Some people like to collect coins, stamps, baseball cards or even vehicles, but for Michael Thomasson, video games are his passion. His collection recently earned him a spot in the Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer’s Edition for having the largest video game collection in the world.
The avid collector has been determined to get his hands on every video game and system possible since obtaining his first game, Cosmic Avenger, when he was 12 as a Christmas gift (never mind the fact that he had to wait a full year to play it as the Colecovision was difficult to find at the time).
Arriving at this point was no easy task, however, and there were a couple of setbacks. Thomasson said he sold off his collection twice over – once in 1989 to help fund the purchase of a Sega Genesis and again nine years later to help pay for his wedding.
Since then, he has amassed more than 11,000 games (10,607 was the count when officials from Guinness stopped by a year ago to verify the record) estimated to be worth between $700,000 and $800,000. He spends roughly $3,000 on games per year meaning most items are purchased at a bargain.
Thomasson works as a game designer and teaches 2D animation, game design and the history of video games at Canisius College in Buffalo and is the father of a 5-year-old. Between work and family duties, he’s lucky to get three hours of playing in each week, he said.