Video games have become an integral part of the lives of geeks and video game collectors all across the world. Each day, thousands of fans scour the internet for great deals on games from the glory days of NES, Sega, and even Neo-Geo. This can be a fruitful way to hunt for your favorite gaming titles, it can also become a bit expensive and lacks the thrill of the hunt you get from collecting awesomeness.
In the digital age, it’s too easy to simply hit up an Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist to find a rare or hard to find gem. Yes, this will add to your collection, but where is the excitement in traveling to castles and lands far away in search of that one mystical item that will bring happiness to the land of Game Collector-Ville. To fill this hole in your adventurer’s heart, take your quest to the real world and seek out classic video game stores near you.
If you’re like me then the first thing you do when you’re trying to find some old video game stores near you is you head over to google and run a search. You can actually use the web to help aid in your search without ruining the thrill of the chase and the excitement of that hot find. The problem with many old video game stores and other sweet spots to find gaming collectibles is that they may not always be on the popular strip or even visited all that often by the general public. This can make some search engine results skewed in favor of the big stores that aren’t likely to have actual classic video games and consoles.
Your big box stores will have the popular current titles or some best-selling collection titles, but none of these will really add to your collection or fun. Big-name video game stores may have a slightly deeper selection, but ultimately, for anything truly worth having, you will likely end up ordering via their website or in-store process anyway. Don’t even waste your time on these shops unless you’re looking for something much more recent or are willing to pay a bit more for a title.
Bring the Social Back Into Gaming
Back in the day, gaming was a purely social hobby that actually required leaving the house to spend all day and night at your local arcade. Arcades are more of a dinosaur than the staple business scattered across the American landscape, but the internet is packed with collectors looking to show off their collections or brag about their latest finds. This makes social media a great place to start your search for local and hidden shops that sell the classic video game titles you’re after.
Facebook especially is geared towards connecting people of all interests and hobbies thanks to their vast network of online groups. There are many large groups dedicated to collecting classic video games like Trade Sell Collect Retro and New Video Games and Toys, which has over 14K members. Smaller Facebook groups like Comic Book Swap Meet focus on a number of collectibles and are much less likely to consist of businesses and other big-time dealers.
Similar to Facebook groups, the popular social media website Reddit is packed with subreddits that can help point you in the direction of your nearest retro gaming store. One of the largest gatherings of video game collectors online is at r/gamecollecting on Reddit. Reddit is a popular resource for many collectors in many parts of the world, so it can be easy to find local subreddits focused on your region, state, or even city.
Forget You, Google!
When someone thinks of asking any electronic device a question like ‘where are retro and old video game stores near me,’ they instantly think of the multi-colored mega-corporation search engine. Yes, you can use Google to do almost anything and it does it well. If you want to find different results, you may have to do things a little differently than others.
ecosia, which uses ad revenue to plant trees. These smaller search engines still look for relevant information but don’t always come up with the same, tired results.
National Thrift Store Database
This list would not be complete without mentioning one of the coolest sites on the interwebs. TheThriftShopper.com is a website dedicated to the love of thrift store shopping and hunting. The site boasts more than 4K reviews of local and national thrift shops, but the true genius of TheThriftShopper.com is the national database of thrift stores across the United States. By simply entering basic info such as city, state, or zip code, you can find a number of thrift stores that can have almost ANYTHING in them at any given time.
This is also the downside to thrift shop hunting for specific items. It requires patience and dedication. You are not the only classic video game collector on the hunt for the next sweet find. Hit thrift stores early and often, sometimes multiple times a day, to be sure you never miss out on a great game or a miracle drop-off.
This is just the tip of the hunt for classic video games, but it will guide you well. There is a whole world of retro gaming awesomeness just waiting to be rediscovered if you just know where to look and have a bit of patience. Start your classic video game search online, but use it as a tool to aid in your real-world treasure hunt to experience the thrill that makes collecting anything one of the greatest hobbies ever.