The Origin of Species of GamersThe Origin of Species of Gamers

Posted on Jan 23rd 2016 at 12:00:00 AM by (bickman2k)
Posted under People of RF Generation, Fleach, Canada, poutine, Booger Star Destroyer

As we enter 2016, I thought it would be fun to bring back a favorite series on the RF Generation blogs: The People of RF Generation! My first interview is actually with the former writer of the series, Fleach! I had the pleasure of meeting him when we were at RetroWorld Expo back in October. Continue on through the break to learn more about him!


Toronto, Canada

Where does your screen name come from?
Fleach is actually what my seventh grade teacher blurted out one day in class when I was goofing off. My friends started calling me that and it kind of stuck, so when I signed up here and couldnít think of a screen name I fell back on Fleach.

How did you find RF Generation?
Back when I wanted to find all the games of my childhood the mission to buy those few games blew up into getting the ones I always wanted, at which point I figured I might as well get some info on the console libraries. After some browsing online I found RFG and it had the best catalogs and even collection tracking services.

What made you stay and become part of RFG?
Everyone probably says this: I came from the collection tools and stayed for the wicked community here on the forums. Thereís such a great bunch of people here.

Have you ever met or personally know anyone at RFG?
I met Crabmaster and EngineerMike a couple years ago when I went to visit Crabby in northern British Columbia. This past October I met so many RF Gen people at Retro World Expo in Connecticut. Duke.Togo was there, so was wildbil52, singlebanana, Izret, Bickman, russlyman, Crabmaster, even erikescapade came all the way from Germany!

Number of Games Owned(at time of printing):
261 games. I need to audit my collection because I recently got some more games and the bookcase where I keep everything needs to be reorganized. Itís not a big collection, but there arenít any stinkers in there.

Number of Games on Wishlist(at time of printing):
I donít have anything on my wishlist here but the 16 bit RPGs and any HD collection would be on there.

Number of Systems:
Twelve including handhelds.

When did you start collecting?
About two or three years ago. That first year I acquired so many games very quickly. Iíve slowed down a little and thatís been easier on the finances. Ebay is dangerous. Wink

What was your first system you owned?
It was a Sega Genesis my dad bought for me for Christmas. I played the heck out of it!

What was your first game?
Sonic Spinball. I remember sitting on the floor, controller in hand, and pouring with sweat when I played that game. I was really hooked.

What was your first game you bought yourself?
I canít remember. It must have been when I was in high school and probably a PS2 game.

What made you decide to buy that particular game?
Whatever game it was all my friends had it so I wanted to be part of that in-crowd.

First game you ever beat?
I think that was Super Mario 64. Itís actually the only Mario game Iíve beaten. Iím not very good at those games.

Have you ever broken anything due to frustration from a game? Be honest, we won't tell...
Not in frustration but Iíve frayed many controller cables from winding them up too tight then stuffing them into my backpack to bring to friendsí houses. And a kid who whose parents were friends with mine stepped on my Game Gear and broke it. I was sad, but we stayed friends.

Are you collecting now, if so what anything specific?
Of course! I keep debating with myself if I want to go for a complete NES set (excluding the outrageously expensive titles) but given itís popularity right now Iím not sure, although Iíll chip away at it and grab carts when and where I can. I love action games and RPGs so thatís the main focus of my collection.

When did you feel a tipping point from gamer to both gamer and game collector?
I think when I surpassed the number of games I had as a kid I kind of said, ďwell, I guess Iím collecting now.Ē I donít think I ever planned on collecting games - things kind of snowballed to where I am now.

What are your goals as a game collector, how have you developed them, and how do you feel about your progress toward them?
I get teased by some friends for being into ďold gamesĒ so I want to show them that a lot of those games are loads of fun. I like sharing my passion for the 16 bit era so whenever a friend wants to play something Iíll show them Goof Troop (I really like that game) or something like Zelda or Castlevania.

How many games, systems, etc. are "enough"?
Thatís a good question. I donít want to say something like, ďthere can never be enough!Ē but I also donít think I can put a number on it either. When somebody has the games and systems theyíve always wanted and theyíre happy then that would probably be ďenough.Ē

What's your proudest moment as a game collector?
Since I havenít been doing this as long as some people on RFG and my collection is small compared to many I donít think Iíve discovered my proudest moment. I always feel a little sense of victory when I come across a great deal though.

What's your least proud moment as a game collector?
Definitely when I naively fell in love with the convenience of eBay. I mean, itís a great service, but it by no means is a way to collect games. I have no problem with using it and recommend it, but only as a special treat when youíve saved up the cash. Iíd rather scour the thrift stores and pawns and network with fellow collectors.

If you had to give part of your collection away for a worthy cause what part would it be, and why?
Another tough one. Now I know what itís like to be on this side of the interview. Itís fun though! Iíd definitely donate some of my games and systems to a childrenís hospital. Those kids are real troopers so anything that makes them smile is worthwhile.

Where/how do you store it all?
Ikea bookcases. My gameroom is turning into an Ikea catalog with all the furniture I bought. Plus they have white bookcases and I like white.

What's your favorite part of your collection?
My RPG display case is pretty snazzy.

What about a favorite series?
Final Fantasy. That series showed me how captivating games can be and how they can have a story unfold over several hours. I was always impressed by the visuals, even the 8/16-bit ones. Playing those feels more like an experience than a pastime.

What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to gaming?
I never feel guilty when gaming. Smiley But I do love watching and playing game jam games. Thereís a lot of really cool ideas in those games. Browsing can be fun sometimes.

What is the most valuable part of your collection(Value or sentimental)?
My copy of EarthBound with the box and guide. I work in a unionized job and last time our contract was being rewritten we got a signing bonus and thatís where the money went for me. Itís also sentimental because, even  though I didnít play it when it came out, I played the game with the guide and to me that was part of the experience. The game came with the strategy guide so I feel like thatís part of the EarthBound package. If someone wants to play without the guide thatís cool too.

What game do you have the most nostalgia for?
I donít think I can pin that down to one game. I have great memories of playing Sonic games. A friend of mine used to have A Link to the Past and Ultraman and we played those games all the time. We never beat them but loved exploring Hyrule and fighting monsters in Ultraman.

What would you like to improve in your collection?
Organization, but thatís such an on-going thing.

What do you think was your best deal while game buying?
Iím probably a terrible collector because I can never remember how much I paid for things. Iíll remember if it was less than, or at market value, but never exact numbers. That being said, Iíve come across quite a few great $2 garage sale finds.

What item in your collection do you feel you overpaid for?
The copy of EarthBound. Itís a great game, but itís way over hyped and the market prices reflect that.

What do you feel is the strangest or weirdest item in your collection?
Thatís tough to say. I donít have any weird things. Does a Steam library count?

What item(s) do you not have in your collection that people are surprised to hear you don't have?
I havenít surprised anyone but not having something. I think people discovering that I have these games is a pretty big surprise.

Is there any way you'd ever stop collecting?
If it becomes financially impossible, then Iíll stop. But Iíll probably start up again.

Do you have a funny story about your collection?
Oddly enough, I donít have any funny stories about my collection. Thatís unfortunate.

Have you ever had to move your collection to another house? What was it like?
I havenít had to do anything like that yet. In the next year or two Iíll probably move so Iím sure Iíll make plenty of trips to Walmart for huge Rubbermaid bins. The idea of packing everything up and unpacking it somewhere else is kind of exciting.

If your significant other told you no more games, what would you do?
Thereís no Mrs. Fleach yet, but if someone told me I canít have anymore games Iíd be very sad. Not like depressed sad, just mopey sad. Iíd keep my Steam library thoughÖ Digital stuff doesnít take up any place. Wink

What percentage of your games are still sealed?
Almost all of my current generation games are still sealed. Itís my way of signifying games I still need to play. If itís sealed then itís in the backlog. If it opened then Iím playing it or have already played it.

What percentage of your games have you actually played? Completed?
Iíve played most of my games. The number of completed games is much smaller. Thankfully the RF Gen playthroughs is very helpful in finishing more games. Plus, playing and discussing games as a group is so much more fun.

Do you own any complete collections?
Going for a complete collection is very ambitious. I donít have any complete sets or even subsets, but I applaud anyone who has accomplished this.

Time to bring out the fanboys! What is your favorite game of all time?
Final Fantasy X. It was the first voice acted game in the series and everything about this game blew me away. I loved the story, the exploration, the battle system. I think everything about FF X is great!

Least Favorite?
Banjo-Kazooie. I just hate that game; I wonít even watch a speedrun of it. I donít know why itís so popular.

Do you collect anything else besides games?
I kind of collect vinyls. Iím not serious about it but I like to pick up new albums when I can. Iíve got every Rush album on vinyl.

What do you outside of games?
I love riding motorcycles. Itís such a thrilling, freeing experience. I used to have a 1973 Honda CB 350F but sadly our time together was cut short this November when it was involved in an accident. I still plan to get back on two wheels and do some camping next summer.

What other features would you like to see more of at RFG?
RFG is such an incredible site. Itís hard to think of anything itís missing.

Jesse, the previous interviewee, would like to ask you: ďWhat message, feeling, or idea from a game personally connected most with you?Ē
Iíd say the theme of inner strength presented in FF X is quite powerful. Oftentimes it can feel like no person cares or nothing will work out, and so one has to look inward for strength to overcome the obstacles that life or our hopes and dreams put in our paths. Itís a timeless theme and I think everyone can relate to it.

Thanks for your time!
Thanks! This was actually a lot of fun. Iíve been on RF for a few years now and Iíve been involved in doing blogs and community playthroughs and I just want to say that itís so inspiring and motivating to participate in the interview see on the forums or comments that RF is a special place to many people.

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Great job guys!!

So happy to see these continued on. One of my favorite blog series.
I really like hearing about our members.  I hope this series sticks around.
The current plan is to try and do these quarterly. I agree, it's one of my favorite series.
Adam: Booger Star Destroyer!?!

Floyd: That's what I like about you, Floyd.  Just so chill.  It really comes across in the interview.
Yea, I would love for this to stick more often. Gives far more insight into the collector then just the collection.
This was really fun to do. I'm happy to be part of this community of collectors.
@bombatomba: #justretroworldthings
These are always fun to read, and I like getting to know folks better. Great job!
Good Stuff. Nice to get to know the other members.
Great series!  Glad to see it back. 
Thanks for keeping these going!

@Fleach: Have you played Citizens of Earth? (PC Steam)
That was awesome to read Smiley I remember the sweaty Controller Sonic's Pinball story form the RWX it was fun, to know what was coming at this question Smiley
I hope you will be back on two wheels soon!
@Addicted: I really want to play Citizens of Earth. It looks like a great quirky EarthBound style game.

@ericeskapade: It was fun to do the panel and share those stories. I had a great time hanging out with you at RWX. And thanks for the kind words.
@Fleach:It's a flawed game (high encounter rate, lots of grinding) but I enjoyed it. It goes on sale for $3.00 right now and it's worth it at that price.

You'll also own the only Atlus published game Crabby will never buy....
Another fun interview to read.  Keep these coming!

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As much as the world has changed, our still somewhat niche spot as gamers has adapted to the times as well as the games. We have created our online museum of our past. We share our experiences about the present. And we will evolve together as the gaming community continues to change. I hope to write about some of my experiences with gaming, as well as on some topics that were not directly relevant to me, but to the community or you personally.
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