Growing up I was a SNES gamer. But when I was around 12 or so my dad, who worked for Seagate at the time, brought home a bunch of consoles coworkers had left for free. Being late to the NES, I discovered games like Contra and Kid Icarus for the first time. I always thought NES games were cool and played them at cousins houses, mainly Super Mario bros. 3. But we also got 2 Sega Geneses', model 2 and model 1. We actually gave the model 1 to my best friend. I had few games for the Genesis, but Sonic 2 was one of my favorite games growing up. We also had Evander Holyfields boxing, which I thought was decent.
Unfortunately, we sold the Genesis 2 at the flea market. Along with Secret of Mana for SNES. Ugh!
Around '97 the Genesis 3 came out, and I picked it up from Toys R Us. It was Genesis time again!
I got Sonic 3 on Ebay, which was my only game for a while. Then during high school I started working at Baskin Robbins. That was a shitty job. But I had money, so I starting buying every video game I could find at the flea market, and getting games off Ebay. My Genesis collection grew to around 130 games. I'm pretty content with it. I'm not a completionist type of collector, I just want all the games that I will actually play. I can't understand why someone would want a Blockbuster Championship Gold NES cart for thousands of dollars that would just collect dust. Also the discovery of Sega-16 around '04 or '05 grew my interest in the genesis.
My interest in game collecting started when I was 14, around 10 years ago. I discovered a site called NES World. This guy had a huuuuge NES collection. I was in awe. My favorite systems to collect for are SNES and Genesis. When I started it was a good time for collecting. Many games could still be found in the "wild", and stores such as Funcoland still existed. Now the flea market is a dismal place, filled with greedy mexicans charging way too high prices. In the past I amassed nearly every console under the sun in the "wild". It's a different feeling than buying a game on Ebay. There's a rush, kinda like seeing a really hot girl!
It's worn off over time, but when I was a kid seeing gold in a pile of useless junk was a great feeling. I had the same feeling whenever I saw NES carts. There's just something about their retro design. The only finds that have recaptured this childhood excitement were finding an ankroid cabnet at the dump, which became a mame shell. (and my Mom made me throw it out later :/ ) And recently when I found Phantasy Star IV at the flea market. I also went to the Classic Gaming Expo in 2004 and '05 when it was in California which was AWESOME, but unfortunately it then moved to Las Vegas and now is no longer.
For me now game collecting has lost its magic. Maybe because I feel satisfied with my collection.
But if I could travel back in time and relive those finds that'd be heaven on earth.