Every gamer treasures memories of their favorite consoles, consoles now old enough to be considered relics from eras gone by. The relentless advance of technology left our trusty old 8- and 16-bit friends looking and feeling dated, but the feeling of nostalgia lingers on.
That said, one day you may need to dispose of your stalwart old consoles to make room for new systems, or just to make room in your life. Generation Xers who played Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo Entertainment System are well into their forties now, and the eldest Millennials are in their late thirties. The entry of two gaming generations into the dreaded realm of “adulting” means real responsibilities infringe on what was once free time for gaming. You may have to share access to the television with life partners, or even your own children.
Whatever the reason, when the time comes to dispose of your favorite electronics, it should be known that there are ways to do so responsibly. Tossing an old game system into the dumpster ought to be the last of all possible choices. The problem of e-waste, garbage in the form of old electronic gear, is real and growing, and that innocent-looking Sega Master System might leach toxic chemicals into the environment if disposed of improperly.
First, consider selling your console to another gamer. Sites like eBay and Craigslist are great places to start looking for that direct connection. If your system is in good working order, it can fetch a solid price to a collector or enthusiast. Even a broken system can be sold to interested parties online, for parts and components used in repair.
If dealing with the internet is too time consuming or frustrating, check your local area for stores that buy and resell used game systems. Some may offer store credit rather than cash, so if cash is your goal, the old reliable pawn shop is also an option. Take a moment to check the rough value of your systems before heading to a pawn shop or reseller, so you can obtain the best value possible.
Donation to a good cause is another worthwhile option. A good cause can mean many things, depending on where you live. Hospitals that serve children may be interested in an unused console and games gathering dust in a closet. Elder care facilities are famously good homes for the Nintendo Wii, as the plethora of motion-controlled games based on bowling and tennis are easy to grasp and good for enhancing patient mobility. In any case, when donation is your goal, remember to consider your audience and remove any frightening or overly violent games before delivery.
Saying goodbye to a favorite console doesn’t have to be a painful process. There are ways for you to pass your old system on in a responsible and even profitable manner. When the time comes you can release your old friend to a new home, knowing that another generation of gamer will put it to good use.