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Posted on Sep 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Video Game Depot, Alaska


Somehow they misspelled slackur as C-a-b-e-l-a.  Easy to do.

Summer has been quite the whirlwind for my family.  Two retro game conventions (one debuting a testing table), family vacations, and various projects kept us quite busy.  But the beginning of August held the best event we planned; an Alaska trip for my Beloved and I's 20th wedding anniversary!  What does that have to do with video games?  Surely the frozen north holds little for us gamers, right?





From the beginning, we wanted to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the 50th state.  We traveled all over for a week and a half with a group, so we packed pretty light.  The main gaming during the trip was on the long flight there and back.  For whatever reason, I was in the mood for the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, which I naturally played on the Switch.  For the first time, I finally completed Castlevania, Casltevania: Bloodlines, The Castlevania Adventure, and Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge.
I have no answer as to why long flights put me in the mood for difficult gothic horror platformers, but there ya go. 

Anyway, the actual trip was even better than I imagined!  The weather was perfect and everywhere you looked was practically a postcard.  We traveled from Anchorage, to Seward, to Homer, to Denali, and finally back to Anchorage.  And since this article is on a gaming site and not a travel advertisement, what lay in store for our intrepid retro gaming collector-couple?

Nearly half of Alaska's population live in Anchorage, yet it is far from the modern idea of a crowded, bustling city.  In fact it is rather quiet, peaceful, spread out, and ideal for the laid-back tourist.  We stopped at a GameStop out of curiosity and found the same homogeneity we expected, though the staff was pleasant.  We did find a couple tough-to find 360 and PS3 titles but nothing exceptional. 

After Google searching a few stores we were happy to see a few popped up, and decided to try out Video Game Depot.


I had considered making this article just an ad for this store, but we didn't manage to actually take any pictures of it.

In the couple of decades my Beloved and I have been retro-game hunting, we've seen every type of mom-and-pop store. There are rummage-through-my-messy-boxes stores, immaculate-but-hardly-stocked stores, glorified eBay portals that sell anything worthwhile online, stores that sell a few video games as a small add-on to a different business, I-don't-care-about-anything-else-because-it-is-run-by-jerks horror stores, and the occasional rare gem of a store that is clean, well organized, has interesting items, and actually has worthwhile staff.  The Video Game Depot is this last, special type.

We were immediately impressed with the layout and variety of cool stuff.  There was only one person behind the counter but he was nice, patient, and knowledgeable without being pretentious.  I overheard him giving a discount to a student with good grades, something I long forgot was even a thing and was quite impressed.  We chatted about all sorts of stuff for a good long time, and ended up coming away with a hand-full of SuperVision games (still looking for a working system) and 3-D Tetris for Virtual Boy.  The fact that they even knew about such eclectic items, not to mention had fair prices on them, speaks volumes about how good a place it is to shop.  If we ever move to Anchorage (fingers crossed) (looks over to wife with raised eyebrows) I know where a big chunk of our extra spending would go (besides a massive card and board game store my Beloved found where she picked up a bunch of Magic cards.)

If you haven't been to Alaska, well, fix that.  It is incredible!  And if you make it to Anchorage, bring some empty luggage before stopping by the Video Game Depot.  It's easily one of the best gaming stores we've seen.

Smiley




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Comments
 
Sounds like you had a fun trip! I have some friends who moved to Alaska a few years ago, to work with a radio ministry up there. They love it, and have posted pictures on Facebook of the occasional elk steak that they get. It might be fun to make the trip up there at some point, especially during the heat of the summer, when it gets particularly hot and humid where I live.

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