Game Over? New Vintage Video Game Store Could Revitalize the Industry

Categories: Gaming, Geek

The only thing we know for sure happens when you die is that they finally leave you alone about your student loans. However, assuming there is an afterlife that serves as some kind of reward for a virtuous life, then we desperately hope that the one we have earned is an eternity spent in the new Game Over store.

Located on the South feeder of 59 between Buffalo Speedway and Edloe, walking into the vintage video game outlet was honestly the happiest we'd felt in weeks. As the sounds of grown-people problems faded with the closing of the door, an old sound took its place.

Perched on a counter with a bar of inviting stools, Cranky Kong turned the handle on his Victrola during the title screen of Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. We remember a magical fall day when we came home from school and found a VHS-shaped package with our name on it in the mailbox. Nintendo Power, which we were a longtime subscriber to as part of a recurring Christmas present, had sent out a short promo for their latest reboot of the Donkey Kong series.

Just being in Game Over, the fifth store in the six-year-old chain, listening to that music and itching to hold that old 8 button controller was enough to make us feel like we did as a child. All you had to do was avoid the meatheads who liked to drag longhairs off the school bus and kick their ribs and then you'd be home, free to uncurse the Cursed Shield and take on Kefka damn near invincible.

That's what David Kaelin, owner of the Game Over chain, is selling. He is selling an experience that is nostalgic, timeless and anticipatory all at the same time. Housed on his shelves is a veritable treasure trove of the entire history of video gaming as we know it. Colecovisions, Atari 2600s, Sega Saturns, the freakin' Philips CD-I, even a Famicom Disk System, which we'd never even seen a picture of before, are all either on sale or for display.

All the signs point to video game developers moving to an entirely digital market as soon as possible. The idea that they can control your purchase long after you've plunked down the money appeals to them for obvious reasons, and they're making bucketloads of cash releasing older games onto new systems to boot. With that sad knowledge, we wondered just how viable an operation like Game Over could really be?

It turns out that it can be very viable indeed. First of all, we had no idea that video game collecting had reached such high levels. Kaelin told us of an Atari game called Air Raid that had gone for $50,000 at auction. Many of his most loyal customers are collectors looking to fill in holes in their collections, and professional listings and pricing guides are available. So the next time you're in the pawn shop or perusing a garage sale, make sure you pick up some of those old electronics because they may actually be worth more than their weight in gold.

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My Voice Nation Help

I've seen the store, but never would've gone in (the name "Game Over" sounds ominous, and I had visions of a dirty, flea market place) without this article.  Now I'm definitely popping in.  Thank you.

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