From March until August of last year, I found nothing. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I pounded my thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets with a vengeance, looking for a final found-in-the-wild rarity to cap off my collection of classic video games. “If I can bag just one more ER,” I swore to myself, “I’ll never paw through another urine scented pile of moldy eight-track tapes and naked Barbie dolls again for as long as I live!” It was a lengthy oath to be sure, but one that countless repetition had long ago turned to rote. I uttered it for the first time dozens of ER’s ago, and every Extremely Rare game I found thereafter took greater time and effort for me to find than the last. Oh, but the adrenaline rush that came with each new conquest! No matter how long the drought, the thrill was always enough to reset my vow and keep me in the hunt for one “last” find. But by mid-summer, it appeared my sources had truly all run dry. It was as if someone had discovered a dribbling tap in the desert and suddenly twisted it tight. As summer dragged on, I canvassed my hunting
grounds with escalating urgency. Nothing. There wasn’t a Pac-Man or a Combat to be found. Game Over. Or so I thought.

I knew damn well what was happening on the Internet. eBay! Four years ago, a handful of smudgy-faced web heads knew what it was. Now it has grown into not only the largest online auction web site, but America’s favorite pastime as well. At this very moment, every Uncle Rolf and Aunt Ina in the country has a rusty lunchbox or a plastic yard flamingo for auction on e-Bay. There was a time when Spring Cleaning and Back to School meant truckloads of donated goods for the local charities. Now, Back to School means new episodes of The Antiques Road Show, and Spring Cleaning means clearing everything out of attic and closet down to the dust bunnies and hawking it on e-Bay. It used to be that I could walk into any thrift store on any day of the week and sift through Atari games by the box load. What chance is there now that anyone will
donate twenty year old video games to charity? Everything older than ten months has suddenly become THE hot new collectible on e-Bay. Now that I think of it, I don’t see too many naked Barbies turning up at Goodwill anymore, either. – Read the rest of the article here from Classic Gamer Magazine (courtesy of Old School Gamer)!

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