Aaron Norton has quite the video game collection.
It’s not the biggest collection in the world, and the rarest game he has tops out at around $600, a far cry from the thousands of dollars some rare games are reported to be worth. So what makes his collection so special?
It’s all about the aesthetics, dude. Norton’s 5,200-game collection is meticulously alphabetized and displayed so everyone can enjoy it in all its spectacular glory.
Check out pictures of the collection (below), then head over to his Imgur album to see the rest.
“I’ve always collected something,” Norton told The Huffington Post via email. “From an early age it was pennies, rocks, keys, baseball hats and so on. Displaying and acquiring ‘collectable’ items has always been part of my personality.”
“About four years ago I discovered online classic gaming forums,” he continued. “I was amazed at the amount of people who were still passionate about these dusty old systems and games. This really sparked my interest. From there I began searching out games online at thrift stores and garage sales. I connected with others with similar interests and soaked up gaming history whereever I could find it.”
“I suppose I’d have to consider myself a Nintendo fanboy. I grew up in the 1980s. Nintendo and Mario was everywhere, there was no escaping it,” Norton recalled. “From Sunday morning cartoons, cereal, underwear, bed sheets and lunch boxes. Nintendo makes fantastic games and has enduring franchises. It is without a doubt my favorite company.”
“I’ve acquired a ton of games, but I don’t feel like I’ve spent a ton. Most people don’t realize that many of these classic games can be found for $1 – $4 each,” he dished. “It’s all about finding the right deal at the right time. Hunting out your local area. Finding extras games for cheap and trading online. To me collecting has become a fun game in and of itself.”
“I do find some time to play now and again. I’m always in the middle of a game or two. One thing I’ve been enjoying is classic gaming competitions on online forums,” he also said. “[A] moderator will pick a classic NES game, set the rules (example: highest score on one life) and everyone has one week to compete and submit their score. It’s a fun way to relive … old games in a social way.”
Norton’s favorite game? “Super Mario World” on Super Nintendo. “It’s such a masterpiece of gaming,” he gushed. “The catchy music, precise control, amazing level designs and secrets. It really is everything you could want in a platformer. It’s a game that anyone young or old can pick up, play and immediately enjoy.”
“I’d say I have most of the rare games for most systems,” he went on to say. “To be honest it may be easier to mention the hard-to-find games I don’t have. For the NES I own a complete licensed set, except for the very hard-to-find Stadium Events. My Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Gamecube sets are complete as well, except for the two mail-order Super Nintendo competition carts. I also own a complete set for Virtual Boy, Sega Game Gear and Sega 32x. I’m working on finishing up my Sega Master System, Game Boy and Game Boy Color sets.”
Norton told HuffPost that he’s even getting his kids in on the action. “Super Mario World” was the first game he showed his 3-year-old daughter. “She doesn’t have the directional pad down yet,” he said. “So I move the character around the screen and she presses the ‘A’ button to jump.”