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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Stores Neglecting Old Videogame Packaging? 138

Posted by simoniker
from the cart-only-a-go-go dept.
Thanks to GamerDad for its editorial discussing the poor condition of older console games sold by videogame stores. The writer notes: "Getting N64 games in any kind of reasonable [boxed] condition seems to be next to impossible... even more shocking is the state of their SNES and Genesis stock." He continues: "With SNES games, I can sort of understand that the deterioration of cardboard would leave you with just the cartridge and the manual eventually, but apparently the stores are now just throwing out the manual if the box is torn/useless. Even Genesis cartridges, sold in those hard shell boxes, are rarely found in their original packaging anymore. It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history." The piece concludes: "Is it really so hard to maintain a policy of keeping the product in similar condition to how it's traded in or maybe even stop accepting bare games altogether to give your customers more reason to take care of their games to retain value?" What's the solution, if any, to this problem?
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Stores Neglecting Old Videogame Packaging?

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  • by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:04PM (#8355671)
    The first thing I do when I get a game is throw out the cardboard packaging. Especially with computer games that have a single CD and MAYBE a registration card in them. I used to keep the boxes but when I moved I found I had 30 big software boxes that I had never touched again. Do you want my mint condition Willy Beamish case?
    • Do I have two accounts?

      I could have sworn I was the only person who'd ever played Willy Beamish, little yet who still had the case.
    • I don't know why the author of the piece is complaining about packaging. I mean really, who the hell cares? Now if they were selling empty packaging, fair play. "Gaming history"? Don't be so melodramatic...

      As for what I do, I keep all the boxes games come in, but I flatten them. That way I can still check out the box (since box art is as fun for me today as album art used to be), but it takes up virtually no space.

      Only box I have right now that isn't flattened is Neverwinter Nights and it's expansions. Th
      • Oh, i see his point. The packaging is its own kind of history. Maybe it's the art-nut in me, but the package is just as interesting as the game, in some respects.

        Let's be honest. Do you really play pac-man fFor the dynamic plot and rendering? duh, course not. You play it fFor the nostalgia value. It's a good game. It's nice to look at and play and on and on.

        I wish i still had the boxes of all my 2600 games. Or maybe the original art, or something. Some of those were beautiful! [atariage.com] Sure, many were ho
  • Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palutke (58340) * on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:05PM (#8355673)
    They have a hard time finding older (5+ years old) used videogames with intact original packaging with the documentation present!

    As opposed to all the other old used products on the shelves with well-preserved packaging . . .
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antin (185674) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:09PM (#8355688)
    Quite frankly I doubt anybody really cares. Sure it is nice to get games in good condition and in a box and all, but the games the article is talking about are unlikely to be sold brand new (most are no longer being produce), and if you are buying a second hand game then you often expect things like this.

    It isn't like the stores are getting games in good condition and delibrately beating them up; they get the game in the condition it is traded in, and if people aren't willing to buy it in that condition it isn't like they are being forced to.

    I certainly don't like the suggestion of stores not accepting bare games in order to teach those people a lesson - if someone is desperately looking for an old copy of a game, do you think they would prefer the choice of mint condition or not at all? I think once they get desperate enough they will buy the game sans box and manual, and be pleased with their purchase...
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Informative)

      by rholliday (754515)
      I agree. The point of a game should be to play it. If you can play it, then all is well. There's only so much you can expect out of people for game and/or system maintenance. Too many little siblings, pets, clumsy rommates, and freak accidents to expect trade-ins to be in Mint/Near-Mint condition.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by BigJimSlade (139096) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:54PM (#8355947) Homepage
      It's not like you'll have to worry about stores instituting such a policy anyway... simple economics says that if there is a market for those bare games (there is), they will support that market. As much as I hate seeing the games without their original packaging (except perhaps the SNES, with possibly the worst game packaging of any system) there's not much you can do about it. Perhaps the stores could offer an additional credit or two for games with their box and/or manual.

      Having gotten my own house not too long ago, I've realized how much space that stuff takes up. I've actually gotten rid of quite a bit of boxes, or at least broken them down and put them in storage. I'm glad there are places online like MobyGames [mobygames.com] and The Video Game Museum [vgmuseum.com] to document the packaging of these games. And if you're an Amiga fan, don't forget to check out the CAPS project [caps-project.org], which is not only providing *exact* replicas of original disks, but also high quality scans of the packaging.
      • Re:Who cares? (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        N64 had a pretty bad one as well.

        Lets just wish for DVD cases for everything.

        My life will be complete.
      • It's not like you'll have to worry about stores instituting such a policy anyway... simple economics says that if there is a market for those bare games (there is), they will support that market. As much as I hate seeing the games without their original packaging (except perhaps the SNES, with possibly the worst game packaging of any system) there's not much you can do about it. Perhaps the stores could offer an additional credit or two for games with their box and/or manual

        The reason they don't keep the
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gmezero (4448) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:34PM (#8358001) Homepage

      It isn't like the stores are getting games in good condition and delibrately beating them up; they get the game in the condition it is traded in, and if people aren't willing to buy it in that condition it isn't like they are being forced to.

      I beg to differ. A little over a year ago I was on really hard times and I decided to trade all my duplicate GameBoy games with manuals and boxes down at the local GameStop in order to get some new games as presents for my kids. Imagine my horror as the guy behind the counter systematically pulled the games out of their boxes and threw the boxes in the trash and the manuals into a small shoe box where they keep manuals for people who are looking for them. (...and I've since discovered that most stores doen't even do this.)

      If I could have afforded to, I would have taken everything back and tried to come up with money for my kids gaming presents some other way. As it is, it will be a cold day in hell before I sell anything else to one of these stores.

      • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SamNmaX (613567)
        As it is, it will be a cold day in hell before I sell anything else to one of these stores.

        It's not like you were giving these games to the store for altruistic purposes. It does you no difference if these games have the box or not, since you don't have these games anymore.

        Now, on the other hand, I'd be more concerned about *buying* these used games knowing this information, since if you wanted things like the box you know this store won't save it.

  • In 30 years... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ianoo (711633) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:10PM (#8355692) Journal
    It will be interesting to see how sought after any well-preserved games will be in their original packaging. I can easily imagine they'll be our grandchildren's baseball cards.
    • Re:In 30 years... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AKnightCowboy (608632)
      It will be interesting to see how sought after any well-preserved games will be in their original packaging. I can easily imagine they'll be our grandchildren's baseball cards.

      Hardly. You want some of my mint condition 8 track tapes? Baseball cards and comic books are collectibles because it doesn't require any additional pieces to be useful. Video games would require some kind of player which I guarentee will be obsolete and unavailable in 30 years or so rare it isn't worth buying anyway. Besides, y

      • Video games would require some kind of player which I guarentee will be obsolete and unavailable in 30 years or so rare it isn't worth buying anyway.

        If this is the case, then wouldn't the originial packaging be the most valuable portion of the game, since, by definition, it doesn't require an "obsolete" console. Don't you think we will be able to read the standard optical CD/DVD media of today on future emulation systems anyway?

        • Don't you think we will be able to read the standard optical CD/DVD media of today on future emulation systems anyway?

          No. I didn't even have a 5 1/4" floppy disk drive to read a bunch of old disks I found lying around when moving them. I just ended up pitching them since they're probably magnetically dead anyway. Imagine if I had to read 8" floppy disks. Media formats die which is why it's important to transfer all your data to a new format when it becomes available. I have to deal with that at work

          • 5.25" low density disks have a theoretical magnetic lifetime of 90 years. I have 15-20 year old Apple II disks that still work perfectly. In about 2002, I remember seeing that someone had a disk image of PC-DOS 1.1 off of a disk with zero bad sectors (this disk was from 1981).
  • by Bruha (412869) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:13PM (#8355711) Homepage Journal
    Hello! it's used!

    If I was his editor I'd slap him on the back of the head for wasting his time. I've rarely even at gamestop seen new games in their boxes except todays games that come in DVD cases.

    I'll do him a favor though. I wont sell my copy of KOTOR that the cat scratched up the box. Maybe then he can rest in peace.
    • Gamestop tosses boxes. I just traded in Metroid: Zero Mission and the first thing they did was toss the mint packaging, manual, registration cards, etc... I know a couple guys who work in the store and they think it's sad, but it's policy.
      • Must just be local policy. I buy used games from gamestop and EB all the time, and if you trade in the box and manual, they always keep them.

        I only buy games that have all the packaging unless I'm really desperate for them, and the guys at gamestop are happy to oblige me. They'll even pair up a used box/manual with whichever used disc is in the best condition--not necessarily the one it was traded in with.
      • Actually, at the Gamestop down the street from me (Memorial and Dairy Ashford, in Houston), they're selling some NES games (Tetris, Tecmo Bowl, Super Mario Bros.) with their mint packages and everything at the normal price.
  • by slaker (53818) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:14PM (#8355719)
    If you're going to save the packaging for every game, and no one else does, eventually that complete product will be worth money over and above the value of the game itself. The simple fact is that I don't really appreciate the retail package of a game, once I own that game, and I'd rather use the space for other things, just like every other normal person. The packaging was meant to be disposable. They made it out of paper for chrissakes. If you're different, then so be it. In 50 years when universities are offering "video game packages of the 20th century: a monological examination" as a class, you'll have saved cultural obscura and done your job as a pop-cultural historian. The world will thank you.
  • How about PC Games? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:19PM (#8355751) Homepage Journal
    If you think it's tough to find older console games in decent shape, just try finding classic PC games more than five or six years old. At best, you might stumble across a beaten up box in the "previously played" section at GameStop or Electronics Boutique, but that's usually only for games that are still on the shelves at Best Buy. If you're talking about anything pre-2000, odds are that it's in a plastic baggy with no documentation -- if they have it at all.

    Along similar lines, it's not all that hard to track down a copy of Duck Hunt for the NES at the average gaming store. Just try to find a computer game from that era, though. Or even fifteen years later.

    As is the case with so many collectibles these days, I'm afraid that eBay is our only hope.

    • by pbaumgar (595159)
      I've aquired many pre-2000 PC games on eBay in their original boxes. I have quite a collection of all the old Sierra games ie. King's Quest, Space Quest, etc. That are all in excellent condition. You'd be amazed what you can find on eBay and the condition of say a 1984 King's Quest 1 box....
    • As is the case with so many collectibles these days, I'm afraid that eBay is our only hope.

      Must... Resist...

      "Help us, eBay-wan Kenobi, you're our only hope..."

      DAMNIT!

  • by Recoil_42 (665710) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:29PM (#8355814) Homepage Journal
    I mostly agree with gamerdad on the article; the state of most preowned games out there is disgusting --- at EB.

    Smaller stores tend to have much better preowneds, for instance. I think the culprit is that most 'casual' gamers don't take care of their games (because they ARE casual gamers -- gaming isnt their 'passion'.. similar to people who don't take care of their cars VS people who love their cars), and only know of EB as a place to buy and sell them (again, because they ARE casual gamers, and don't know too much about anything about them), and therefore are also more likely to trade them in (yet again, because they ARE casual gamers, and therefore don't care to keep them).

    end result -- people who dont care about theit games trading many of them into the most popular places.

    Also, just my feelings on the subject...

    I feel that while it IS "nice" to keep them, i have no real problem with it when i lose a cardboard box. its only when i lose a plastic case (pc cd jewel case, XBOX dvd case) that i have a problem, because then the game doesn't feel complete. Manuals are my biggest pet peeve, partially because games of old used to have huge ones, and that used to be worth like 50% of the cost, and i guess that feeling hasn't worn off.
    • In this big list of comments, I'm seeing two sorts of groups emerging, those being the people who agree with GamerDad that our history is being destroyed, and the people who just don't care. And I think that we're not really getting to exactly why the used-games market doesn't care for packaging or manuals:

      They're not selling to collectors. Or, rather, collectors aren't their primary market. The primary market is made up of people who just want to pick up a game either for sentimental reasons or because th
  • by meanfriend (704312) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:30PM (#8355817)
    I imagine that a copies of Chrono Trigger or Ocarina of Time "Mint In Box" will be quite collectible and go for astronomical values on Ebay in 10 years time.

    But many people with a sense of nostalgia will just want to play the old games, and some documentation would be nice. I recently had an urge to play Ultima IV again (which was released as freeware some years back). Luckily a little googling uncovered numerous Ultima documentation projects that archive complete documentation for all the Ultima games. Some had scans of the originals, others had them transcribed into doc or ascii.

    Another case is when I go and rent the odd game and the docs always seem to be missing. Again, its google to the rescue. I'm a little more hesitant about this though, as unauthorized online copies of instructions for new games may promote piracy (or at least make it more convienent). But for a game that's way past it's peak sales window, getting instructions on the internet can be a godsend.

    One final option is www.gamefaqs.com which have walkthroughs and FAQs for just about every game imaginable. They dont make the full documentation available, but the FAQs will often have basic gameplay instructions to at least get you started.

    • An unboxed, used copy of Chrono Trigger was marked at $75 at a local game shop. And I watched somebody snap that up pretty quick. After the person left, I asked the dood at the counter how long they had that game on the shelf, and he had only had it for a couple of days.
      • Chrono Trigger is one of a few SNES games that seen to be worth a crapload for their ages, Not exactly sure why, if anyone else knows (low number produced? few traded in?) why, let me know. I remember a while ago I was at a garage sale and the guy had a big box of SNES games for $0.50 to $1 each, I ended up giving him $25 for the whole box and took it home . I found 4 copies of Chrono Trigger, 3 copies of FFIII and 3 copies of Ogre Battle, along with several other games of varying entertainment value. I
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:32PM (#8355834)
    Scan the boxes and manuals, and upload them to the internet. There are already collections floating around. Sure it is illegal, but many things that shouldn't be are. This is one of them.
  • Not worth the effort (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sentry21 (8183) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:42PM (#8355900) Journal
    The problem is that, in most places, older systems aren't worth the trouble. The prices at EB are fixed so high that most people won't want to buy them, even though most are traded in without the box or instructions. Tetris for Nintendo (NES) is going for $39.99 CDN preowned, cart-only. No one's going to buy that, but that's what it's priced at.

    The N64 games at my local EB are all the ones that no one wants - that's why they got traded in. No one buys them, they just use EB as a clearinghouse to get rid of the crap they wish they'd never bought.

    No one cares about N64 games because there's no money in them.

    The condition they're in really depends on who owned them before. I've seen a lot of games in mint condition (I saw a copy of Syphon Filter that looked like it had never been played), but I've seen a lot of games where people just don't care about what condition their games are in. Looking through the local EB's collection, most of the games without original cases are wrestling games. Shock.

    The fact of the matter is, these are pre-owned games. They are used. They were played by someone else. No, they're not in excellent condition. That's why they're cheaper. Get over it.

    --Dan
    • Perfectly on point. Especially the your point on EB price fixing. Every time I walk into one of those stores I can't help but be astounded that the price for a new game (ps2/cube etc) will be around $50. However, the same game "preowned" without box, manual, or any other documentation sells for $4 less.

      Is that what all that extra business is worth, $4? Tell that to the people who wrote the manuals, and designed the posters and other material packaged with the game. Perhaps this is why most manuals the
      • In Canada, the price is usually $10 less for $35+ games, and $5 less for $30 or less. In some situations (e.g. Metroid Prime for a while), the difference is more - up to $20 bucks sometimes.

        The people who wrote the manuals and designed the posters and so on and so forth got their business. EB is 'only' lowering the price however much it does because it can - people will pay the difference, and when then can give someone $15 in store credit and then sell it for $49.99, they will.

        Oh well. They're still the
  • Boxed Boxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Servo5678 (468237) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:45PM (#8355906)
    I still have all of my console game boxes: NES, GB, SNES, N64, even Virtual Boy. They're stored safely in the closet, unpacked and dusted from time to time. They're in great shape and some even still have the original marketing material that came packed with each game. I save them because they are a part of the game. A lot of time went into creating the cover art, the back-of-the-box text, and so forth. They just don't make box art like those anymore; everything's rendered and 3D and polished these days. Give me the classic 2D images of Mario with a turnip in his hand or the gold box with the Zelda logo on it any day.
  • by BlakLanner (743891) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:46PM (#8355915)
    The condition of preowned games also depends on the store you go to. The EB that I work at is full of gamers. If something comes in with the box/instructions, we keep it that way, regardless of policy. Unfortunately, not many people kept their old stuff in good condition until they traded it in. I doubt that 10-15 years ago, anyone thought that games like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger would be so widely sought after like they are now. Also ask the person there if they have anything stored on the back shelves. I know we keep alot of our mint condition older stock out of the bins for the sole purpose of them not getting damaged while they are out there.
  • Peoples is Crazy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snowmit (704081) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:48PM (#8355929) Homepage
    It boggles my mind that the author's first theory on the lack of good mint old boxes is that the cardboard has fallen apart and that his second is that stores must be throwing them away. It seems to me to be FAR more likely that what's happening is that people like me DON'T KEEP OUR PACKAGING. I have a lot of games and a pretty small appartment. When I pack to move, my first thought isn't "oh man, I'd better work out how to fit all of this cardboard into the moving van".

    I'm especially surprised, given that this article is coming from GamerDad. I mean if he's a dad, that means he has children, right? So maybe he's seen how children treat their toys? When I was a kid, I was pulling heads off of G.I. Joes. Do you think I was treating the packaging in a respectful manner?

    From my point of view (I like games, not boxes) the only real problem that he raises in the entire article is that sometimes the games are missing the manual. Here are some solutions:

    1) Don't worry about it, most games have ingame tutorials and most manuals were pretty useless. You can learn how to play by experimenting with the game.

    2) Check out sites like GameFAQs [gamefaqs.com]. Many of the best written FAQs have instructions on how to play the game in the introductions.

    3) Pay extra for games with manual (and box if you really want it). Then stores can pay kids selling games extra for their used games with manual (and box) and there will be incentive for them to take care of the product.
    • Don't worry about it, most games have ingame tutorials and most manuals were pretty useless. You can learn how to play by experimenting with the game.

      *cough*newbie*cough*

      Most older games don't have tutorials. Try picking up a game of Final Fantasy I. No in game instructions, no in game tutorial, no "how-to". (Hell the game was so hard you could get killed before reaching the first boss if you chose a bad party or didn't stock up.) "Experimenting" with a game is a recent thing. If you went to an arcade in t

      • *cough*newbie*cough* Most older games don't have tutorials. Try picking up a game of Final Fantasy I. No in game instructions, no in game tutorial, no "how-to". (Hell the game was so hard you could get killed before reaching the first boss if you chose a bad party or didn't stock up.) "Experimenting" with a game is a recent thing.

        OK, first off he is talking about Super Nintendo and N64 games. Most of those *did* leave all kinds of room for experimentation to learn the games. Second off, you can play Final
  • Seems to me that most people never think about the work that goes into EVERY aspect of game production. I've box three TV boxes filled with old NES, SNES, N64, etc game boxes. Not the games, just the manuals and boxes. Even the Nintendo Power subscription cards... minus one or two when I actually subscribed as a kid. With the exception of the original MegaMan, a lot of good work goes into most game's box art. It is absolutely a part of the product.
  • History? Please! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fmaxwell (249001) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:51PM (#8355935) Homepage Journal
    With SNES games, I can sort of understand that the deterioration of cardboard would leave you with just the cartridge and the manual eventually, but apparently the stores are now just throwing out the manual if the box is torn/useless. Even Genesis cartridges, sold in those hard shell boxes, are rarely found in their original packaging anymore. It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history."

    SNES, Genesis, and N64 (mentioned earlier) have about as much to do with "gaming history" as Chevy Chevettes have to do with automotive history. The oldest among them, the Sega Genesis, came out in 1989 with a Motorola 68000 CPU. The SNES came out in 1991 while the N64 came out in 1996!

    If you want real video gaming history worth saving, then look to the Magnavox Odyssey, released in 1972 as the first home video game. Then there is the Fairchild Channel F, which was released in 1976 and the first video game system to use cartridges. In 1977, the wildly successful Atari 2600 was released, Atari's first cartridge-based video game console. And let's not forget the Vectrex of 1982, the first and only home video game using vector graphics which it displayed on its own monitor.

    Video gaming history isn't about a bunch of johnny-come-lately Japanese executives who sought to get rich with slickly packaged, mass market products. It's about pioneers like Ralph Baer, who, in 1967 prototyped what would become the Magnavox Odyssey. It's about visionaries wile Nolan Bushnell who founded Atari and conceived Pong in 1976.
    • I was going to make nearly the same post. Shame this isn't modded up.

      What was the first system to use CDROM's?
    • This article isn't about CONSOLE history, but rather VIDEO GAME history. Classics like Zelda, Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy...these games ARE about video gaming history. Yeah, the systems were mass produced for the home, but that doesn't make them worse. The NES, SNES, Genesis, they aren't all that old, but that doesn't mean they still aren't integral parts to video gaming history. I'd love to see where we would be today without these systems. Not to mention that in 30 years, these systems WILL be a huge
    • Beg to differ...

      Nolan concieved Pong in '72. Maybe you are referring to home Pong. But, that was 1975.

      Maybe you just have a problem with facts (and Japanese gaming concerns).
      • Maybe you are referring to home Pong. But, that was 1975.

        I was referring to the home version of Pong, which was released by Atari in 1976. The story was about home video consoles and games, so I tried to limit my comments to those. Sorry for not writing more clearly.
    • History is not just old stuff. History is everything that has happened up to the present. So yes, GTA III is just as much "history" as the original Pong.
    • Um, what? Just because it's Japanese, suddenly it's not gaming history?

      Is it just not old enough to be history? In case you didn't notice, the SNES and Genesis are a good two console generations in the past. The SNES was released (in the US) in 1991, and the Genesis is even older. If those consoles aren't game history, then what are they? They're certainly not the present of games!

      I guess we should just ignore the last 200 or so years of US History, too. After all, all the important stuff happened i
      • Um, what? Just because it's Japanese, suddenly it's not gaming history?

        That's not something that I said or implied.

        Is it just not old enough to be history? In case you didn't notice, the SNES and Genesis are a good two console generations in the past. The SNES was released (in the US) in 1991, and the Genesis is even older. If those consoles aren't game history, then what are they?

        They are just outdated gaming consoles. For something to have historical significance, it needs to be more than just out
        • That's not something that I said or implied.

          Perhaps I just misunderstood. When you said "Video gaming history isn't about a bunch of johnny-come-lately Japanese executives who sought to get rich with slickly packaged, mass market products." I mentally emphasized the Japanese instead of the rest of it. After all, there's plenty of American companies mass marketing games, but you specifically mentioned Japanese. Yes, the Sega and Nintendo are Japanese companies, but I don't see how that's relevant.

          Th

          • I mentally emphasized the Japanese instead of the rest of it. After all, there's plenty of American companies mass marketing games, but you specifically mentioned Japanese. Yes, the Sega and Nintendo are Japanese companies, but I don't see how that's relevant.

            I was referring to the cultural difference between the original visionary inventors and the anything-for-profit mentality of many Japanese firms.

            My issue is that you assume that the SNES is the Preparation H and not the Polio vaccine. It doesn't ha
            • by PipianJ (574459)
              I was referring to the cultural difference between the original visionary inventors and the anything-for-profit mentality of many Japanese firms.

              Which more or less defines Nintendo under Hiroshi Yamauchi.

              On the other hand, while the systems themselves are not necessarily of extremely historical value, there are (of course) certain games from those systems that DO justify their historical value. For example: The original Zelda (arguably) pioneered (and in many ways remains) a completely different type of

            • But I just don't view SNES as something that rises to the level of importance that justifies treasuring game manuals and boxes.

              The original comment about preserving gaming history was presumably made by the person who submitted the story. So it's from their point of view that the SNES is important. It's important in their gaming history. Just like the NES and Master System and MegaDrive are for me, because that's what I used to talk about in school, swap games with friends for, save up to buy, spend hours
              • It's important in their gaming history.

                What he wrote was It's the systematic destruction of our gaming history. It may be important to him, but calling it "our gaming history" is a bit presumptuous.

                I'm curious how old you are?

                42

                Or to put it more simply - did you ever own a SNES? ;)

                No. I went right from the arcade games to the computer games. I never really did the console thing (with the exception of a Vectrex). But, despite never having been into consoles, I can still recognize what has real
    • by scot4875 (542869) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @04:11PM (#8356959) Homepage
      Save your self-righteous rants for somewhere else.

      When does something become history? In 5 years, will the SNES be part of history? How about 10? Surely at least in another 20 years, you'd have to classify the Genesis and SNES as 'history.'

      Now, my point: what the hell is wrong with starting to preserve it *now*, before it's gone? There are some very, very good games on all of those systems. It'd be a shame to lose bits and pieces of them forever.

      Similarly, as someone else pointed out earlier in the thread, baseball cards were just little pieces of cardboard too. I certainly don't expect the packaging from video games to appreciate in value as much as a Joe Namath card, maybe there's still some reason to hang onto this stuff while it's still *possible* to hang onto it.

      You're probably too old to appreciate all of videogame history, anyway. I consider myself lucky to have gotten into video gaming when I did -- old enough to appreciate the real classics, young enough that I'm not afraid of new things. (sorry, cheap shot)

      --Jeremy
      • Save your self-righteous rants for somewhere else.

        Why? Because you don't like the competition?

        When does something become history? In 5 years, will the SNES be part of history? How about 10? Surely at least in another 20 years, you'd have to classify the Genesis and SNES as 'history.'

        Something doesn't become "history" just by being old. For something to have historical significance, it has to break new ground, change society, or otherwise have a profound impact on the world in which we live. Pong f
    • A person's perception of gaming history has a lot to do with when they started playing, and what games they grew up with. for some people, that'l the NES. For others it's the N64, or the 2600, or the Odyssey. Heck, for some people it's the Playstation!. It's all relative to the age of the gamer.

      If the NES was considered "historical" why was there just a museum exhibition dedicated to it? Level-X [asahi.com] just ended its showing at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. I was lucky enough to get to check it o

  • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:56PM (#8355966)
    If someone told Funcoland which is now Gamestop they could sell Zelda for 20x the value with a mint box, they still wouldn't do it.

    These stores pay rent per square feet. There aren't enough people paying collector's price to cover the rent loses. I don't think even in 10-20 years.
  • by realdpk (116490) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @01:02PM (#8355987) Homepage Journal
    You're free to maintain a history of video gaming, with full boxes and perfect manuals and stuff. But I think you'll agree that it's not in the game store's economic interests to turn their already cramped space into a museum..
  • I don't care much about packaging - I have a small apartment, and packaging both makes the games bigger and makes it slower to get them out.

    What I do wish they'd focus on is selling NES and SNES games with the little plastic bits to keep dust out of them. Half of the difficulty I have in maintaining my NES/SNES collection stems from the fact that keeping dust out of the games is a perpetually losing battle.
  • by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @01:44PM (#8356201) Homepage
    Buy 'em for a dime apiece, stick each one in its own Zip-loc bag, then put 'em away for 20 years. At the end of that time, you ought to be able to sell them for a whole quarter!
  • GAME (UK games store, not sure the US has them) takes everytheing out of the casing and 'wrap' them up with a sticker holding the CD within the manual. The number of times I got a game where the CD is already marked on the data side because the asshats stickied the CD to the manual.
  • by $calar (590356) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @01:54PM (#8356257) Journal
    I've kept all of the boxes the games came in in another box, a "box of boxes" per se. Maybe I'm an abnormal person, but I tend to take care of my stuff and I could repackage my games and give them to you in a state equivalent to the day I bought it (minus the shrink wrap of course). I guess if people just took better care of their stuff this problem wouldn't exist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @01:56PM (#8356266)
    I run a used games shop, we do about 25grand a month. NES and SNES games are rarely seen in a box, and when they are, we leave them that way. Genesis games, and don't ask me why, don't sell in the clamshell...I have pondered this fact for days at a time, it makes no sense. The moment I take them out of the clamshell, they sell. I just don't get it, I've always thought of the Genesis cases as actually being useful but I guess most people just don't care for them.

    Atari rarely has the box, Intellivision often does have the box (go figure)...NES games don't as I said above, but they also rarely have the original plastic slip cases they came in either.

    It's a mystery to be sure.
    • This is why I stopped trading stuff in to chain stores. (This, and the fact that you don't get ripped off by independant shops.) The local game shop I go to gives you more credit/cash if you've got the box/manual/whathaveyou than if you don't. That's how it should be.
    • I really wish I could figure out what it is about those Genesis games - the exact same thing happens where I work. The loose Genesis games do a complete turn over about once every three weeks, but some of the games in the cases have been there for over a year. SNES games are the same, though they tend to turn over every other week. When it comes to NES games though, I can't keep the boxed ones in - but I have about 15 copies of Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt that refuse to sell (the lack of light guns may h
  • by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @02:18PM (#8356407)
    This is somewhat tongue in cheek, so don't flame me off hand. But it's still interesting.

    Ever think about what is REALLY killing the entertainment industries? Is it organized counterfitting? Or casual copying? Or file sharing?

    Why doesn't anybody ever think of the used market as the real downfall of the entertainment industry? This is about used video games, most of which you can't get in stores anyway...but strech this out to music or movies. How many used music/movie stores are around where you live? How much business do they do? Chances are they do just as much, or maybe even more business than a normal record store.

    Why is nobody talking about this? Why doesn't the RIAA do advertisements about how used sales take food out of the mouths of artists (which is MORE true than for P2P file sharing). Sure, it's legal. But the question is, is it ethical? How ethical is it to make money off of somebody elses's work..without them even getting a whiff of it?

    Furthermore, this is more competition for the entertainment dollar. Spreading things even thinner.

    Now, myself I'm torn on this issue. On one hand, I have a lot of pre-owned DVDs from my local movie store (buy 2 get 2 free builds your collection pretty fast). But at the same time, it really HAS to be affecting their real numbers. More-so than anything else really.

    Again. Why isn't anybody talking about this?
    • Because it's legal. It's hard to bring folks up in a lathering froth against something that a) saves people money and b) is perfectly legal.
    • Again. Why isn't anybody talking about this?

      Talk to R.E.M. or Garth Brooks.

      Why doesn't the RIAA do advertisements about how used sales take food out of the mouths of artists (which is MORE true than for P2P file sharing).

      Don't give them any ideas. They might buy a Congress and revoke the right of first sale. After seeing what Sonny Bono did, I wouldn't put it past the U.S. legislature.

  • I think this should read

    What's the solution, if any, to this "problem"?
  • by u-238 (515248)
    the condition of that pilot wings 64 box i got from some ebay mass reseller.

    the crinckles and dents were impressed upon the very depths of my soul, as if someone had taken all my childhood memories and wiped their ass with them.
  • Most of the time, cartrige games are traded in as just the cartrige, so I don't blame the store for not having cartrige boxes. What I hate though, my local Gamestops have been doing, is throwing away Playstation boxes and manuals. Yes, the jewel cases that probably 8 times out of 10 were traded in near perfect condition. They don't have enough space for them, so they put the CDs in little sleeves in a cardboard box and just chuck the case and manual. Now that is a shame.
    • Thats strange, the place I work keeps the jewelcases and instructions. The only time we sell a PSX game with no instructions is if it came that way.
    • wow. reading that really saddened me. I still buy psx games from time to time and if I find one that not complete or the manual/disc is in shoddy condition (the case I can change if it's broken) I wont pick it up, even if its some rare game that I really really want.

      That store might not have enough space for the cases because the games arent selling because they aren't complete.... The major dept stores in the city I live in keep their music cds separate from the cases to deter theft. They cds are kept in
  • hell, I'd be happy if I could get NEW games in new condition. especially game boy games. those stupid little boxes are always getting crushed...
  • by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @04:23PM (#8357028) Journal
    GameStop retail stores recently stopped selling most of the older generation games. I went into a GameStop today, and they had no NES, SNES, Genesis, or Dreamcast games*. None at all.

    I've heard reports of these older used games making up 5-10% of a store's sales. This may seem small...but think about how little the stores give when you trade in these games. The relative profit on a $3 Genesis game is far higher than for a $20 Game Boy Advance game.

    Why, then, are they getting rid of these games? One of the biggest reasons is space. These cartridge games take up a fair amount of room that newer CD-based games just don't. If they don't have enough room for the actual games, where the heck would they put the boxes? It's far easier for the stores to just toss the packaging. Depressing, but that's the way it is...

    This one still puzzles me - the Dreamcast isn't that old, and I know there's still demand for DC games. Oh well...

    • I can't talk for company wide, but these older games definitely did not make up anywhere NEAR 5-10% of sales. According to my last sales mix, it was far lower than that. There is still a demand for these games, but not enough to make it profitable. The company can use the resources it spends on those games and consoles and use them more wisely.
      • The 5-10% was a number given to me by a GameStop employee. It's possible that the number was just for that one store; it's also possible that I was lied to. That wouldn't be the first time that's happened. :)

        I wish I could find published data somewhere that would support that figure; alas, I don't think that information exists, or is accessible to me if it does...

  • When I worked at blockbuster, our store had a handful of N64 and Gameboy games remaining. No other old systems either. They just wanted space for GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. Can't really blame them though. But the condition their old games were in was abominable. The manager sounded kind of relieved when people would shoplift them, because it got the eyesore off the shelves.

    Personally, if the game rocks, and the packaging is something special, I'll save it. I've got a couple games who's boxes I've saved.

  • If you go into any EB or GameStop to sell them a mint used game, complete with box and instructions, they'll probably give you the same price as someone who only has a cart which looks like it's been through a war zone.

    I'm guessing if anyone cares enough about games to keep the manual and box, they know better then to go to one of these stores, and instead sell/trade them over the internet.
  • I worked at a Gamestop for a year. Policy states that anything other than this generation that gets traded in with a box, the box and manual get tossed. The plastic sleeves that people stored their NES and SNES games in to protect them? We don't even take them in. Employees usually take them home, but sometimes they go in the rubbish bin. Even for current generation GBA games, the boxes and manuals get tossed. The employees at our store had a system so that if a game came in with a box, we'd store the box s
  • I can't speak for all stores and much of this has already been touched upon by everyone else, but I can't seem to shut up so...

    In the case of older games (which includes N64 titles - maybe you've lost track of time, but the system launched well over 5 years ago), they don't get traded in with the boxes and the instructions to begin with. In fact, the cart themselves often times look like the owner stored them in a ditch in their backyard - literally. Dirt caked, labels peeled, etc. It's ridiculous the con

  • Um . . . . Duh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by superultra (670002) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @08:03PM (#8358179) Homepage
    "Is it really so hard to maintain a policy of keeping the product in similar condition to how it's traded in or maybe even stop accepting bare games altogether to give your customers more reason to take care of their games to retain value?"

    Having worked at an EB for three years, I'll go ahead and state the obvious. Generally, the people who take care of games keep them. Those who don't tend to trade them in relatively early in the lifespan of the game. What happens is something of a trickle-down effect; as games drop in price, those who couldn't afford to buy them in the first place (kids, or families who don't put as much financial priority on video games) end up buying them. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    With regards to game stores taking care of them, I can only speak for the store I work at. I've already mentioned that the people who take care of these games don't trade them in or already have. That means the conditions of the games these stores get is usually fairly subpar. I remember a few times when we would get an older system and games in immaculate condition. Dave isn't finding those because the game collectors, who would visit our store at least once or twice a week, bought those first. What's more is that if there are two copies of Starfox 64 on the shelf, and one is in top condition and the other is not, which is more likely to go first since they're under the same SKU?

    Frankly, there's a lot of extremely obvious reasons why these games are not in the best of shape, some of which I'd provided. Why Dave didn't think this through before he wrote his article is beyond me. Maybe he thinks, quite mistakingly, that Steve Morgan of EB or some member of the gaming store echlon will read his article and suddenly agree with him. But if you're making the same amount of profit whether they are in good condition or poor condition (and these stores do), then why change the behavior? Moreover, the people who take care of games usually know they can get a heck of a lot more than $0.50 from EB for a mint condition game.

    Your best bet, Dave, is to buy off of eBay and inevitably pay more for a game that is in mint condition. Surprise: you pay for what you get for. What's probably discouraging for Dave, though, is that if he hasn't thought of the obvious reasons why this has occured, he's probably not thought ahead to what's going to happen when the disc generation hits the same age that cartridges are now. Keepem while you gotem.
  • Duh. Only nerds care about the packaging/manuals of their videogames. I happen to have kept all the boxes and manuals of my old games, but for the average people this is just stupid, as they don't give a living fuck about the box, and even less about the manual.
  • We dont have space for the old stuff that sells for a LOT less than a newer used game. No one in their right mind is going to pay 30.00 for a copy just because its in an original box. That stuff would sit there collecting dust. Mint condition stuff is what E-bay is for, not retail places.

    The stuff moves so infrequently and there is such a small trade in value for it, we just recently stopped taking it in. Yes, thats right, as of today, the location I work at no longer accepts 8-bit NES, Sega Genesis, Super
  • This has to be the worst post ever on slashdot and no, I am not trolling. It's not even a story it's a whine. So, retailers are now responsible for destroying videogame history? Why has it become retailers who are burdened with old stock and/or trading games to make sure the cases are present and in fantastic condition. We're not talking about Infocom games which had elaborate packaging and lots of goodies, we're talking about N64 and Genesis games! Get real. The only people who care about packaging w
  • by luekj (692478)
    i love the old video game packaging it is so cool and it's sad to see it go/deteriorate.

    I mean, i miss the big pc boxes too, it was sad to see them go out of style.

    peace out.

    ~~~

  • Any information in the manual you can get online.

    In 100% of situations, I prefer to have the data on my computer where it takes zero cubic space, than in a box which takes up much-needed space. All this stuff is on the internet. And when I view the downloaded box art, it would look alot nicer on my 36" television (primary monitor) than it on a 5" cardboard piece-o-trash box.

    Paper is obsolete.

  • Those people who are most likely to take care of game manuals and packaging are also the least likely to sell those games later on. The people who maintain stuff like that are in it for the long haul.
  • Why is it that every loser who has some esoteric interest in dead products uses Slashdot to lament the demise of said dead products?

    If you want a goddamn 1977 Ford Pinto II, do you complain when the local Ford dealership doesn't have one available in mint condition?

    If you wanna be a collector, fine. But there is a reason companies aren't making that shit anymore. There are like five of you who are interested in buying a NES cartridge in its original box in mint condition. Are you really surprised there is

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