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Naoise O'Hare. PIC: Naoise O'Hare Instagram

Meet Irish retro games collector extraordinaire Naoise O'Hare 25.10.17

“My relationship with gaming all started with the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)...” says Naoise O’Hare, 30, one of Ireland’s biggest retro gamer collectors. “Like a lot of kids, I was obsessed with Mario and followed him up through the generations.”

Naoise, funnily enough, would go on to emulate his mustachioed hero by becoming a plumber himself. He actually performs his task, however, unlike Mario who only uses pipes as transport or the odd warp.

With over 20,000 followers on Instagram and more across his other social media channels, it’s perhaps surprising to many that retro gaming is so popular. After all, the games are technically obsolete. However, a generation of kids grew up with the systems and reliving those memories drives many retro fans, including Naoise: “For me, it was firstly about playing what I liked as a child or had an interest in and never played but I never had a fixed idea that I was going to collect for anything.

“My girlfriend gave me a Super Nintendo Entertainment about four years ago as a gift and playing those games awoke that curiosity in exploring video games from my childhood. As I collected more for the NES and SNES, I started collecting Nintendo 64 games and then I suppose I just had become a collector. By accident, really.”

One side of my current set up since I changed things around The new set up is still in the beta testing phase so I'm still lacking some shelves! I've got all of my consoles that I play set up and ready to rock with all of my games tucked into some temporary shelves which I couldn't fit in the photo . . #GameRoom #Nintendo #Nes #Snes #Nintendo64 #N64 #GameCube #Wii #Sega #SegaMegaDrive #SegaMasterSystem #NesClassic #SnesClassic #SuperMarioBros #RetroGames #RetroVideoGames #RetroGamerIreland #RetroGaming #RetroGamer #RetroCollective #RetroCollectiveIreland #RetroCollectiveEurope #IrishGamer #IrishBlogger #IrishBloggers #Dublin #Ireland #Geek #Nerd #IgersNintendo

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Accident or not, Naoise now has a collection of over twenty* systems that draw retro enthusiasts to his blog but it’s not about the business for RGI, Naoise is just an amateur doing it for love of retro and the community. “When I started the blog and the SM channels, I just wanted to talk to other like-minded people and be part of community. I didn’t even have my own photo up. But as I met more and more people who had the same love for it as me, I suppose I got to like that sense of community even more”, he says. “Having someone say that you made them happy thinking of good memories they had as a child or saying ‘Oh, that is really cool!’ when they come across the blog or watch one of my YouTube videos, I love it. Makes it even better.”

Playing some Pokémon Yellow this weekend ☇ The battery in my Pokémon Blue is burnt out so changed to Yellow instead! I just beat Lieutenant Surge, picked up Squirtle from officer Jenny and now I'm back on the road to becoming a Pokémon master . . #Pokemon #PokemonYellow #Pikachu #Pokeball #GottaCatchEmAll #PikaPika #Nintendo #GameBoy #GameBoyColor #RetroGamer #RetroGames #RetroVideoGames #RetroGamerIreland #RetroGaming #RetroCollective #RetroCollectiveIreland #RetroCollectiveEurope #IrishGamer #IrishBlogger #IrishBloggers #Dublin #Ireland #Geek #Nerd #IgersNintendo #Nes #Snes #N64 #GameFreak #Nostalgia

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Despite many items in his collection that are worth big-bucks, Naoise doesn’t have any more affinity or respect for the items that would be the centrepieces of other collectors. He has his own, more personal collecting achievement - a complete Pokémon Yellow he has had since he got it as a kid, “I have the box, manual and cartridge in great condition and it’s my favourite, the kind of thing I would show people first.”

Despite a four year attempt at playing everything, Naoise has his eyes on the gaps in his collection. When I asked him about the game he wants most, he says: “Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64. Definitely. I played it in my cousin’s years ago and it’s a fantastic platformer that is really funny. But it costs a lot of money now.”

The look of content as I gaze at the Snes Classic library at GameStop HQ Thanks again to the guys from @GameStopNE for letting me get early access to the console, it's an amazing machine! Check the link in my bio for a video on my first impressions of the system #GameStop #GameStopIreland #Nintendo #Nes #SuperNintendo #Snes #SuperNes #SnesClassic #SnesMini #RetroGamer #RetroGames #RetroGaming #RetroGamerIreland #RetroCollective #RetroCollectiveIreland #RetroCollectiveEurope #IrishGamer #IrishBlogger #IrishBloggers #Dublin #Ireland #Geek #Nerd #RetroVideoGames #IgersNintendo #DublinBlogger #IgersDublin #NesClassic #RedHair #RedHead

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He isn’t wrong. An unopened Conker’s Bad Fur Day will set you back around €300 while an unboxed copy costs around €60. If you happen to have one in the attic, it might be worth fishing out.

His next hardware adventure will be further back in time. “I want to pick up an Atari 2600. It’s something I missed out on as a child but seeing where video games ‘came from’ would interest me.”

Thankfully for Naoise, the Atari 2600 is a far less expensive than his software choice. A boxed PAL-region Atari 2600 will set you back around €100. However, it is worth noting that Gamma Attack for 2600 is worth around €100 unboxed in reasonable condition.

I finally started to rearrange my game room today and I was not prepared for how much work was involved The room looks completely different now as I've packed up some consoles that I never played as they were just taking up space. It will take a few more days before I have it the way I want it, I just need some more damn shelves so hopefully I'll get my hands on some soon! #Zelda #TheLegendOfZelda #SuperMarioBros #Pokemon #MarioKart #Nintendo #Nes #Snes #SuperNes #SuperNintendo #Nintendo64 #N64 #GameBoy #GameCube #Sega #RetroGamer #RetroGames #RetroVideoGames #RetroGamerIreland #RetroGaming #RetroCollective #RetroCollectiveIreland #RetroCollectiveEurope #IrishGamer #IrishBlogger #IrishBloggers #Dublin #Ireland #Geek #Nerd

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Naoise O’Hare will be at  PlayersXpo (get your tickets here) giving us insights into retro gaming and his experiences as an ‘accidental’ collector. These days he’s enjoying Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch and newly-released Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy on PS4.

*Naoise’s system collection includes…

Nintendo Famicom, Nintendo Nes, Nes Mini Classic Edition, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 PAL, Nintendo 64 NTSC-J, Nintendo Game Cube, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, Sega Master System II, Sega Mega Drive, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox Original, Xbox 360