Not For Resale Explores The Difficulties Of Loving Physical Games

Nostalgia Entertainment System

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Despite the retro gaming scene's healthy pulse, first-gen fans from the '80s and '90s are caught in a tug of war between reaping the benefits of the trend and holding on to what made them fans in the first place. The just-released documentary, Not For Resale, peers into the lives of small business owners who run used game stores, some of which were born during Nintendo's early console days and others that came from the next generation of players turned retailers. Through their unique perspectives and interviews with gaming experts, Not For Resale offers an inside look at the romantic side of vintage gaming, as well as the complex truths you might face when you build your life around them in an increasingly digital and fast-paced world.

Their side of the industry is no stranger to love, loss, failure, or success, and Not For Resale gracefully shepherds you through their stories. Many of them serve as touching reminders of why so many of us fell in love with video games in the first place, but for every heartwarming memory, there's also an opportunity to reflect. Why do physical games have meaning? Does it purely come down to ownership? What will happen to the things we hold dear today in the hands of future generations?

Not For Resale is a celebration of games, people, and passion. It covers a lot of ground, even diving into the still-rocky experiences some players face when trying to engage with modern games in locations with poor internet, where store owners offer stations for people to bring in their own consoles and download software updates. Innovation is exciting, and Not For Resale doesn't shy away from the argument that gaming has, in many ways, never been better. It just shines a light on a subculture that's at risk of being cast aside along the way.

Consumerism and games go hand in hand, and both have changed in innumerable ways in the last few decades. When examining the relationship between the two, it's hard to think of a better group of witnesses than the business owners whose work isn't just based around selling new games, but keeping them around and in the hands of players for generations to come. Not For Resale was directed by Kevin J. James, and you can rent and stream it on Amazon, in 4K on Vimeo, or purchase the Blu-Ray direct from executive producer, Pat Contri.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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It's difficult to love digital games on Switch when you can only play them on one user account when it isn't the primary Switch, so that means a family with two or more Switch devices can't use it if they all want to play the same game and have their own save data.

I still lend and borrow PS4 games with my friends and I don't see how that would be possible with digital games unless I gave out my password. I also like older games and it isn't possible to get many of them digitally, and on Xbox even if you own a digital game you still can't play them all on the newer hardware.

Physical is a lot easier for me.

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lionheartssj1

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@girlusocrazy: Love Nintendo, but their digital management is a pain.

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GambreGoemon

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I love used game stores, unfortunately they always get cannibalized by eBay pirates who buy up everything but the sports games and hock them for inflated prices.

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squishytia

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Where possible, I try to wait until a game is now "fully cooked" and has all content and DLC on a physical release for my console games. This way, when Sony's servers go tits up for good, I'll still have access to my favorite games and will have a legitimate ability to legally emulate them down the road as I'll have an actual copy that I can use to prove ownership.

And install space isn't infinite. I need to do the Delete/Swap dance occasionally, especially w/ the limitations of SSD sizes still. Physical makes that easier, and just plain possible if the servers become unavailable.

I only get digital when no physical version is ever made available.

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LouiXIII

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I'll take physical media over digital any day of the week.

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Jinzo_111887

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@louixiii: Don't blame you. I was like that. However, seeing as paid online is a thing on consoles these days and how PC doesn't use physical media for most newer games, I had to choose between supporting the pirates at Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft if I wanted to play online on consoles or give up physical media for newer games and buy stuff off Steam and GOG.

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gamingdevil800

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I love my physical games collection always looking for a bargin on joblot retro games on ebay.

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bluzima

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I remember being a kid during the SNES cartridge phase, while I enjoyed that era I'm still traumatised by games not loading, then we used to blow in them even though apparently that made it worse. I'm glad the industry is moving on, for me the joy has always been in the gaming experience and not the ownership. Digital does have its problems but I prefer it over dodgy cartridges and scratched discs any day. Today I can load any game I want instantly.

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warmblur

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warmblur  Online

I love the new game smell digital can't replicate that yet.

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Pyrosa

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I love physical games... My wife and I both.

Wait -- what are we talking about here again?!?

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gargungulunk

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I'd watch it, but it seems a little too on the nose that it's best priced as a streamed-rental.....

This next gen will probably be the last for physical games. Smoke 'em if you got em.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@gargungulunk: Shh don't let Jeremy Parish hear you, he just got a job at Limited Run!

Memory cards get cheaper all the time and can store a lot. Maybe it'll still be possible to distribute physical games on a fast/cheap medium like that. Cranking out BDs can't be that expensive either.

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Jinzo_111887

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@girlusocrazy:

True, but Blue-rays do have their limits in terms of storage. We might need to move on to a higher storage format. Memory Crystals, perhaps. However, I am not quite sure we're ready for those yet.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@Jinzo_111887: True, but we have had few multi disc games this generation and they are getting bigger for next. This is another argument against digital games too, downloading and re-downloading will be slow and annoying the bigger they get.

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