Don’t throw away your vintage media!
Every decade, we see a form of media become “obsolete.”
Vinyl records were thrown out to make way for cassette tapes. Cassette tapes were thrown out to make way for CDs. CDs were thrown out to make way for MP3s. Oh, and remember VHS tapes? Those need to be tossed to make way for DVDs. But wait! DVDs are inferior to Blu-ray, so it’s time to build your collection all over again!
On one hand, it makes sense that technology would get better with time. If it didn’t, we’d still be watching silent black and white movies. On the other hand, how is anyone supposed to build a respectable library if their collection keeps becoming obsolete?
Are you wondering what to do with your classic movies, albums, or video games? Well, we won’t tell you how to live your life, but whatever you do, don’t throw them away! Here are 4 major reasons why you should hold on to all your vintage media. Even if the rest of the world tells you otherwise.
1: It could be worth money someday.
First, a disclaimer: longtime readers of the Gemr blog know we don’t think you should collect anything in hopes of getting rich. Collecting should be about having fun, and the market is way too unpredictable to tell what will eventually become super valuable. If buying and selling your collectibles is fun to you, then great! But for most lay people, hoping to make a ton of cash shouldn’t be the sole reason to collect.
That said, cashing in on your collection isn’t the sole reason to collect vintage media.
Even if you don’t actively plan to sell your collection, at least you’ll be open to the possibility of making some serious dough. Is it a low chance? Sure. But a low chance is better than no chance, and that’s what you’d be looking at if you threw away your vintage media. WCW: Bash at the Beach 2000 sold for $600 on VHS, so who knows what goldmines are sitting in your collection?
2: You never know what comes back in style.
I remember a college professor telling me back in 2010 that there is no reason for anyone to listen to vinyl. I don’t know why I was having this discussion in a class called “Media Law and Ethics,” but that’s beside the point.
The important point is that, as of 2017, vinyl is far from dead. In fact, it’s a “billion dollar music business.” Even cassette tapes are making a comeback, thanks in small part to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Even if you have no interest in being trendy, any modern collector of vintage media would be happy to take your collection off your hands.
3: Memories are worth holding on to.
Was there ever an old tape or CD that you always put on, over and over again? Maybe it was Meet the Beatles, or maybe it was The Lion King. Even if you could look any of these up digitally with a quick Google search, there’s nothing like your copy. I still get misty-eyed loading up my copy of Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest and seeing my save file from when I was only 5 years old (my main character was named “Timmy”).
Your collection of vintage media is more than its dollar value or its relevance to pop culture. It’s your collection, and you can’t underestimate the importance of that. Even if you need to clear space and pass on your collection to a niece and nephew, you’re still passing on those memories to a new generation. Trust me, every story of “I remember when I first got this” is worth even more than WCW: Bash at the Beach 2000.
4: We could lose old media forever.
We’re quickly approaching an age where we will no longer be able to play Duck Hunt in its original form.
That sounds like a silly thing to be worried about, but I’m serious. Not only is there a finite number of classic Nintendo systems and cartridges, there’s also a finite number of composite TVs. And in the case of Duck Hunt, the game’s Zapper gun can only work with a clever lighting trick that’s specifically possible on an old TV. It’s really interesting stuff if you want to learn more, but the long and short of it is that this is a piece of gaming history that might be lost forever someday. Sure, it can be replicated easy enough, but that’d be like losing the Mona Lisa and not mourning it because lots of replicas exist. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the point.
Preserving history is important. Maybe you don’t think those dusty tapes and CDs in your attic count as “history,” but in truth, they absolutely do. Even if we can’t bring the good ol’ days back, we can still hold on to them and preserve them. Besides, with the ways media gets changed over time, it’s always good to have an original copy handy. Cough cough Star Wars cough cough.
Will you one day make a ton of money off your vintage media? Eh, it’s possible. But will you be happy you held on to your collection despite what a rogue college professor might have told you? Totally.