On this archival friendly episode of the Popzara Podcast our own amateur historian Nathan Evans talks with filmmaker and fellow gaming enthusiast Kevin J. James, director of Not For Resale, a new documentary examining the twilight years of traditional video game stores, the rise of retro gaming, and what appears to be an unstoppable ascendency of digitally delivered gaming to the masses.
The film is, appropriately, available in both digital and physical format now.
With interviews with independent game store owners across the nation, professional and indie game developers, journalists and internet personalities Kevin’s thoughtful documentary looks at the rollercoaster history of videogame distribution in the United States, both physically and digitally, and its effects on not just independent gaming stores that depend on the buying and selling of used games, but of those actually creating the games.
Kevin and Nathan discuss the difficulties facing those whose livelihood and passions can feel trapped between contrasting efforts of monetizing and preserving nostalgia, tough questions about how the evolving definition of “ownership”, and even a trip down memory lane (for those with memories steeped in 1980s game culture) through the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.
Listen to the end for a forward-thinking look at what the future of game distribution may hold for collectors and players alike, a future that will surely include not just digital distribution, a surprising return of button-mashing arcades, but even games streamed entirely from servers far away via services like Google Stadia and GeForce Now. Somewhere in this digital future, we hope, there will still be room for physical media – in some form or another.