Throne of Games

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Anne Bras (the PC King)
- Game Designer
- Game Collector
- Game Archiver
- Game Historian
- Gamer


A little introduction!
Hey there! My name is Anne Bras and as many people know I am a big fan of old video games. I'm also very intrigued by the history of video games in general. I started playing video games pretty early in my childhood. I learned to make my own games around the age of 15 and I started collecting boxed PC games about 5 years later (in 2006). Over time my collection grew and grew and before I knew it I ended up owning the World's Largest Collection of Boxed PC Games!.

With the build up knowledge and the history of video games in mind I continue following my passion by organizing game events and exhibitions, giving talks about my passion, creating more games and filling the gaps of my collection.

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 already had 5 other friends who collected NES games and had an even bigger collection than I had. I didn't knew anyone who was collecting boxed PC games yet so because of that, and the facts that I was really into playing PC games, 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 two thousand individual complete PC games in original big box.

Do you also play all your games?
Definitely! :) Games are meant to be played, so I play as often and 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 many many games, but I do think I’ve played about 1/3 of all the games I own. It's great fun and I learn so much history just by playing them. I also organize PC-King Marathons where gamers try to finish a game of their choice within 2 days or live-stream every once in a while.

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.

Storywise I think of: Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Robin Hood: Conquests of the Longbow, King's Quest, 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 box designs. Here are a couple worth mentioning: Dune 1 Sandworm Box (when you fold open the front of the box the dune sandworm appears and opens its mouth), 7th Guest Book Box (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), 11th Hour Clockwork Box (where the box opens up like the gears of a clock), Day of the Tentacle Triangle Box (the box is in the shape of a huge Toblerone. Something you don’t see every day), Stonekeep Tombstone Box (this game is in the shape of a tombstone), Gold Rush Wooden Box Edition (this game comes, as you might have guessed, in a beautiful wooden box), Gabriel Knight Origami Box (which has a very odd shape), Ultrabots Mech Box (where you can transform the box like some kind of machine part), etc...

And then there are some games that just make your heart beat faster. For me some of those games are: Commander Keen, The Neverhood, Maniac Mansion, Jazz Jackrabbit, Alley Cat, Star Control 2 and so many lot more.

Any plans for the future?
My main goal has always been to preserve gaming history by collectiong these games physically so that when these physical boxes become "extinct" one day (which they already kind of are) there's still a place where they can all be seen, played and admired! It has also always been my dream to bring the games back to the gamers, and I'm very excited that my entire Boxed PC Game Collection is now exhibited in the Home Computer Museum in Helmond (the Netherlands). 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 in the museum I believe I have found the perfect location to share it with the world so people can see and play all these beautiful pieces of history and relive their childhood!

As for my "plans for the future"... It would be awesome to organize more gaming events and to fill the gaps of my collection, so that the amazing stories hidden within our gaming history can be passed on to future generations.