Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Gamer Exposed: The Ugly Truth About Retro Video Game Setups

The above is my deepest, darkest secret. My name is Sean and I am a messy gamer.

Oh sure, when I take pictures of my consoles I always dust them off, hide away all the unsightly wires and random game cartridges that clutter up the image and try to organize them in a symmetric, visually appealing way. Then I put those pics on here for the world to see.

But really it is all a pack of lies. My consoles spend most of their lives in a state of advanced untidiness.

This is what my set up looks like today, a random day like any other:
Wires and games everywhere. It just looks like a bunch of clutter, which is basically what it is.

One thing where the new generation consoles have really gotten it right is with the wireless controllers. Oh my god, how I wish these consoles had those. I was at a friend's place the other day and he had an XBox 360 with wireless controllers. I nearly burst into tears at the sight of them.

When I do a major clean up, I always remove the controllers, wind the cords up neatly and put them in a box. I always vow that I will only take them out when I play the console and, when finished, will neatly wind them back up and put them back in the box.

I never do. They inevitably just get piled up on the consoles, where they get all mixed up and force me to devote valuable time to untangling massive knots whenever I want to play a game.

Just a disgrace really. My deepest, darkest secret as a video game blogger. Here revealed. I mean, can you even tell that there is a PC Engine in this picture?:
And look at the dust on my N64! What would my in-laws think if they saw this?!!
I have to say that I don't think I am the only one of us out there. If you look around at people's blogs and on forums, pretty much every retro game collector out there only puts photos of their consoles up after cleaning them up and making them look presentable. I suspect a lot of them are like me though. Messy gamers posing as neat ones. Its a rough life, but the denial has to end sometime!! Trust me, you'll feel better!


  1. For shame, Sean! Actually, I kid :) LIke you said, it's difficult to keep things clean and tidy when you're a retro gamer. Sadly, I think that's why I rarely play some of my old games and systems these days. It's so much easier to just turn on the ol' Wii -- with its wireless controllers -- and play some of them via emulation instead :( Oh, well, at least I can play the real things if I want to, right?

  2. LOL, yes it is (hard to keep them tidy)!

    I am seriously considering getting a Wii. The price of used ones has come way down since they announced the new Nintendo console and that lack of wires is just too hard to ignore:)

  3. Haha, nice post, my consoles used to look like this! I'm the same regarding the 'clean ups' too. I have nice colorful stacking crates filled with millions of controllers and power leads and stuff but they never stay in there for long. At my worst I had all of the following set up at once: MegaDrive, Master System, Saturn x2, Dreamcast, SNES, PC Engine, 3DO x2, PlayStation, N64, GameCube, PS2 and my Amiga. As you can imagine, it wasn't a pretty sight! :P

  4. Other than just sticking them in a showcase cabinet, there's no real "classy" way to display retro consoles. If you're using them, this is how it will look 90% of the time. (Which is exactly how it should be!) It's the classic electronics "rats nest" look, as my college roommate used to say.

  5. I typically keep two to three systems out at a time and switch them out when I temporarily lose interest. Other than that, I just dust the shelves and such from time to time. It's fairly easy for me to keep things clean~

  6. Fantastic post. I will retort with some "true life" pictures tomorrow.

  7. Simon - thanks, I can imagine that must have been quite the sight with all those consoles. I'm limited to 7 due to the small size of my TV stand, otherwise I'd probably have 2 or 3 more in there!

    Vintango- too true. Rats nest is exactly what this is. And indeed, that is how it should be:)

    Skyrunner - That is probably a better idea, just having the 2 or 3 you are currently using out. I find that I have games on all these consoles that I like to play on a semi-regular basis so I've never been able to pull that off!

    Videogamesarerad - yes! I look forward to seeing them!

  8. I was a messy gamer for years but as I gotten older, I get so anal retentive. Unless I'm going to play the game in an hour or something, I always fold up the controller and dust regularly. Right now, admitedly, I don't have too much plugged in as I usually would (PS2, PS3, Wii, N64, cable box and region free Blu-Ray player), but I make sure everything is at least just a bit organized. But those cabled nightmares remind me of my childhood of an NES, SNES, N64 and PSX crammed into a small bit of furniture under my television (T__T)


    There's my set up. As you can tell, I know how you feel...

  10. Mark - Good to know somebody has their console mess under control!! I'm going to give it the old college effort this weekend with one more clean up! We'll see how long it sticks.

    Nate - Ah yes. Yee know the way of the messy gamer!