E3 is just around the corner, but all the video games at the world's biggest gaming convention wouldn't amount to a tenth of what Michael Thomasson has in the basement of his home in Buffalo, N.Y. It's the world's biggest collection, certified by Guinness — and he's selling it.
Over 11,000 games could be yours: complete and near-complete sets for just about any system you can imagine, from Atari 2600 to Nintendo 3DS and everything in between.
Where'd they come from? Thomasson ran a number of game shops in the '90s, and bought liberally from his own inventory — naturally, always selecting the games in the best condition. That means his collection is unrivaled in size and quality.
You may miss out on a few rarities: Shoot-'em-up fans will note the absence of "Radiant Silvergun" for the Sega Saturn, for instance, and ultra-limited editions like the Nintendo World Championship cartridge aren't here, either. But just about everything else is.
So why is Thommason selling his record-breaking collection?
"While I do not wish to part with these games, I have responsibilities that I have made to others and this action is how I will help meet them," he writes at the end of the auction's description. "I simply have an immediate family and extended family that have needs that need to be addressed."
He's not the first guy to have to sell a few games or DVDs to make rent, but he has to be the first to sell this many. Here's hoping the auction fetches a good price (it's up to $50,000, though it was appraised at a far higher amount) so Thomasson can meet his responsibilities — and get back to collecting.
First published June 6 2014, 12:16 PM
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer at NBC News; he started his role in April of 2013. Coldewey is responsible for original reporting on a number of tech topics, such as photography, biotechnology, and Internet policy.
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Coldewey joined NBCNews.com from TechCrunch, where he was an editor covering a similarly wide variety of content and industries. His personal website is coldewey.cc.