Michael Thomasson has earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records with a collection of nearly 11,000 video games.
Thomasson got his first video game, Cosmic Avenger, for Christmas when he was 12 years old. After waiting an entire year to get the hard-to-find Colecovision console, he was finally able to play it. Since then, Thomasson has collected video games as well as consoles.
His collection, which fills the basement of his home in Buffalo, New York, includes games on cartridge, laser disc, VHS and cassette. These games can be played on the various consoles he owns, ranging from classics like Xbox and PlayStation to more obscure ones like Casio Loopy which came out in Japan in 1995 and Pippin, which was an Apple release in the same year.
Although Thomasson began his collection at age 12, he had to reset a few times before reaching the world record at age 43. He sold his collection twice – once in 1989 to raise money for a Sega Genesis and then in 1998 to pay for his wedding.
He rebuilt his collection on a $3000 per year budget. This meant never paying full price for a game.
Thomasson estimates his collection today to be worth between $700,000 and $800,000.
Guinnness lists the number of games in his collection at 10,607, though Thomasson says there are over 11,000 now, one year after the official count and after having discovered a forgotten stash of games.
Both counts trump the previous record holder, Richard Lecce, who held the first record ever recorded in 2010 with 8,616 games.
In addition to collecting video games, Thomasson designs games and teaches 2D animation, game design and history of video games at Canisius College in Buffalo.