A strit Begolli, commonly known as Polaki, is just an average video game collector like the rest of us. His niche is rare consoles and he boasts a collection of over 181 systems including some of the rarest and mostexpensive consoles, such as a Japanese Atari2800, a Taiwanese Funtech Super A’can andthe Tomy Pyutta Jr. Like many collectors, the44-year old is a family man with a wife and two kids, but this is where Astrit’s similarities
While Astrit’s impressive collec on is certain-ly worth an ar cle in itself, it’s the collec on of his youth and the way he played them that makes him stand out from most other gamer-collectors.
Astrit resides in Kosovo, a small European country in the Balkans, approximately 750 kilometers north of Athens. He claims to have the largest video game collection on in the Balkans.
Astrit’s rst contact with videogames occurred in 1982 when he was six years old. He remembers that the city where he lived had four arcades. Because he was so young and didn’t have any money to buy tokens, he merely stood outside the front door and watched other people play all the games. His parents began giv-ing him lunch money two years later, but he used that money instead at the arcades. He remembers playing the classic games including Pacman, Galaga and Phoe-nix. By 1990 he received his rst serious machine, the Commodore 64. Astrit loved the fact that playing vid-eo games gave him the phenomenal feeling of escap-ing from the real world and losing all sense of me.
Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, Gamespot.com and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user's manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user's guide to Ralph Baer's Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world's first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4's Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history