Why do we collect games? Because they're great? Because we have obsessive-compulsive personalities? Because the act of acquisition reminds us we're alive and helps us brace ourselves against the inevitable nonexistence of the grave?
Maybe. Sometimes, we just collect games because they make for neat display pieces. And no system in history has ever offered more aesthetically satisfying games to collect than Nintendo's Famicom. Technically, the Famicom was the Japanese version of the NES, but with a key physical difference: Famicom carts were less than half the size of (mostly empty) NES cartridges... and rather than appearing only in a uniform shade of warm grey, Famicom games appeared in a literal spectrum of hues, tones, and shades.
As a result, the Famicom library is fun to collect simply for the sake of lining up a mix of interesting colors on your game shelves. That's the discussion I had with off-and-on Splatterhouse world record holder Caitlin Oliver a few months ago at Midwest Gaming Classic, because she's well-known in certain retro gaming circles for her obsession with creating the perfect rainbow of Famicom cartridges. This may not seem like much of a discussion, but hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much we have to say about the plastics in which video games were cast back in the ’80s!
Caitlin Oliver chats with Jeremy about gaming's most aesthetically pleasing collecting habit: Acquiring the full spectrum of Nintendo's multi-colored Japanese 8-bit cartridges.
This episode unfortunately appears outside of its intended order. My Micro episodes have been working backward through the alphabet over the past couple of years (Zillion, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Xenogears, Wizards & Warriors, Virtual Boy, etc.), and "Famicom rainbow" skips from "Klonoa" right over J through G. Alas! My meticulous plan has fallen through, but at least you can take pleasure in hearing this week's guest discuss her own obsession with lining up content in the perfect sequence.