The day you are asked to get part with the console of your childhood is usually a bitter one. With so many deeply nostalgic hours attached to this pile of plastic and wires, it is sometimes hard to accept that those days are behind us. As it turns out, it may be wise to hold on to these relics of your youth in the long run; the discovery of retro games now valued at over $137,000 was recently found in the room of an abandoned house which had been sealed off for 20 years.
The reselling duo behind the moderately successful YouTube channel Cheap Finds Gold Mines, Aimee and Korbin, usually find themselves digging through Goodwills and yardsales in their videos. It’s honest work, but hardly the Tomb Raider-esque lifestyle their name might envoke. That was until a viewer tipped the pair off about a “kind of nasty” house, where they would ultimately find a treasure trove of factory-sealed video games, including mainstream hits like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, cult classics like Drakengard for PS2, and just plain weird stuff like a limited edition Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller amidst the filth.
The house in question had no walkable space, was littered with ceiling debris and cardboard boxes, and was filled with cockroaches. The two of them arrived in this hellhole without gloves and wearing very casual attire. As Korbin put it: “Once we got there and we saw the quality of stuff, I was not gonna go home and change.”
Amidst the ceiling decay and cockroach infestation, there were other games they didn’t end up grabbing. Claiming they were primarily interested in factory-sealed finds only, the sum of money they could have raked in off these games was probably even higher. They did, however, make exceptions for gems like PS1 Tomba and the PS3 port of Bayonetta.
Aimee expressed that she could deal with a “little bit of mouse poo” in pursuit of some golden games, but the physical toll proved to be a bit more than that. During their spelunking, Aimee was bitten by a brown recluse spider, and Korbin claimed to have gotten scabies on his leg. Their trouble, of course, was paid off in the unearthing of an enormous amount of PS2, Xbox 360, and Nintendo GameCube games, as well as a large pile of Game Informer magazines. The total value of the collection was around US$100,000 (AU$137,000), of which Cheap Finds Gold Mines claimed a 20% cut, after splitting the finds with eight other resellers.
In the second video of a trilogy about this house that was uploaded to the channel, a woman named Stephanie provides context about the house and the origins of its video game collection. The property apparently belonged to her uncle and had been with the family since 1965. When the uncle fell ill in 2019, she helped him move out. The house, as well as everything inside it, were set to be demolished and sent to waste.
In the third video, Aimee explains that the man behind this collection had originally lost someone close to him and began hoarding these games based off their sentimental value. While this exploration yielded a substantial profit, but Aimee suggested that viewers should appreciate their find not just for its economic value, but also for how much the collection of retro games apparently meant to the former owner of the abandoned house.
“We’re saving these video games, we’re saving a piece of history, and we’re saving a piece of this guy’s heart.”