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How to Store Vintage Video Games

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Video games are awesome now, for sure, but they were especially awesome back in the day. Whether it's Pong on the Atari or Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Genesis, there’s something special about vintage games. It’s probably nostalgia for the most part, but forced simplicity led a certain je ne sais quoi to the art form. 

Just like with any cool old thing, people like to collect vintage video games. Just like with any cool old thing collection, people like to make sure they’re storing their stuff safely. Here’s our guide on storing vintage video games in a way that preserves and protects them long term.

Store them somewhere climate-controlled. 

Electronics are sensitive. You don’t want to store any electronic in an especially humid space, let alone a potentially valuable vintage one. If you’re storing your games, you want them somewhere that’s dark, temperate, and has low humidity. 

A closet, attic, or basement could work, but the ideal storage space would be a climate-controlled storage unit. Home storage can work, but it doesn’t come with the climate guarantee that professional storage offers.

Deter dust.

If you’re putting any game or system into storage, you’ll need to clean it first. Video game cartridges and systems are particularly sensitive to dust. Dust can get inside the inner workings of fragile electronics and completely ruin them.

All you’ll want to do to clean your video games is wipe them down with a Q-Tip or microfiber cloth before storing them. Don’t use cleaning sprays or anything liquid-based that could damage them. Elbow grease and a cloth will more than do the trick.

Don’t crowd games.

This rule applies whether you're storing your games on a shelf or packed neatly in a bin. You don't want to cram things. Old cases like those for the Sega Genesis are made from plastic that can get brittle over time. They might crack if you force them into spaces where they don't fit. 

Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 games are all stored in cardboard boxes. If you apply too much weight to these boxes or try to squish them into small spaces, they could break. You want to be able to pull cases off the shelf or out of the box without taking any others with them. If games stick together, then you’ve packed them together too tightly.

Be careful when it comes to wire management. 

While it may seem like the easiest thing to do, don’t wrap cords around their controllers. A cord is most fragile at the point where it connects to the controller. If the cord gets wrapped around the controller, strain gets put on this point. Wrapping the cord around the controller could tear or break it.

Instead, gently loop controller cords and secure them with twist ties. Alternately, you could store the cords in separate plastic bags for easy storage and labeling.

Protect against the risk of theft.

You might not think of a vintage video game collection as something a burglar would go after, but you'd be wrong. Electronics, especially ones with easily perceived value, are frequently targeted by thieves. Protect your collection by documenting it well and filing it along with your homeowner's insurance.

If you’re particularly worried about your video games or another valuable, you should store them somewhere particularly safe. You could look into off-site storage with hight ratings and above-average security measures like cameras, electronic locks, or a 24-hour watchman.

 

You’d rather be playing video games than storing them, but eventually, your collection may just grow too large. When that happens, you can get in touch with the team at Storage Direct. We have custom storage unit solutions for any size collection, video games or otherwise.