Interview with The Old Guy Video Game Collector – Papa Pete

Who is Papa Pete?

Hi! I’m Papa Pete and I’ve been a video game lover since getting my very own Sears Tele-Games, Pong system, back in 1974 or 75 when I was around 6 years old.  I’ve always followed the world of video games! I’ve been casually collecting at different points in my life while taking the normal breaks that life throws at you. But even through it all I still kept an interest and played games, even when at the my busiest. 

As my oldest son grew up, he developed a love of not only video games, but of video creation and editing, which rekindled my interest in both as well.  We started doing it together more and more, but now he’s grown and is moving on post-college in a new career in film.  This left me to my own devices, so I decided to carry on with my own collection (which will probably one day be his anyways), as well as my own YouTube Channel, something that I do strictly for fun, and to share my interest and love for not only collecting, but video games as a whole.

For a little better explanation of why I decided to make my own channel, you can take a look at a short video that I posted not long after creating the channel:

Nick: Papa Pete welcome to Generation Xbox! Thank you so much for taking time out your busy schedule to field some of my questions. I know our viewers are going to be super excited to learn more about you! Before we head into the interview, I always start with a very basic question for my guests. What started your passion for gaming? Was it a certain title or was it an experience with someone? 

Papa Pete: My passion for video games started with Pong when I was only 6 or 7. I can still remember playing other games of the day at friends and relative’s houses as well, the stand alone games, like Atari Video Pinball, various expanded Pong clones as well as Stunt Cycle and games like Coleco Tel-Star Combat.  That last one belonged to my brother-in-law, who I truly credit with nurturing my love of games.  Around 1980, I asked my parents for an Atari VCS, and he helped them find it, and also picked out a couple of games for me.  I got it for Christmas that year, and he jokingly told me later on that my parents had hidden it at my sister’s house before Christmas, and he’d already had it out and played it long before I got it.  I thought that was hilarious! 

Later that winter, my brother-in-law decided to get his own gaming system, but he bought an Intellivision, which was a small fortune at the time.  $275 in 1980/81 was incredible!  Anyhow, we played that machine for many years and he would regularly pick up the best games for it.  So, to actually answer your question, it wasn’t really any title that go me hooked, because I loved SO many of them, but it was my brother-in-law who gave me access to the great games of the day.  Later on, it was the same with the Commodore 64, older DOS PC’s and even more modern games.  Sadly, my brother-in-law has passed away now, but thankfully I still have his original intellivision system and games, and I still play it very often, right to this day. ‘

N: What got you started into video game collecting? Has it always been to collect for retro consoles, or did it start with one system and slowly expand into others? What piece in your collection holds the most significance to you? 

P: When I was young, I always loved to collect things, so naturally, I always wanted to hold onto and collect as many video games as I could get. Video games were way too expensive for a kid to truly collect though!  This was before the days of Funco and cheap games in garage sales, so all I could do was keep the games that I received for Christmas, birthdays, bought by saving allowances, etc., but even though I wasn’t a true “collector”! I showed all the characteristics of one because I HAD to keep the boxes, manuals, and inserts in as good of condition as possible for a 12 year old!

So, later on as I grew up and had kids, I still always kept what video games I had as “collectibles.”  I didn’t seriously seek out games, though.  I certainly wish that I had!  When my son started collecting about 5 years ago, that’s when I REALLY got back into it.  I was a little late to the game, but still, better late than never!  I may not have picked up that Little Samson for 50 cents at a yard sale in 1999, but at least I still had many of the games from when I was a kid, as well as lots of other games that I had casually picked up over the years, including a larger portion of the Intellivision 125, which I actually did always try to pick up.

So, as you probably figured, the most significant piece in my collection is my brother-in-laws original Intellivision that I mentioned earlier.  Yes, generally speaking I do love the fun that we experience when we play games, have fun and compete against each other, and it’s “cool” to have items that are considered valuable, but it’s the memories of the great times that we had while playing them that are most important to me.  This old Intellivision is the perfect representation of these memories.

N: What’s your favorite part of collecting video games? Is it the thrill of adding more to your collection? Or is it the community in which you’ve built that fuels your passion?

P: That’s a very good question, and I have to say that it’s a bit of both.  I’ve always been very drawn to collecting things, such as sports cards, autographs, movies, as well as video games, of course, so it’s part of my psyche.  I’m simply a born collector.

When I really started into YouTube, I didn’t realize the potential to meet so many great people in the community.  I had seen and met may of the friends that my son had made, but since then I’ve interacted with so many different individuals and groups, and it’s been such an overall positive experience.  There are so many special people in the YouTube gaming world, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet so many, even if only virtually!

N: Your latest YouTube video detailing that massive Xbox haul was very entertaining to watch. Have Xbox systems always been something that you’ve been collecting for or has it been more recent? What’s your crown jewel in your Xbox collection?

P: I’m glad that you enjoyed watching the video on my recent Xbox haul, because I certainly had fun making it! I got my first Xbox fairly late in the game, the summer of 2004.  There were already tons of great games out for the system, and I found one at a great deal.  I picked up the odd game for the system, and had a library of around 25-30 games, which was respectable, but nothing special. 

When I got back into serious collecting around 2016, I focused on Atari and NES mostly, but as I collected more and more I really wanted to have a quest, a goal of having and entire library for one of my systems.  By that time, the NES just wasn’t financially viable even if it was cart only.  There are simply too many variants and extremely rare games for the Atari VCS/2600.  Also, I already had a good start on the 125 count Intellivision Library, so although I wanted that too, I wanted to choose a system that I could actively work on, finding excellent quality games, readily available, and at prices where I could realistically buy lots of games! 

About a week before my son and I were going down to Too Many Games 2017 in Oaks, PA, one of my son’s friends, RGT85 (back when he had 5000 subs instead of 325,000), posted a video on YouTube pointing out some of the original Xbox games to get then, because their price would be rising once they were playable on the Xbox One.  Well, I took that as my sign.  My short term quest at that moment, was to find all of the games that he mentioned while I was down at TMG, and my long term goal….well it’s still going at 553 and counting! 

The gem of my Xbox collection has to be my copy of Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast.  My motto since I started the quest for the whole set has been to get as many of the higher value games as quickly as I could.  I figured that these would be the ones going up the most, and it’s pretty much proven to be true.  I was lucky enough to have found my copy of Coast to Coast at a pawn shop back in 2018, and for a price less than half of the going price! Plus it was in Canadian dollars! I was so very fortunate!

N: Videos on your channel centered around pickups always seem to debut a very tasty brew. I love getting to see some interesting craft beers that I’ve never heard of before.  What’s your go-to beer and why? Have you always highlighted amazing brewery delicacies?

P: My wife and I both like trying different craft beer as often as we can.  The microbrewery business is huge even in this lowly populated area, I suppose as it is everywhere else, really.  Somewhere along the line, probable 20 or 30 videos in, I just happened to be drinking an interesting beer while I was making a pick-up video, so I decided to talk about it, because frankly, people generally love beer!  I realize that the vast majority of my viewers will never get to try these local brands, but some may, and in any case, I think it’s pretty interesting. 

Now if pressed to pick a go-to beer, I’ll have to cheat a bit, and pick a go-to local craft brewery, and that would be Picaroon’s out of Fredericton, NB.  They distribute throughout Atlantic Canada, and have a steady line of about a dozen different types, along with seasonal recipes, and special one-off brews from time to time.  Overall, it’s good quality stuff, so when they come out with something new, I’m excited to not only try it, but to share it on my channel.

N: How do you feel about being an older individual within the gaming community? There’s always been a stigma that video games are for kids. How has your age impacted your content and the way it’s produced? Have people been positively receptive towards your hobby?

P: I sincerely believe that age is becoming less and less relevant in the video gaming community.  The bottom line is, people of my age are the first ones that grew up playing video games their whole life.  I started when I was 6, so there’s nothing really abnormal about me still enjoying it today.  I watched movies when I was a kid, and still watch them today.  The only thing that changes is our taste in movies, just like games.  Back in 1980, it would have been very abnormal for a 50 year old to be heavy into the gaming community, because they hadn’t developed with the experience of playing.  Still though, of course younger people are more prominent, but I really think this will end over time.  All ages will have people who love games, but their taste in games will undoubtedly be different.  It’s no mystery why I love Xbox, NES, Atari and Intellivision! 

As far as my content goes, I think that there’s a more maturity expected from an older gamer.  I’m doing this to relax and have fun, and that’s what I hope my viewers see in me, and feel themselves when they watch my videos.  For example, I’m not opposed to swearing or anything like that, but not arbitrarily.  I don’t think that the following generations feel the same way, but frankly I don’t even notice when they do it.  It’s just not me.  Also, I don’t have time for the trolls in the community which seem to becoming more and more prominent.  It’s really sad, that these people propagate so much negativity, so old guys like me just have to overlook it, and carry on with the positivity that we’re trying to depict.

As far as family and friends who know what I do, no one gives me a difficult time about it.  That’s just me.  I like to do it.  If you don’t like it, don’t watch it!  Some of them may have said things, but after watching a bit, realized that it was actually pretty fun!

N: I’ve always wondered this after seeing the cat in some of your videos. What’s the cat’s name and how’d you nab the cat? It’s adorable!

P: Ha!  Having the cats in the videos has been a relatively new thing!  We’re a cat family, because we have five.  Yes….five!  It all started when we got a new kitten named Quill last fall, and I just happened to have a small basket sitting on my desk.  Quill developed a habit of sleeping in the basket, so he ended up in a couple of videos, which I though was pretty neat!  Well, he grew, so we had to get a bigger basket!  Now, four of our five cats have been in videos, Quill, Treacle, Charcoal, and finally Cocoa, who is 20 lbs and has a ton of character, coming up in Papa Pete’s Pickups – Episode 70.  The only cat, Danica, who has not appeared, rarely leaves the upstairs in our house, so we’re plotting how I can get her into a video sometime in the future, giving us a five for five!

N: How can people support the incredible content that you create? Do you have a Patreon? What can people within the community do to continue elevating you as an influencer?

P: You know, I never really saw YouTube as anything more than a hobby, so I’ve never worried much about monetizing or having a Patreon or anything like that.  It’s just for fun.  The best support that I can possibly get from the community is for people to watch my videos, and if they like them, watch more in the future and tell their friends about them.  Also, I’ve never seen myself as an intentional influencer.  If I influence anyone with my videos, or my involvement with streams such as OEB_Pete’s Amico All Access, I hope that it’s just by the example I display.  As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about positivity.  As you age, you eventually learn that negativity is very destructive, so if something makes you feel negative, get away and find something that makes you feel better.  If my channel and my attitude exhibits even a little bit of this, then I consider myself successful.

Thank you so much for asking me to do this Nick.  It’s always feels good to reflect like this!  Cheers!

Thank you Papa Pete for your time. If you would like to subscribe to his channel you can here. Finally, make sure to stay tuned to Generation Xbox for coverage of all things Xbox.

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