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The World's Largest Video Game Collection - Michael Thomasson's Guinness Book of World Records Event

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Published on Nov 28, 2013

The Guinness Book of World Records verified that I have "The Largest Collection of Videogames" with the count being 10,607 at the time. I am now approaching 12,000 unique games in my collection.

When I purchased the 2011 Gamer's Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and saw the entry, I knew that I was close if not already over the standing record. I then began to track my collection with Game Collector videogame inventory software from Collectorz.com. I recommend it to others interested in doing the same. It is the only software that I could find that was capable of logically sorting such a massive collection.

Richard Lecce had previously held the record since September of 2010. Guinness listed his collection consisting of over 8,000 game titles. A funny story - I purchase games in bulk from several dealers. I made the mistake of telling one dealer in particular that I was going for the record. As it turns out, that dealer also sold games to Richard and gave him a heads up that I was "gunning for the record." As a result, I stopped buying from that seller and quietly built up my collection to be several thousand games over the existing record just to assure that I cleared it.

I kept my buying down to less than $3000 per year. So, I waited for deals as I would never have reached the number I did if I went out and bought every new game released at $60 a pop. The last game that I paid full price was the game Shenmue for the Dreamcast on Nov. 8th, 2000.

The venture with Guinness was a long road to travel. The paperwork (and photographic & video submissions) required was extensive. The box of required materials was massive and weighed a good twenty+ pounds.

I officially contacted Guinness on April 27th, 2012, the count was confirmed on Dec. 3rd, 2012, Guinness made it official on July 11, 2013, and I received my certificate in the mail on August 5th, 2013.

Qualified and Expert Members that managed the official Guinness count included John-Paul Dyson, the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, part of the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York. The second expert was Leonard Herman, Videogame historian and writer, author of the definitive history of videogames, Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames, among others.

A bit about my history with gaming the growth of the collection: In 1978 I rode my bicycle with my big brother to the local Dairy Queen for a refreshing Mr. Misty and instead saw a huge hulking box in the middle of the restaurant. It was a Space Invaders that ended up taking my quarters that I had saved for my slushy. The rest is history.

My first game was Cosmic Avenger for the Colecovision. It was a gift from my grandparents given to me on Christmas Eve. I thought for sure that an actual Colecovision would actually emerge the following day but it was the hot Christmas item and sold out everywhere, so that didn't happen. I looked at the Cosmic Avenger box and read the manual every day until the following when a Colecovision unit did finally emerge. We went to hook it up, the Donkey Kong screen came up on the television and then almost immediately a snow storm knocked the power out. Eventually I had to go to bed, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, the power came back on and I laid there in bed listening to my big brother and sister play until I eventually fell asleep. It was the best gift my parents ever gave me other than their love.

I sold my entire collection in late 1989 to raise money to buy a Sega Genesis, essentially pressing the reset button.

My wife's father died when she was three, so when we got married in 1998, we didn't have the traditional father-of-the-bride to help pay for the wedding, so we financed most of the festivities ourselves. As a result, I sold off complete collections for the Sega Master System and the TurboGrafx-16 to help pay fund the event. I have since reacquired most of the games over the years, but some titles such as Magical Chase are still elusive, which is even more funny when one considers the name of the game!

I have a 100+ different gaming platforms and growing. To get to this number, I have had to acquire some very unusual systems that even the most die-hard gamers may not even be aware exist, such as the Casio Loopy, Apple's Pippin, Epoch's Super Cassette Vision, & even the CougarBoy from Brazil.

On the side I operate a volunteer hobbyist organization that publishes "Homebrew Games" - A homebrew title is a new game created for a classic game console such as the original Atari consoles that traditional software publishers have abandoned. Basically, new games for old consoles. Here is a link to my website: http://gooddealgames.com/ and a direct link to my bio that includes my involvement within the gaming industry: http://gooddealgames.com/Staff.html

A BIG thanks to Ms. Brianna Blank the photographer & videographer that documented this event & prepared this very video.

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