Why don’t parents keep old video games consoles?

I was born in 1979. The first console I ever owned was an Atari 2600, the old style one with the wood finish and the switches. Me and my brother shared a room and we would both play it on an old black and white television which must have only been about 13 or 14 inches in diameter.

We only had two games: Pac-Man and Galaxian. Thankfully, I loved both games. My Dad would sometimes get a loan of a game from a friend, such as the excellent tank game Combat. I remember playing the Atari on a colour television and enjoying it much more, we had been so used to playing it in black and white.

Atari 2600

When I was about 5 or 6 me and my big brother got a Commodore 16, Commodores budget level computer. That broke so it was upgraded to a Commodore 64. I remember having mixed feelings about the Commodore 64. The graphics were much better than the Spectrum and the Amstrad however nearly all of my friends had those machines. I hired games out of the library every week but I was really envious of friends as they were always swapping games.

When I was 11 we moved about 2 miles away to a new house, just 3 days before Christmas. That Christmas was pretty special. Not only had we moved house, my brother and I got a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System, packaged with Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt and the Zapper gun.

This new gaming console reignited my love for video games. Ironically, all my friends from my new school had got Commodore 64s that year, more than 5 years after I had got one. Go figure!

It wasn’t until later that I realised that many things had been thrown out by parents when we moved house. I’m not really a horder of things, not as bad as others anyway. I wasn’t too bothered about the toys they had thrown out as I was older and wasn’t interested in them anymore (granted I didn’t appreciate all my original Star Wars toys being thrown out as they would be worth something now).

However, I was a bit peeved when I found out that the Atari 2600 was no longer there. I can’t recall if it was given away or sold, but the system was gone. I still had the joysticks though as I used them with my Commodore.

The Nintendo

I started high school 8 months after moving to our new house. I quickly made friends with two guys, and they happened to have a NES too. We would swap games a lot and every Saturday morning we would hire a game from the local video games store. The shop was closed on a Sunday so you get to have the game until Monday. Because of this, I managed to play the majority of great games that came out on the NES (I actively swapped games with other friends too).

The NES was then replaced with the Super NES, which was later replaced by the Nintendo 64. Therefore, the NES sat in a cupboard for years. Because of this, my parents gave away my Nintendo and all the games to my cousin. A nice thing to do I suppose but obviously I wasn’t happy. Those pesky parents had struck again!!

Of course, my parents threw out a lot of things which would have nice to have had as I got older. The first film I saw at the Cinema was Ghostbusters. I was a huge fan of the film (and still am). When I was in my teens my Mum decided to throw Ray Parkers record out. However, before placing the record in the bin she had snapped it in two. Why is beyond me, it was a single and wasn’t exactly large. It was pure evil I tell you!! 🙂

Recycling is fun!

Why don’t parents keep old video games consoles?

I know that I’m not the only one who has had an old video games console thrown out. Before the days of eBay it was common for parents to just give them away or sell them at a ridiculously low price in the local paper.

As I said, I’m not a horder either and sell old things regularly. However, I do grow quite attached to old video game consoles I have owned. I’ve sold several of them but I wish I kept the older consoles, specifically the ones I had growing up.

Do you fell nostalgic about old consoles you once had? Have your parents ever given a system away without even speaking to you about it?

If so, please share your story in the comments area.


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  1. Mine have. My dad still has our original NES hooked up to his TV, with a spare in the attic.

    I was the stupid one and sold my Atari 2600 and a shoebox overflowing with games at a yard sale for $20 when I was a teenager, thinking I’d never want to play it again. Oh well, hindsight is always clearer.

  2. Yeah, I sold a few consoles in my teens as well which I regret. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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