The Beginning of a Project
Video games, especially the “retro” ones, those of the first consoles, never ceased to exert their attraction on Dominic, who continued to discover them, ” out of pure pleasure “, over the years. Around 2010, he decided to make it a real project. “I asked myself: are there other interested people? I found the discussion forum of the Club of collectors of video games in Quebec. They have meetings of enthusiasts, four times a year. I went there; I met people. And I wanted to exist. »
For that, he needed a name. “When I was looking for a presence on the Internet, I wanted to give myself some name. At first, I was thinking of making a mega-inventory online of all the stores that sell retro games in Quebec. Finally, I went to the blog site.”
What’s left is the pseudonym Papa cassette. Dad because then the young father of a boy, having the desire to educate the public, to explain this universe of “retro gaming”. Cassette to dedicate this unique term to Quebec, while the rest of La francophonie uses “cartridge” to speak of plastic enclosures containing chips for playing. Dominic, a graphic designer by profession, knew that he had just found a name that was catchy and easy to remember. “That’s a good name!”
A Complete Collection
Even today, his good old NES has its place in the bright living room of his home in Sainte-Marie, Montreal, accompanied by several new machines that have appeared over the past four decades. But what is interesting is the collection of nearly 700 NES cassettes which covers the wall behind his television, listed in alphabetical order.
You can find everything from Great Classics to the most obscure pearls. “Yes, I played [the games that I buy], I’m a gamer first and foremost. “Of all those he tried, Castlevania 3 (1989), whom he received at Christmas as a child, remains at the top of the charts. “This is my favorite game, for nostalgia and because it is the emblem of this series that I love so much.
I use my games. In fact, for all my other consoles, I play these games, but for the NES, I want them all, and I won’t play everything because there’s a lot of shit!
This is because Dominic has just accomplished his goal of completing the ” full set NES “, that is to say the exploit of owning all the games of this console sold in North America during its lifetime (from its launch on the continent in 1985, two years after its publication in Japan, until the end of its production in 1995). It lacks only one, Stadium Events, extremely rare since recalled shelves soon after its sale. It’s estimated today at between… $ 15,000 and $ 20,000. The most precious of all? Little Samson, a platform game released in 1992 that he paid 1300 $. It is still a bargain since it usually sells for $ 1,800, according to Dominic.
Above all, it’s one of the good games of his full set. Because the console has experienced dozens of memorable classics, certainly, but also many turnips and fiascos, some third-party developers have gained the reputation of producing titles in two, three-move, minimum effort, and workforce, given the relative ease of creating games for this console that is much less complex than today’s very powerful machines. These bad games were sold at the same price as the others, at 40, 50 or 60$ and more at the time, without the possibility of updates or corrective, because of the lack of Internet.
Despite this, whether they are on NES, Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision or any other, the retro games undoubtedly have the advantage for him. “What I like about it is simplicity. The retro games, I love it, it is simple, the game without download, update, or other “goose” like that. […] And I love the subject, I find them beautiful. “Hundreds of cardboard presentation boxes have their place in a glass cabinet (retro too, a vestige of a Zellers) in his living room.
In total, Dominic estimates to have between 1500 and 2000 Games, identified and listed in multiple Excel workbooks. He estimates his collection at $ 30,000, although he paid a lot less for it by looking for it or buying it wholesale. If his games are for the moment tidy at home, one day he will have to look in the basement at his parents ‘ house this time, to store new boxes!
Go to Contacts
What are the rarest games in the NES? “Some had appeared when SNES already existed [back in 1990], so-called ‘late releases’, and they are expensive. “Others have appeared in both generations. These NES versions, less advanced and less sold because the public was beginning to get SNES, became valuable. “Pocket versions are worth more!
It was mainly thanks to contacts between collectors and amateurs that Papa cassette was able to build his collection. “I’m getting less and less interested in going to flea markets or garage sales. I used to, but now there are so many people who make it difficult.
There are certainly more retro gamers today than there were when he began his collection a few years ago, he says. Some specialized boutiques remain must-see places, so the road to events between players or his parents ‘ house on the South Shore is necessarily preceded by a stop in these stores.
Buy and Sell
After buying, he decided to sell. “There’s a megamarket that fluctuates all the time. Everybody gets into this, even people who don’t like video games, because there’s money to be made. “He does not seek profit at all costs, but as the collection can quickly become a ‘financial abyss’ (and fill an entire house), this avenue has prevailed.
Shortly after its launch, her blog opened doors for her. He met Bruno George, a columnist, with whom he launched the retro-new podcast. Then he added to his site an online store that quickly became popular in the industry. He has organized parties for collectors, allowing them to meet or compromise.
From thread to thread, Dominic found himself co-owner of arcade MTL, a bar on rue Saint-Denis in Montréal, opened in the spring of 2016. The glittering and noisy video game kiosk has finally triumphed over this Latin Quarter local that has known many identities in recent years. Dozens of machines of different eras and styles, all retro, line up on the walls, each freely accessible for a fee at the bar. The team
The Joys of the Past
The nostalgic does not hide: “here, we sell nostalgia. “But this is not a place for gamers, and this is what makes us successful. People come to try the experiment. “A year later,” Dad ” calls the place a hit.
Because nostalgia is popular in the gaming world, as in other spheres of entertainment. “Some people come here, and you hear them say, “Wow, the NES, the Nintendo 64 !” For me, it’s every day, but people come back to it. Everyone is wondering if the Retro mode is going to go out of steam; to date, it’s only getting bigger, ” believes Dominic.
Nintendo knows that. The company has just announced the release of SNES Classic, a miniaturized version of its successful console released with 21 popular games. After the resounding success of the NES Classic last year (sold to more than two million units before production was halted), the craze is once again there.