RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jun 14th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (bickman2k)
Posted under People of RF Generation, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness...

I know, I know. I've already done one of these. I did my first "People of" article almost 9 years ago. I was about 3 months in to my tenure as Technical Director and was still learning the ropes of how the site was run and what kinds of things needed to be done. Since then, there has been a lot to happen. This is a sort of combination post as you will see at the end. Because I'm answering my own questions, I'm not going to worry about the color coding.

Name (First only)

Kansas, near Kansas City

Where does your screen name come from?
Nickname from school plus everything around that time had 2k on the end...

How did you find RFG?
I found RF Generation when I was trying to find a good way to track my collection. I had tried out IGN, Collectorz, Excel, AccessÖ Some were missing info, others had a lot of initial work to do which was just not feasible at the time with a new baby at home. I saw RF Generation as a recommendation on a Digital Press thread, tried it out, and I was hooked.

What made you stay and become part of RFG?
For the first year or so, I only used the collection tools. I may have posted in the introduction thread, but that was it. After I started using the forums more, the people, honestly, are what kept me around.

Have you ever met or personally know anyone at RFG? At this point in the game, there are a good number of people on the site that I have met and additional others that I know fairly well through other interactions.

wildbil52, izret101, singlebanana, Duke.Togo, Crabmaster2000, russlyman, Pam (and Will!), slackur, Shadow.Kisuragi, zophar53, Tynstar, SirPsycho, Game Dave, ericeskapade, FleachÖ I really hope I didnít miss anyone thereÖ

That list above also doesnít count the numerous folks Iíve met and spoke with in our staff chat, Twitter, and the Discord server. Hey Redd!

Number of Games Owned(at time of printing):
Inaccurately almost 2200, Iím sure itís less than that as Iíve been selling, but my collection needs a solid audit anyway...

Number of Games on Wishlist(at time of printing):
None, just donít use the feature. There are plenty on my mind though.

Number of Systems:
23 I think? Not counting doubles.

When did you start collecting?
I started really collecting around 2001-2002 I believe? I was emulating a lot of older stuff as I didnít have money or room to keep a collection at that time, but I was working and starting to get back in to retro games on the original hardware. I was picking stuff up from garage sales and asking family and friends so I could grow my collection quickly.

What was your first system you owned?
I have a very faint memory of my parents having an Intellivision. They also had an NES as I was growing up. The first system that was my own was the SNES I got for my 9th birthday. My parents gave me the console and Mario Paint. It was fun to play with as we didnít have a computer, so the mouse was certainly a novel way to control the game. It wasnít long after that I got Link to the Past though.

What was your first game?
First game I remember is Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt. Classic soundtrack, the levels were fun, and it was challenging at 5 without having much experience playing games.

What was your first game you bought yourself?
I donít recall exactly, but I certainly remember spending some birthday money at Walmart to get Donkey Kong Classics.

What made you decide to buy that particular game?
I remember thinking ďHow great is it that I can get 2 games!Ē Donkey Kong is great, but DK Jr. will always have a place in my heart because of that cartridge.

First game you ever beat?
Taking away the arcade ports, probably Super Mario Bros. 2. My neighbor had it. It was so much fun! Throwing things! New characters! VERTICAL!

Have you ever broken anything due to frustration from a game? Be honest, we won't tellÖ
I honestly donít believe that I have. I had an ASCIIpad that fell apart, but that was more of it being cheaper than from tossing it in anger.

Are you collecting now, if so what anything specific?
Yes! I am at a point where my collection is more focused rather than in ďI have to have EVERYTHING!Ē mode. So, Iím going for games Iíll play as well as going for a full SNES set.

When did you feel a tipping point from gamer to both gamer and game collector?
Probably about the same point I mentioned earlier, 2001-2002. I was reading up on tons of forums, hitting all kinds of shops looking for games.

What are your goals as a game collector, how have you developed them, and how do you feel about your progress toward them?
So, my goal currently is for a US SNES set. Iím closing in on the halfway point. I donít actively shop for it as I prefer to shop in person rather than just ordering everything on eBay.

Iím also going through other games and taking more of a realistic view of them to determine what Iím actually going to play. This has made for some tough choices, but ultimately, I think Iíll be happier in the long run.
How many games, systems, etc. are "enough"?
Enough is when youíre happy calling it good. I got to a point where I had tons of extra stuff laying around that I really had no attachment to. I just got it because it was something I didnít have yet.

What's your proudest moment as a game collector?
Not because of the circumstances behind it, but I got a copy of Earthbound with the guide for free. My brother-in-law was getting divorced and he was getting rid of a lot of his games. He knew it was my favorite game, so he gave it to me.

What's your least proud moment as a game collector?
Probably finding that I owned 3 copies of Barneyís Hide and Seek for GenesisÖ That was sort of the turning point where I had to find a new way to catalog what I had.

If you had to give part of your collection away for a worthy cause what part would it be, and why?
I would probably give some of my extra consoles to a local childrenís hospital or Childís Play or something. Itís not much, but I think that everyone should have a chance to experience those games on original hardware.

Where/how do you store it all?
Well, since moving, I have it all in the basement now. I have plenty of shelving in the room as itís mostly finished and extra stuff is on other shelves in the unfinished part.
What's your favorite part of your collection?
My SNES collection! It is my favorite console.

What about a favorite series?
Although the series is small, the Mother/Earthbound series is pretty fantastic. Mother 1 may not be the best game now, but the story is still fun. Mother 2/Earthbound is absolutely my favorite game of all time. The setting, the visuals, the soundtrack, the story, the sillinessÖ It really is amazing. Mother 3 I have only played once, but the music in it is also amazing. The battle system adds a nice quirk as well where you can time your hits (sort of like Mario RPG) to the beat of the song and do additional damage.

What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to gaming?
Iím not really sure that I have one? I still enjoy Guitar Hero/Rock Band...

What is the most valuable part of your collection(Value or sentimental)? What game do you have the most nostalgia for?

Normally these questions are separated, but the stories would overlap so much that I had to combine them.

I have mentioned it so much, but Earthbound is absolutely it. It is a fairly valuable game, especially with the guide, but thatís not why it is my answer.

Earthbound had my attention when I first saw it at the video store inside of the grocery store. (Small town folks have to remember those.) I didnít live in town, so if I wanted to rent a game, I either had to wait on my parents to need something from the store, or I had to ride my bike in town. It was a good 20-30 minute ride from my house, but I remember going up early on a Saturday morning, renting the game and the guide with it, and trying to keep the plastic bag from hitting the tires and tearing it open on the way home.

I had never really played an RPG until the SNES. My best friend introduced me to Final Fantasy III and Chrono Trigger. I beat FF3 and played a lot of Chrono Trigger, but by the time Earthbound was out, it was just the right kind of quirky and interesting that I was hooked. I donít believe that I beat the game that first weekend, but I got through a good portion of it. That same friend also had Earthbound and he let me borrow it. I played through the entire game and loved it! While I didnít know about how to try to optimize and grind in RPGs quite yet, I spent enough time exploring that I really didnít need to. Carbon/Diamond Dog I remember being an incredibly hard fight to this day, although I know how to handle him now.

As I mentioned above, I was given a copy of the game and guide by my brother-in-law. What you might not know is that my best friend then is my brother-in-law now. This is his copy from when we were kids that he gave to me. Thinking about it takes me back to the time when we would stay up late playing games at his house.

Video game music has always been a very important part of both gaming but also as something to relax and enjoy. I have the soundtrack loaded up in my Google Play library so I can listen to it in the car. I feel a very heavy wave of nostalgia when I listen to it to the point I tear up when I hear the end of the soundtrack when Giygas has taken the final hit.

Earthbound means a lot to me, as the complete game, but also because of the pieces within.

What would you like to improve in your collection?
I really like hardware. I enjoy finding oddball controllers or other accessories. I would like to find more of those for the SNES to go with my arcade sticks and Xband modem.

What do you think was your best deal while game buying?
Probably the Tengen Tetris I got for $5 because the local shop priced it like a Nintendo version. I also got a bunch of boxed INTV games and a SNES console with no cables for $10 from Salvation Army before they stopped letting you haggle...

What item in your collection do you feel you overpaid for?
I preordered the Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel edtion...

What do you feel is the strangest or weirdest item in your collection?
I have a golf bag and golf balls that came from the Nintendo employee store. I have only ever seen this one ever, online or otherwise. The only reference Iíve seen online is for an old eBay auction. My wife won that auction for me as a gift...

What item(s) do you not have in your collection that people are surprised to hear you don't have?
I actually donít have a copy of ActRaiser. Another favorite from the grocery store rental counter. I liked the combination of city building mixed in with the side scrolling portions. Another solid soundtrack too!

Is there any way you'd ever stop collecting?
I donít think so? I think once I get my SNES collection finished up, I may find something else to tackle, but I also think Iíll be more ready to just begin playing through them more.

Do you have a funny story about your collection?
There was a Craigslist ad years ago for a box of gaming stuff. Plenty of controllers and joysticks and a couple of consoles. I think asking was $75? I told the guy that I would come that day for it. He said he had another guy that was meeting with him in the next couple of days, but he also tried to offer him less. I told him full price that day. He took the deal. I drove the 45-60 minute drive, picked up the stuff, and went home happy after dinner. The whole way out, I just kept thinking, ďThis drive is insane. Itís so far away!Ē Now, I make that drive daily as it is very close to my officeÖ

Icing on the cake? The box also had a ROB inside. No other pieces, but he was destined for my shelf.

Have you ever had to move your collection to another house? What was it like?
I just had to do this within the last year. We were in a unique position last year where we purchased a house, but were in a lease at our old place, so we had a fair amount of time to move. It was helpful being able to move a few boxes at a time or just move the stuff from storage without having to move everything in a couple of days as well as have it all to unbox at once.

If your significant other told you no more games, what would you do?
Assuming this nearly 0% chance happened? Iíd probably just have to keep a Switch or 3DS in my work bagÖ Itís almost certainly a deal breaker at this point. Iíve been gaming for so long and the opportunity is there with so many devices that it has to be near absolute zero chance.

What percentage of your games are still sealed?
Maybe 10%?
What percentage of your games have you actually played?
Probably 25-30%? Even if itís just to try them out for a few minutes.

Less than 10%. Iíve been trying to do more gaming lately than I have in the past.

Do you own any complete collections?

Iím one game away from a US Virtual Boy set!

Time to bring out the fanboys! What is your favorite game of all time?
Duck TalesÖ Are you kidding? You donít honestly know by now?!

Least Favorite?
Iím not a fan of many modern FPS games, mostly in the Call of Duty series. I have tried them several times and just do not enjoy them. There are a handful that are still fun though. They would tend to focus more on single player than multiplayer though.

Do you collect anything else besides games?
Not as much any more. I used to collect Simpsons stuff, but Iíve gotten rid of a lot of it.

What do you outside of games?
Lots of workÖ I have also built myself a small homelab/server rack at home to toy with as well as host my Plex server and other things on. I also enjoy golfing, but I haven't had a chance to play much at all in the last few years.

What other features would you like to see more of at RFG?
What ever happened to the RF Generation Nation podcast? When can we get more of that?!

GrayGhost81, the previous interviewee, asked, ďYou can have any and all games from the past, present or future at any time for free but they must be digital only. You cannot add anything physical to your collection by any means ever again, but you can keep your current collection. Do you take this deal?ď

This question is incredibly difficultÖ The collector in me would hate to give up my physical stuff, but, man, digital is SO convenientÖ I hacked my 3DS specifically so I could have the best of both worlds. I wanted to load my cart games on my 3DS so I didnít have to worry about switching games and just have my entire library on hand. I didnít download any, just backed up my own.

I could totally see myself taking that dealÖ (Sorry, CrabbyÖ)

Thanks for your, er, my time!

This next part is something I've tried to do on a somewhat frequent basis, but the timing just hasn't been quite right.

This site has opened a lot of opportunities to me. I have been able to network with various groups. I have been able to meet some fantastic people, both from the site and from the gaming industry.

When RetroWorld Expo started, we have had the opportunity to have a table for RF Generation. I have spent a lot of time at the table because I really enjoy being able to share what we do. Along with that, however, is that I was also put in a position I'm not typically comfortable in: talking to new people. I am usually very shy around new people. I was able to work on this by putting myself in a position that was outside of my comfort zone, but still in a situation where I could succeed. Each year it has gotten easier to hang out at the table, talk to the neighbors at the table next to us, or just be able to have a conversation without acting super awkward when not at the table.

Before I was on staff, just over 10 years ago, I wrote an open letter on my personal blog thanking everyone for what they do here. Another one followed 5 years later. I will hit 9 years officially on staff in a couple of months and, although there was little (no...) fanfare, RF Generation turned 15 this year. So, I wanted to take the time with another blog to dole out some more much deserved thanks. We have gone through a lot around here, both good and bad, but we have continued to thrive throughout all of it.

To any former staff, thank you all for everything you have done for the site over the years. Even though you may not hang around or even stop by, we still appreciate everything you have done for the site.

To the founding members, should you stop by, thank you all for putting in the groundwork to get this thing off the ground. We obviously wouldn't be here without you.

To TraderJake and St0rmTK421, thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to help out. While my tenure hasn't been perfect, I have taken everything as an opportunity to learn and grow in my abilities to make things better here.

To my fellow directors, Duke.Togo and singlebanana, thank you guys. I feel like together we are able to channel each other's strengths to make the site the best we can.

To the DB staff, thank you all for doing your part to make the database everything we know it can be and more. With your help, we can continue to grow our site and wealth of information.

To the bloggers, thanks for the time to make great content. It's not always easy to come up with something, but the effort you all make helps to make the site better.

To the podcast crews and other content creators, thanks for the content. Thanks for taking time to set up streams on Twitch. Thanks for the time to edit your shows. As a former podcast host on the site who also did editing, I know how much time it can take to make a show sound the way you want it.

This was not just meant for staff, this was also meant for the community. The community here very honestly has an outstanding group of people here. The forums are full of nice folks and the members who participate are fun and supportive!

Now that I've rambled on, I just would like to close by saying that I am extremely proud of what we have all been able to accomplish here. You are all appreciated for everything you bring to the site and I am honored to say that I am able to work with you all here.

Thank you all again and don't forget to keep it on channel 3!

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Was awesome to get to know you all over again. I knew some of this stuff, but other stuff I either didn't know or have forgotten over the years.

I didn't realize you were one game away from a Virtual Boy set. What's the final game that has eluded you all these years?

Didn't expect that last part with all the thank yous to the people involved with the site to impact me as much as it did. It's easy to forget how long it's been and how many people have been a part of this over the years.

I always felt like if we'd have known each other growing up we'd have been best friends. We've got so many overlapping interesting and tastes that it's kind of scary. It's been a pleasure being a part of your life these last 9ish years. It's a shame you took Shawn's disgusting digital only deal and that you're now dead to me or we would have had a lot of years left of great times ahead of us. For shame.....
Sorry, Crabby, but I'd have to take the deal as well. The fact that I could keep my existing collection means I'd still have copies of everything I've acquired so far, and having access to all the rare and obscure games that I'll never own otherwise is an exciting prospect.

I always love reading these, and I didn't even know you did one years ago, so for those of us who weren't around at that point, it's a treat! I feel like I learn something new and interesting about folks with every new "People Of" post. We're certainly blessed to have you here on staff, and your dedication to the site is appreciated. Please know that it's not taken for granted. This has become an online home for many, including myself, so thank you for all you've done for RF Generation and its community of users.
Great read and nice to know you, Adam.  Yeah, RFG Nation!  Jess?

I love being here and writing on RFG, and unless health or technology permits, would love to continue for the foreseeable future. 

I feel like we need a thread on the forums about the whole "Deal" thing.  It would blow up.  As for me, I don't think it would surprise anyone that I would take it in a heartbeat (dude, I can play any Turbo game that I want, legally for nothing!).  But I think we need to have the "deal" fleshed out properly:

- Does this include consoles that you don't (currently) own only? 

- Does it come with any console that you want to play, or is this something like game emulation (which would be a serious dealbreaker for some people). 

- If it is using original hardware, can you also legally play the ROMS (original TurboCD Ys Book I portable?  Woohoo!)?

GG?  My man?
I wouldnít have pegged you as shy at all, and I always have a blast when we get to see each other. There are a lot of great people associated with RFG, and Iím really glad to be a part of it. Thanks for sharing, helping with the site, and being a good friend.
@Crabmaster2000: Only missing Jack Bros. Have everything else for the US set I'm pretty certain.

We have certainly had the conversation about being friends growing up. Talking about games we enjoyed, TV shows, cartoons, all of that kind of stuff, we are very, VERY similar in our tastes. I'm really happy that we have been able to meet and become friends.

And, I know I'm a collector, but being able to have ANY game? That's really hard to pass up...

@MetalFRO: I think I'm either the third or fourth "People of" author in the series. There have been a lot of them over the years.

I completely agree about the community. While I've never been one to post a bunch, the people are why I do what I do here.
@bombatomba: That's a great idea for the deal question. The question did specify "past, present, or future" though, which is what helped push me over the edge.

@Duke.Togo: I have usually been shy or kind of awkward around new people more than anything. I don't know if that was somewhat alleviated because we as a group had been interacting for some time. I believe when I did my blog post about the first RWX I mentioned that when we got to Bil's house with everyone there, I was immediately comfortable talking with everyone. I certainly know that talking to folks at the table I sounded nervous. I still get that way a little, but it certainly has gotten easier.
Great read and NO DEAL!

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