

      Chances are most people who enjoyed the game would still have it, though.
    • Is this Ebay going down the tube with the increasingly odd stupid business practices or is it that the Ebay signal/noise ratio is now so bad that it's incredibly hard to find something worth buying in all the "1000 PC GAMES ON 1 DVD!!! RARE!!!", and millions of identical copies of either brand new or failed overstock game auctions that clog the system. Or maybe a combination of both. I can't be the only nerd depressed by this. I constantly search Ebay for older PC DOS titles (just lately I've been hunting
  • by __aaojfq2958 ( 558786 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:23AM (#23536097)
    I guess having all of the artwork available somehow (corporate digital archives, google image search, etc..) gives the feeling that these items will continue to be 'old' but never reach the rarity of 'relics'...
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )
      That hardly stops any other form of collectable art, a scan of a box cover is no more the box than a scan of an old magazine or dollar bill is the original magazine or dollar bill. The biggest downers are:

      1. It's too new (a 70s chair would hardly ever net anything at an antique auction), and it's from the era when people had figured out collecting old scrap may become valuable.
      2. I doubt many will care. A good 70s recording still sounds damn good. A 70s game looks like complete shit, sure if you got good me
  • It is how many copies exist. For example, while the Rolling Stones' Thee Satanic Majesties Request has a great hologram cover, few mint UK mono copies exist.
    • No, it's also the album art. There are plenty of places you can buy frames and racks to display album art on your wall. Covers like Master of Puppets and Who's Next are why.
  • I've recently get my hands on Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative and played it on DosBox emulator. It was fun, but it really didn't get me into it more than a few hours.

    My first real game (chronologically) played on PC was, I think, Wolfestein3D and Dyna, quickly followd by Doom, Doom2, Quake, Quake2 and Quake3. I've stopped there. I have Quake4, but I didn't played it for more then 5 hours.
    It's not that much about what game you play, I think there's more about the company and the atmosphere surroundin
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
      My first real computer game was the original Integer BASIC "Star Wars" game that came on cassette with the Apple ][ Standard that was my first personal computer. Sure, I'd played plenty of arcade games by then, but that was the first computer game. My brother and I just about wore out the paddle controllers.

      I still have a couple of hundred 143 Kb Apple floppies in a box somewhere, I had one of the biggest collections of Apple software in the area at the time. Dunno if they're still any good or not.
      • by mikael ( 484 )
        I've still got my Atari 800 5.25" 180K floppy disks and floppy disk drives - they still work despite being placed int storage for 15+ years. If you have kept the disks in a dry cool place away from magnetic fields, they should still work.

  • BloodNet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bk_veggie ( 807894 )
    I recently found a copy of this MicroProse classic at a thrift, and it is now prominently displayed in my office. This game was very far ahead of its time (although almost impossible without a guide), and stands in my mind as one of the best PC games ever made, along with Willy Beamish, Loom, and Alone in the Dark.

    • by hurfy ( 735314 )
      hmm, a microprose game i need to check out ;)

      I have a stack (almost 2 now, in fact) of game boxes that stretch from the floor to the ceiling :) Probably a couple hundred total retail games by now stretching back to the XT. Microprose in monochrome memories :)

      1st true PC game was a nethack port that came with our clone XT. Transfered to newer systems but it been awhile since i played. 1st retail i suspect was F-19 stealth fighter cause microprose did monochrome well.
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:27AM (#23536117) Homepage
    The funny thing about the old computer game box art was that it seemed that the worse the game's graphics the more vivid, detailed, and colorful the box art. Look at Akalabeth [wikipedia.org] or Seven Cities of Gold [wikipedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spatial ( 1235392 )
      I think Project X for the Amiga had the most honest box-art ever: it's basically a screenshot [wikimedia.org] from the third level of the game. Yes, it's awesome.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hitmark ( 640295 )
        the pre-3d graphics of the amiga was indeed impressive.

        only now that the pc have a equal number of specialist chips inside it, can it be outperformed.

        btw, i recall reading that the number of artists that work on a game have grown 10 times or more since those days, yet the number of programmers have stayed largely static.
        • Re:hmm (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:03PM (#23537007)
          number of programmers have stayed largely static

          You obviously haven't read the credits for a recent game :-)

          Compare Grand Theft Auto 4 core+engine team (Rockstar North+Rage) with GTA 1 core team (2008 vs 1997) approximately:
          Coders: 40 vs 16
          Artists: 88 vs 18
          Design: 28 vs 6

          Not including publisher credits since they never bear any resemblance to reality anyway.

          And that is nothing like the size of credits on an EA game, which would outpopulate a small country...

          Artists and content producers have scaled faster than coders, but there are still big coding teams out there.
        • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

          only now that the pc have a equal number of specialist chips inside it, can it be outperformed.

          And by "only now" you mean back around the mid-90s, right ?

          The Amiga was, indeed, impressive for its time - but its time was nearly 2 decades ago.

          • You can't stop people from remembering the Amiga as more powerful of a machine than it really was. It's like 80's arcade memories with a meth/crack combination haze.

            I've gotten this a few times from silly people who had those front projection televisions in the late 70s/early 80s who swear up and down their television was brighter, clearer and had sharper color than current generation LCD panels. When in reality, they had overbearing reds and lost focus a couple of months after purchase.
          • by hitmark ( 640295 )
            heh, my sense of time is sadly way off at times. sorry for that.
    • by mikael ( 484 )
      Very true - look at the artwork for the Atari 2600 console - they had these amazing hand-painted composite artworks with human characters everywhere., yet you would be just be a 64-bix pixel block in the game.
    • The funny thing about the old computer game box art was that it seemed that the worse the game's graphics the more vivid, detailed, and colorful the box art.
      And misleading. My brother and I wasted so much time trying to put on an unobtainable suit of armor in the original King's Quest simply because the cover art showed a character wearing it [mobygames.com]!

    • Yeah, the Inverse Quality Formula. Well known. Most people realize it after getting burned a few times.
    • The funny thing about the old computer game box art was that it seemed that the worse the game's graphics the more vivid, detailed, and colorful the box art.
      This is true, though I think the first generation TI games used somewhat accurate cover art, well, until they switched to the white cartridges and suddenly the worse the game's graphics were, the better the cover art was.

      Hunt the Wumpus comes to mind.
    • by syousef ( 465911 )
      Not funny at all. It's called over-compensating.

      The simple rule if box art quality is inversely proportional to game quality, is that the better the box art the more imagination you need in the game. The box art can give you some idea of the world the author intended to portray even if the graphics weren't up to it.
  • Compilations (Score:5, Informative)

    by owlman17 ( 871857 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:35AM (#23536145)
    You didn't say in what condition they're in. Mint/Near-mint? Good, Fair? Anyway, to give you an idea, a brand-new (presumably M/NM) copy of Masterpieces of Infocom [amazon.com] can cost up to almost $300. I'm not sure how much the boxes alone would cost though. Would be nice if the original manuals, collectibles, floppies were included. (Floppies might still work.) Compilations like Ultimate Might and Magic, Ultima Collection (I have them) fetch $30-60. I don't plan on selling the boxes. Ah, the good old days.
    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      Wow. I have all four versions of the Treasures boxes complete (I and II, floppy and CD), and it looks like Masterpieces has the few missing games like LGoP that weren't on either of those.
      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

        I have Treasures I & II and an original Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy floppy for Mac sitting around in my study. I used to migrate the game files everytime I upgraded computer, I'd edited the client to give me a larger game screen than the 160 x 240 it started with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fyrie ( 604735 )
      Right now there is a sealed Starcross in original UFO box on Ebay that is currently at $611 with a day left to go. However, opened infocom games often go for quite a bit if all of the feelies are still included. Zork Trilogy (with the Zorkmid coin) often goes for over $250 in used condition. The games the OP have are not so rare, but I'd think he could expect $30 - $75 each if not a little more depending on random factors.

      Vintage gaming is a thriving collectors scene.
    • I got the Masterpieces of Infocom from E-bay for about $200, near mint. The first thing I did was copy all of the .dat story files, the PDF manuals from the CD to my Ubuntu box, downloaded all of the manuals and images from nfocom.elsewhere.org [elsewhere.org] and installed xzip from the repositories. I am thinking of adding some GUI functionality to the xzip engine, similar to Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy [bbc.co.uk].
  • i regularly play super melee via running sc2 through dosbox. a lot of other abandonware games i have, but at night i either fire up age of conan, or super melee in star control 2 these days.
  • It's personal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EightBits ( 61345 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:40AM (#23536177)
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it's personal. At least for now. You'll have to wait until your grandchildren are in college to even be anywhere near that kind of value.

    As a previous post says, it's how rare it is that counts. Basically, if you can still easily buy these games right now (and you can on Ebay for instance, with boxes intact even) then there will be little to no intrinsic value to these items.
  • For console games, I know there's a market for the old/rare, not too sure about PC, but I'd assume there's at least some demand, at least for certain titles. I know old cardboard boxes get rarer as time passes because most people have thrown there's away, so there is a chance that they're worth something, but worth likely differs from title to title; I don't think any generalizations can be made for them as a whole. For stuff like the Star Trek and D&D games, you might find a market outside the gener
    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      Indeed, there is a decent demand for boxes to cartridge games. Maybe it's because people were younger when they played those, as compared to computer games (PC, C64, etc.), maybe it's because it was just so much easier to make a PC game, so there are more of them and it's harder to conceive getting a "complete" collection, or maybe it's just because they were much more likely to get thrown away.

      Also, Nintendo's production controls made a big difference. By preventing any serious overstocks, most NES games

  • Synonyms (Score:3, Funny)

    by xafan ( 836020 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:43AM (#23536193)

    Collectible, Or Just Nostalgia?
    There's a difference?
  • I'll always have my Betrayal at Krondor. In the box, with all the original contents. First RPG I ever played, and still my favorite game of all time. Still have SW : Dark Forces in pretty much mint condition as well.
  • is the extra little props they sometimes tossed in the box. The Ultima series was good for this. What's some of the more interesting props people have seen way back when?
    • by Surye ( 580125 )
      Limited editions of games still have this occasionally. World In Conflict came with a piece of the Berlin wall. Pre-orders do this too, like the Bioshock Big Daddy figurine.
      • by v1 ( 525388 )
        didn't one of the halo limited sets come in a case that looked like master sgt's helmet?
  • I collect them. (Score:5, Informative)

    by snarfies ( 115214 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @11:55AM (#23536247) Homepage
    I have a computer game box collection from my Commodore 64 days. Go back in time 10 or so years - a website called lemon64.com was just starting up and they were putting box covers online. Turned out I owned some rarities and alternate versions of boxes they already had scans of, so I scanned what I had and my scans are still in use there (see http://www.lemon64.com/?mainurl=http%3A//www.lemon64.com/games/details.php%3FID%3D2309%26coverID%3D1370 [lemon64.com] - that box is sitting on my bookshelf right now).

    I consider my boxes to be interesting and nostalgic. Even if they aren't worth any money, I consider them to be important cultural artifacts - after all, was not my entire generation the first to be raised with video games? Most of the games has been preserved through emulation, but the boxes aren't so easily replicated.
  • Technically, the sequels to Zork were Zork II and Zork III (and others later). The Enchanter games (Enchanter, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker) were a different series. JRjr
  • You don't get packaging like Ancient Art of War (or Ancient Art of War at Sea) anymore. I've held onto all my old 80;s game boxes - my Gold Box collection. Simcity. Starflight (1 and 2), Gunship, Space Quest 1 & 2, Kings Quest 1-5, Zork 1 - 3 (now those are some good boxes!), plus tons I don't even remember anymore. Thank goodness I've got a ton of storage space...
  • I found a bunch old old disks from my first computer (the boot floppy, WordStar, Zork, etc) and didn't know what to do with them, but didn't want to chuck 'em.

    So I found some nice long narrow picture frame (one of those with space for a bunch of photos in a row) and mounted them in there. I managed to get two of them, and they look really good hanging over my desk and flanking the monitor. You might be able to do something similar with your box art. Visitors might get a kick out of seeing the old titles a
  • I have a box of about 400 speccy games from the 80s and 90s that I kept in their original cases, I'm sure they're worth something but I'd never part with them. Whilst I imagine they'd sell on Ebay now, I'm sure they'll be worth much more money in a few decades.

    I suspect they'll be part of my kid's inheritance.
    • That sounds familiar (the box with 400+ Speccy games) only in my case my grandmother gave the entire thing away to one of her nieces! This was a few years ago so the pain has lessened somewhat, but at the time I was gutted. She claimed that I wasn't using them anymore so she donated them all to someone (who I actually didn't much like anyway!). Oh, and my entire collection of Crash magazines went the same way. The only things I have left from that time are boxed copies of Jetpac, Chaos: Battle of the Wi
  • I'm in the middle of moving right now, and although my games collection might not be valuable in a monetary way, there are so many sweet memories attached that I decided to keep it, although some label it "waste of space". Those games were part of my childhood and I couldn't give (or throw) them away. Hell, I even play some of those now and then, like the classic LucasArts adventures and my all time favorite, System Shock 2.
  • I collect Atari 800/400 systems (to my wife's frustration) and amazingly I'm still able to use the systems as if they were new. The floppy media still boots on all of the disks I pop in (Miner 2049'er anyone?). The cartridges, like Star Raiders, seem like they'll last as long as the 800 is able to turn on. Frankly, I'm amazed at the engineering in those systems. They were built like console games, to be used by kids on a carpeted living room floor and hooked up to a TV. They have no fan, the power supp
  • There seems to be a collectors market for old infocom stuff at least: On ebay an Infocom Starcross game (Apple II version) still in shrinkwrap is currently at $611!!! I used to have one of these back in the day and I made a motorized flying toy out of it. Doh. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230253373809 [ebay.com]
  • It has been argued that P2P helps increase music sales--both new and used--by introducing downloaders to bands they would not otherwise have the opportunity to listen to. I wonder if there's a similar situation for old video games, that the availability of good emulators for all the platforms of yesteryear will eventually create more demand for the original media and manuals. Obviously, emulator game images do not come with all the extra goodies that are packaged into a retail box. Buying the genuine art
  • Remember Space Quest 2, anyone? Oh, and I still have some kind of 3D-Tetris for DOS...
    • by mikael ( 484 )
      Played Space Quest 2 - I always thought the use of 256-color quantization for the 256 VGA color mode gave games a richer appearance - forcing the artists to work with color rather than just detail.
  • but so does the famous famous Leather Godesses of Phobos 'scratch and sniff' card [wikipedia.org].
    So, who's got one of these to sell (unscratched of course)?
  • Seriously. I'm sure that there are bunches of folks who'd just love to see the artwork again (or for the first time.) You should share them.
  • I have an AOL version 1.5 floppy disk. :-)
  • Temple of Apshai for Atari 800... on Tape
    Temple of Apshai: Curse of Ra for Atari 800... on Tape
    Crush Crumble and Chomp for Atari 800... on Tape
    Ultima III: Exodus (gorgeous box art) [coverbrowser.com] for Atari 800... on Disk
    Lot's of Infocom games for Atari 800... on Disk

    Actually... too many to list, really... I'm a pack rat.

  • I've got some classic early 90's boxes like Powermonger and Syndicate, but my oldest has to be Thexder.

    I think the disk has long gone bad, but the box and stuff is still there.

    Wonder if its worth anything on ebay?
  • I took a picture of them on my shelf. http://www.cowclops.net/boxes.jpg [cowclops.net]

    I think the oddest one of them all is Sim Earth which was a pretty crappy game that no one really bought, but I still have the manual and disks and everything. You can tell I'm a LucasArts fan, haha.
  • If you've got the Zorkmid that came with the Zork Trilogy package, it can fetch $75+ on eBay.
  • Old sierra games were worth buying just for their boxes!
    The box-art was simply amazing.
    Let alone the game content.
  • I had dozens of old Amiga & early PC (Doom, original Wolfenstein etc.) game cases, I kept them for 10-20 years, but during a move I didn't have room for them anymore and threw them all away. Kinda wish I hadn't but what was I going to do with them?
  • by Trixter ( 9555 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:18PM (#23537095) Homepage

    As someone who runs a software collector's mailing list [oldskool.org] and a co-author of a collectible software grading scale [mobygames.com], I think I'm qualified to report: It depends. The collectible value of software is pretty much the same as any other collectible:

    • Desirability (not the same as rarity)
    • Availability
    • Condition

    The reason rarity != value is because, if nobody knows about it, nobody wants it. I own a fairly nice copy of Wibarm [mobygames.com], and I believe I'm the only one left in the USA to own it. But since nobody has heard about it, and it's not part of some Infocom/Sierra/Lucasarts legacy, nobody would offer me more than $20 for it.

    Condition is obviously important. Incomplete items are worth nearly nothing, and even if it's complete it should be in decent condition (ie. the box isn't crushed). If it's in mint condition (still shrinkwrapped), you are holding gold.

    One exception to this is diskettes: For reasons I don't quite agree with, most collectors feel that the condition of the diskette media is not nearly as important as the other materials, mainly because most of the software has been cracked and available. I disagree, because without working originals, you can never be sure if the cracked versions are complete (and in my experience easily 15% of them are not).

    The ebay market for collectible software started to dry up around 2005, but for a very long time it was a hotbed of collectible software buying and selling. You can still find some reasonable bargains (ie. an average of $20-$30 a title) but most of the time it still costs $200 for a Kilrathi Saga [mobygames.com], or $1600 for an original Infocom Starcross Saucer [mobygames.com].

  • How about a copy of Gortek and the microchips, complete with 44 page book, 2 cassettes and a "badge" (a 3" sticker) proclaiming "I program with gortek".

    This was C64 software to teach you to program.
  • . . . was an elderly woman who collected the boxes of old computer games. This was in 2090 or so.

    At one point she realizes how miserable she is, goes in for a radical rejuve treatment, and gives it all up.
  • I recently went into a game trader's store near my home. They have put a lot of effort into acquiring damn near every type of game console ever made and even large selections of games for each. I walked the aisles and would grin in nostalgia, but even with the games marked down to just a buck or two, felt no real need to pick anything up. Instead, I wandered over to the new console areas and bought some stuff for XBox and XBox 360 and a few computer titles.
  • I have the box, instructions and cartridge for Pitfall! for the Atari 2600. I used to a have a number of Colecovision games including the original Donkey Kong. I'm going to go out to the garage now and see if I can find them ;)
  • by mqduck ( 232646 )
    I fail to see the dichotomy between collectible and nostalgic.
  • It is collectible if you have a copy, and someone else wants it.

    It is nostalgic if you have a copy and no one else wants it.

  • I think the current full-sized arcade game market is a very good indication of how PC games will be priced.

    Rare does not mean much. A Solvalou cockpit recently sold on eBay for around $300. A totally awesome game, and totally rare in the US. But there isn't any demand for it.

    Take another game that is ultra-common, like Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender. They command a good price, and it is because people want them.

    So price of collectible games is more tied to demand than supply. And there are times when a low su
  • If I was sitting around in 1980 and wanted to buy games for their collector's value... I would go for the most popular one, or ones that showed innovation. At the time I would thought Space Invaders, Atlantis, Pitfall. Presently you can find most of these titles at a flee market.

    The main problem I see is the fact that software is easy to copy. Presently you can download most of the 2600 games. I've seen huge collections of 8bit computer games.

    It's not like a comic book at the time wasn't easy to copy.
  • It's only collectible if *no one* else thinks it's collectible. If everyone has it and collects it, then it's worthless.
  • This was the time period that VGA was getting off the ground. But if I recall correctly, there was no standard for 8bit 640*480. A lot of games were geared toward a specific graphics chipset. I have had NO experience running these games in the 21st century, but I imagine unless you have the hardware or hardware emulation you might be stuck with this games being playable only in 4bit color.

    Now at least games for mainstream systems have emulators, and the hardware is pretty cut and dry. This would includ
  • Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, complete with disk (5.25), instructions, microscopic space fleet, lint, 'Don't Panic' button, and the Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

    I also had 'Pac Man Fever' on a 45, but I sold it for about 100 times what I bought it for.
  • The ones I'll keep are The Incredible Machine and Roller Coaster Tycoon, along with all the Myst games. The never grow old because the first two become what you create in them, while Myst always remains stunningly beautiful and alien at the same time.
  • If you have a reasonable scanner, would you consider scanning them and uploading to the Wikipedia? It's very difficult to get good scans of these older games in copyright-free forms.

    This will have zero effect on the collectibility of the games.


Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson