'My way of keeping a bit of history,' says retro video game enthusiast

"Video games are pop culture now. Everybody knows Mario. Everybody knows Legend of Zelda. These things are just engraved in us now,” says lifelong video game enthusiast and collector Phil Mullins of St. John’s.

What is Phil Mullins at? Collecting vintage video games is it

Phil Mullins is a retro video game enthusiast in St. John's (Mark Cumby/CBC)

"Video games are pop culture now. Everybody knows Mario. Everybody knows Legend of Zelda. These things are just engraved in us now," says lifelong video game enthusiast Phil Mullins of St. John's.  

As developments in technology started making early video gaming systems obsolete, Mullins realized that his favourite childhood video games, such as Donkey Kong Jr. and Ms. Pac Man, were disappearing from store shelves.

"Back in '99, I finally started to realize that this stuff is going to be gone," said Mullins. 

"I started buying them, I started looking for them."

Phil Mullins has collected more than 3,500 vintage video games from the 1980s and 1990s. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

Thousands of games, dozens of systems

Mullins has amassed a collection of more than 3,500 video games from the 1980s and 1990s, alphabetically arranged on bookshelves.    

The shelves line the rooms and hallways of his home, leading to his basement game room where he can play the games on one of his 59 old-school video game systems.

Mullins says he's found most of the games and systems locally, scouring flea markets, small shops and local classified ads.

"Eventually this stuff is going to be gone. So having this stuff is like a library," said Mullins.

"Keeping it is my way of keeping a bit of history."

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About the Author

Heather Barrett

CBC

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

with files from Mark Cumby