I’m starting to realize that when there is a retro video game event in Ontario and it uses the words, “Swap” or “Exchange”, they are there purely for trickery. A ruse to lure naive amateurs into thinking they can bring their copies of NHL ’13 on PlayStation 3 and walk out with Smash Bros. That’s not going to happen. In fact, most of the people who have tables at these shows are only interested in the most heavily sought after games. That is totally fine though because the real draw is being able to buy bulk retro games for a dollar a piece and picking up the really good games (that you came there for) at a significantly lower price than at most stores or on eBay.
Frazer from Party Play Gaming drove Josh from The Noobsource and myself to The Barrie Game ‘Exchange’ a couple weekends ago and I was stoked. The last retro game ‘swap’ we went to I was able to grab about fifty games, so I had really high hopes for this one. I was looking for a Turbo Duo, Bishi Bashi on PS1, Fuzion Frenzy and possibly Joe and Mac (depending on price). I found none of those games, but I bought 17 others. The Barrie Game Exchange was kind to me, or cruel, if you take my wallet’s perspective.
My least expensive purchases were at a table run by a couple young dudes who clearly didn’t have a store and were backpack vendors. Their PS1 games were marked anywhere between ten cents and three dollars. That’s right, TEN CENTS. The game that was marked ten cents was Driver 2, when I picked it up the guy said – “It’s only disc one.” His friend chimed in, “You could just play disc one and decide if you like it enough to find disc two.” I put the ten cent game back on the table. I then bought Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Olympic Summer Games for fifty cents each, they gave me Driver 2 as well. I didn’t ask for it, they forced it upon me. I also grabbed, “You Don’t Know Jack” and “Tekken 3” from that table, which cost me an extra $4.
I found some other cheap games beneath a table where I was told, “Any game in cardboard boxes is just a dollar.” They were bulk games, but I found some that looked interesting for Flockin’ Around One-Shots on our YouTube Channel. I grabbed Mad Maestro and Mojo for Xbox as well as The Cat in the Hat for PS2. Then I looked at their actual table and I saw a game that I completely forgot existed. This was probably one of the earliest games to come out for the original Playstation and the last time I saw it was at a Blockbuster Video when I used to RENT a Playstation because I didn’t have enough money to buy one. Psychic Detective looks like it was one of those interactive movie games like Sewer Shark and Night Trap. I don’t think too many of them were made for the Playstation. It’s three discs though, so there is going to be a lot of getting up and changing discs mid-game. I wish that was never a thing.
Literally, every single table I went to was willing to make a deal. The bartering was real and the more you were interested in something, the better the deal was. I saw Josh pick up Ninja Gaiden I & II, Metroid and Metal Gear for a song. I was able to grab Tiny Toons Adventures, Donkey Kong 64 and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers for a total of $45. I was going to buy Donkey Kong 64 for $40 at one point in a store and now I’m really glad that I dodged that bullet…but it seems weird that there was a bullet to dodge. Why are there these HUGE price discrepancies in the used video game community?
This issue became even more apparent when Frazer told us about a Flea Market in the area that we should check out. We were met by a greasy loser on a power trip who couldn’t help but insult every potential customer who walked by his booth. I was astonished by the sheer number of retro games that were at his booth. Nothing had a price on it, but that made sense as he wasn’t interested in selling anything. It was more of a gallery. Josh inquired about Power Stone, a game that he had been looking for. The greasy loser said it was too expensive for him, I believe his exact words were, “What, you a rich man?” Okay, I guess nothing is for sale, have a nice day. Josh later sent me a link to an eBay Buy-It-Now of Power Stone for twenty-five dollars. The manual was missing though. So I guess it’s the manual that makes it an artifact of unspeakable value.
That’s just my opinion; let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading,