Gaming History Considered "Debris" by Media

Treating gaming-related memorabilia like trash is short-sighted and narrow-minded.

By , Contributor

I love American Pickers. It's a show on the History Channel where two guys travel around the country saving old stuff from broken down barns and, of course, turning a profit. But they have an appreciation for these things, old car parts, bikes, advertising signs; the type of things that bring back a piece of industry and America's past, so yeah, it sort of makes sense that it's on History.

But I weep for the future, at least for the gaming industry. This post showed up on Kotaku stating people were selling things from E3, titling it "debris," one of the items in question being a 20-foot banner for Saints Row 3. I'm not getting into journalistic ethics, and honestly, it's just as much of an issue since the companies give this stuff away to journalists in the first place.

Beyond that, we should be glad someone was snagging some of these items. THQ apparently did not give their consent to take the banner, which means two things: 1) it's basically stolen property, and 2) all they were going to do with it was throw it out. It served its purpose to them.


Yes, $2,000 is an outrageous amount to charge for it, but at that price, we should take solace that someone will actually take care of it (assuming anyone actually buys it.) In 20 years, that banner will still exist, and someone, somewhere will see a light bulb go off, telling a tale of E3 2011. All of those little knickknacks seem pointless and wastes of space now, sure, but it's been a problem since the beginning. The gaming industry doesn't care about its past, and this lackadaisical attitude being shown at certain gaming sites over this stuff is infuriating.

I'm picturing a grim future where we forget about this stuff because we were careless and stupid. Preserving the games will be difficult, preserving the advertising sector seemingly impossible. What if someone didn't care enough to hang onto an original Frankenstein movie poster? It wouldn't exist. What if someone passed over that limited edition 1930s Schwinn bicycle? That wouldn't exist anymore either. And what would happen if no one bought that 20-foot Saints Row 3 banner? It will be nothing more than a singular image on Kotaku's server. That's not right.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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