Anne Bras (the PC King)
How did you start collecting?
The first PC game I ever bought in box was Day of the Tentacle. I bought it at the Queensday markets for €2,50,-.
To be honest I wasn't aware of the fact that it would be worth so much more in the future. But I still have it. ;)
A few weeks after I bought that game a friend called me that he was standing in a store and
that he saw 3 second hand PC games in box for €1,- each and if I would like to have them.
Ofcourse I said "Yes!" so I now had 4 PC games in box (Day of the Tentacle, Dungeon Keeper 1, Diablo 1 & Diablo 2).
Because we already lived in a time where the new PC games were sold in DVD-cases to save shelf space in the stores I now started to realise how beautiful
these PC games in box really are. The front of the box really takes you into the game. Not to mention the contents. Some boxes have maps or posters in them and sometimes even T-shirts or videotapes.
At that moment I started to collect boxed PC games.
Why PC games and not NES, SNES, Atari, Etc...?
There was this moment where I was doubting about collecting videogames at all. I knew that this would probably affect me for the rest of my life. But apparently
I was totally okay with that so I decided to collect games. Because I already owned around 100 NES titles and only 4 PC titles I was very tempted to continue collecting mainly NES games, but
I also knew 5 other friends who collected NES games and even had a bigger collection than I had and I knew no one who was collecting PC games yet so because of that I decided that
collecting PC games would be my main focus. I do collect games from other consoles and have a quite impressive collection, but it's nothing compared to all the other collections out there.
How many PC games do you have now?
It's difficult to say because I get new games every month, but I can easily say that I have over one thousand individual complete PC games in original big box.
Are you a gamer yourself?
Definitely! :) Often I get asked the question “Do you also play all the games you collect?” and I think it’s a good question to answer. I believe that games are meant to be played and not to be placed on a shelf to collect dust, so I play as many games as my free time would allow me. I haven’t played all the games that I’ve collected and I probably never will since we’re talking about quite a lot of games and some of them are very difficult to install or get to work, but I do think I’ve played 1/3 of all the games I own. I also organize PC-King Marathons where gamers try to finish a game of their choice within 2 days or live-stream a game they’re playing.
What is your favorite game?
That’s a difficult question to answer. First we need to ask ourselves “What makes a game your favorite?” You can like a game because of the gameplay, story, the box, memories or because of many others reasons. Next to that there are also many brilliant games out there which make it hard to name just one.
When I think about “gameplay” the following titles come to mind: Heart of Darkness, Dungeon Keeper 1, Prince of Persia 1 and Blues Brothers. Just to name a few. The flow of these games is without a doubt brilliant.
Story wise I think of: Monkey Island (all of them except for 4), Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Robin Hood: Conquests of the Longbow, King's Quest 5, etc. There are also many other games with a great story but these are the ones that come to mind.
Since I collect all these PC games in big box I also come across some very original and beautiful game boxes. Here are a couple worth mentioning: Dune 1 (when you fold open the front of the box the dune sandworm appears and opens its mouth), 7th Guest (the box is in the shape of a book and when you open it you see some sort of hallway with a door at the end. When you open that door you find a VHS tape with the Making Of on it), Day of the Tentacle Triangle Box (the box is in the shape of a huge Toblerone. Something you don’t see every day), Stonekeep Special Edition (this game is in the shape of a tombstone) and Gold Rush Wooden Box Edition (this game comes, as you might have guessed, in a beautiful wooden box).
And then there are some games that just makes your heart beat faster. For me some of those games are: Commander Keen, The Neverhood, Maniac Mansion, Jazz Jackrabbit 1, Alley Cat, Star Control 2 and probably a lot more.
Any plans for the future?
Ofcourse I hope to be able to find and get all the rare games I'm still missing and expand my collection as much as possible,
but it is my true dream to bring the games back to the gamers and I think I did a great job by arranging a boxed pc games exhibition (of my entire collection) at the Games en Computers museum in Zwolle. Games need to be played and admired instead of being put away in some storage box where they only collect more dust.
So by having this exhibition I believe I have found a good location where people can see and play all these beautiful pieces of history and relive their awesome childhood! ;)