Documentary on retro video game collecting: The Bits of Yesterday

Anyone else seen this?

I’ll have to check it out!

I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s free for Amazon Prime members:

Also free on YouTube (I don’t know if it’s supposed to be free, as Amazon is charging a fairly high rental fee for non-Prime members. This YouTube video has only 30 views since December 31, which also seems strange):

The YT link appears to be a pirate rip and not an official “here, watch it for free!” link from the makers.

Did my best. I got to minute 40 or so and turned it off.

It appears to be entirely made up of half-ass interviews with rabid video game collectors talking about their collections, with predictably dull results. I’m not sure who this doc was supposed to be for, but it’s about as scintillating as listening to your buddy go on about his fantasy football team.

I looked at the time remaining and there was another hour and change left, so I noped out.

I actually just finished watching it. It was funded via Kickstarter, and is apparently an amateur production that could have used a lot more polish, and even more focus.

The first hour was indeed tough to sit through, as it was nothing but scattered thoughts on collecting from many collectors, who are all saying pretty much the same things.

It does get better after that however, but that’s not saying much. I did enjoy that last half-hour or 45 minutes, where some interesting personal stories were begun. But because they were from so many people, none of those stories ever went anywhere.

In the middle section, it looked like it could get interesting when they started talking about the incredibly high prices some of these games can fetch. But again, a bunch of examples were given, but with no depth.

Another part that looked like it could be interesting was when they talked to an actual psychologist. It appeared as if she was going to talk about the down side of collecting. But then she suddenly veered into how impressed she was about how organized some of the collections she saw were. And that was it. She was on for maybe one minute, and then disappeared forever.

This had the potential to be good, and in the right hands it could have been. But all it was was a bunch of random thoughts on collecting, a few promising starts that didn’t go anywhere, and a bunch of instances where everyone was asked the same question, and all who were asked gave similar answers.

If you collect games, or have ever collected games, you won’t gain a thing by watching this.

If you have never collected games (or anything else), you might gain a bit of insight into why people do it, but again, it’s probably just common sense stuff you already know.

I cannot think of anyone I would recommend this to, which is a shame.

It was quite cringey at parts.

Thanks for posting this. I gave up after 20 minutes or so @ “Why would an adult want to play Zelda?”.

This might be better:

Thanks, @rei. That was indeed quite good.

Points of view from quite a few independent game store owners, edited well, resulting in a cohesive narrative. The focus of the entire thing though, was basically about physical games vs. downloaded games. There were other interesting stories mixed in, but physical vs. digital-only is what drove the whole documentary.

Not that I minded, as that has been one of my intense interests since Steam started up, and I suddenly began to wonder if I actually owned anything I bought via download. However, this doc is primarily concerned with consoles, but the same philosophy applies, so I found it great because it does a good job of explaining the pros and cons (although it is weighted pretty heavily toward the pro-physical side of things). But it is also realistic, in that most of the store owners interviewed feel that the collecting of physical games may be peaking now, and will inevitably decline as the population loses interest and/or ages. And when those game collectors die, who is going to be willing to take over the proper care of their collections? This is something I’ve often wondered about my own massive PC game collection. After I pass on, I fear that all my stuff is going to simply end up on eBay, scattered across the world. With luck, maybe some pieces will find their way to like-minded collectors.

All of the points presented here have already been discussed to death on this forum, so don’t go into this documentary expecting to learn anything new. But for me, it was nice to hear the stories of people like myself, who have nostalgia for the games they played when they were younger.

Granted, these are store owners, who have a big interest in physical media because that’s what they can sell. But beyond the money angle, I think they all appeared pretty passionate about collecting, because in most cases that’s what got them steered toward opening stores.

As I grow older, I’m not as passionate as I once was about fighting the download monster (or more accurately, the DRM that usually accompanied it). But it was still nice to hear from people who think about it much like I do.