Rather off topic here, but do you know how sometimes you're talking to someone - let's say about a television show - and the conversation organically turns to discussions of life, the universe and everything, seemingly out of nowhere? Well, obviously with all the blabbing we all do on the Internet, sometimes talking just to ourselves, sometimes catching the ears of others, it can be a bit jarring to confront real issues in this generally anonymous place we colloquially call the Internet. Now, I've made my opinion on Internet anonymity clear before (i.e., I hate it, that's why I have been and always will be me, "Bill Loguidice") - and that's not what this is really about anyway - but after commenting on a blog post, Teen Self-Esteem Builder, at one of my favorite sites to visit, Awful Library Books, which points out library books in active circulation that need to be weeded (removed) from the shelves, the conversation turned very organic and very, very real. You see, as I'm often wont to do - whether it's warranted or not - I often inject my personal mantras/life lessons/lessons learned into my discussions on the Web.
Based off of a discussion/friendly argument I was having on another forum, I would like to bring up the topic of the "Golden Age of Videogames" and what and when that really means. First off, I'm not a big fan of identifying "ages" of things as they relate to videogames in general, though I have certainly found similar types of categorizations convenient for defining and delineating eras, time periods, and the like. In short, it may be a bit messy with lots of gotchas, but it's a convenient and well worn mechanism for organization. With that in mind, I will put forth my own thoughts on what the "Golden Age of Videogames" is and the reasons why, though, as always, your own input will help to come to a better answer.
First off, I'm dismissing the argument that the "Golden Age of Videogames" is personal opinion, influenced by what you grew up with. There can only be one commonly agreed to "Golden Age", implied by the term "Age", just like there's only one "Golden Age of Hollywood". Second, I'm dismissing the argument that the "Golden Age of Videogames" depends upon region. This is a false argument. As with war, the "winning" side gets to name it, which is why it's the "Golden Age of Hollywood", not the "Golden Age of Bollywood". Finally, I'm dismissing the argument that a "Golden Age" is strictly one of prosperity. If that were the definition, then each new height Hollywood would reach in total sales would be a new "Golden Age", just like there would be no argument now in the world of videogames--if you go strictly by financial success and pervasiveness, it's an open and shut case that right now is the true "Golden Age of Videogames". It is not.
Ah, the wonders of eBay. While you can occasionally get a hard-to-find game for a low price with lots of luck - say maybe $35 with shipping - other times you'll see boxed software go for ridiculous prices that no mere mortal can afford, like SSI's classic "The Warp Factor" for the Apple II, with a very recent final sale price before shipping of $449.44! Even though it's sealed, it's still an amazingly over-the-top winning bid. As is usual with SSI games - particularly pre-1986 SSI games - the cover artwork is beautiful and there are nice extras inside the oversized box. A fine specimen or not (though this one is actually a bit crushed!), average-to-good game itself or not, it can't help but make you reflect on the meaning of collecting, particularly as it applies to our hobby.