Freelance journalist David Crookes got in touch with me about a bit he's writing for his Retro column in Computer Shopper magazine and we had a little chat about my site here.
What do you miss the days of big box PC games?
I miss browsing through big box PC games in a real store. Today you just scroll down a long list of titles and screenshots, but back in the day when the offer was more limited to shelf space, it was easier to get an overview.
Are games less collectible as a result - and has that prompted gamers to look to other aspect of gaming to collect?
Can't really say anything in this regard as everybody's collecting for their own reasons. Me, I do own tons of games without (big) boxes, but for gaming not collecting. For Switch, I went digital only as it's a way more comfortable than carrying around all the cartridges.
Is there anything about the artwork and the text of these boxes that really stand out for you?
Today, it's all highly professional artworks, and everything's slick and polished. Back in the day, it was a more honest approach: Find an artist who could turn pixel graphics into a nice cover (see Denis Loubet and his cover art for the Ultima series), then try to describe the game and its features, rather than merely stating marketing slogans.
Which do you love the most?
Me, I'm a fan of painted artwork. My favorite is the US version of "Last Ninja 2" and "Dungeon Hack"
Why in 3D and would you consider a peek at the box innards at some stage?
Well, there was nothing like that on the net and I thought I'd give it a shot. I experimented with 3D photos beforehand, but it turned out that rendering my boxes in real time only required a couple of lines of code. Odd-shaped boxes are still a challenge though. Showing the boxes' contents is on my to-do list but for that plain photos will do it. Scanning all the manuals and so on is definitely not a goal, especially as many of these games are commercially available and you can get these files from sites like gog.com and Steam for a few bucks only. I've tried to link to these stores from my site to point visitors in the right direction.
PS: I'm not the only big box collector out there; my collection might look impressive due to my 3D site but there's a whole bunch of collectors out there with even bigger collections out there. Everybody who's intrigued should pay the Big Box PC Game Collectors-group over at Facebook a visit.