Where do I start? Well, I can say that the title is lying a bit; I'm not in any of this teacher's classes, but I do know him well from the "game days" he holds every Fridays, where he turns the classroom into a game hangout room where people can play either a Wii or an Xbox 360. He has two TVs in the room, one HDTV for his Switch occasionally, and a Sony Trinitron for the Xbox. The Wii is the big attraction to the students there, and gets hooked into the projector to be shown on a grand scale in "crisp" 480i video. When the Switch isn't there, I take over with one of my retro game systems, most recently the NES, and previously the Sega Genesis, Dreamcast and Saturn.
He does have a few other systems, including a PS1 and PS2, but the one I'd like to focus on is the Super Nintendo.
The first glimpse I got at the SNES was when he was pulling out his Switch from one of the cupboards, where he had mistaken the SNES for the Switch and quickly put it back. It didn't look to be in very good shape, but all I could tell was that the plastic had turned yellow. Mustard yellow. I didn't get to take any pictures of it, so I'll try to describe the condition of it later on.
If you didn't know, Nintendo used a special type of plastic to enclose early SNES models that was designed to be flame retardant. This caused a side effect of the plastic turning brittle and obtaining a yellow hue when exposed to any kind of UV light. This happens to most other white consoles as well, like the Japanese Model 2 Saturn and Sega Dreamcast.
This Friday, I didn't feel like hooking up the NES again, so I asked if I could hook up his SNES, which he was very accepting of. Unfortunately, when I got the console, my reaction wasn't far off from this:
It was probably the worst conditioned console I had ever seen in person. Not only was it mustard yellow, but there was dirt and grime in every imaginable spot, crevasse and opening on the console. The controllers were yellow too, and the buttons were also filled with dirt and felt squishy and unresponsive.
But the saddest part was the fact that the video output it used was...RF
No, I'm just kidding. The actual saddest, but best part, were the games. In this day and age with prices skyrocketing for the most well-known SNES games, he has a pretty stellar collection. Pretty much every first-party heavy hitter was in his collection; Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, Super Mario All-Stars, DKC 1 & 2, Super Mario Kart, LoZ: A Link to the Past, StarFox, and even $200+ games like Earthbound! So what's the catch?
The games were in horrible condition too. Every single contact point in every cartridge was filled with dust and hair built up from decades of love and dedication, but also decades of mistreatment. Yes, even Earthbound.
Despite these warnings, I got the console hooked up and tried Super Mario World. It worked...kind of. The picture was incredibly grainy, the controller ports didn't work until I blew into them, and the controllers themselves felt and performed terribly. No other game I tried worked, so I put it back in the bag and hooked up my NES again instead and played some Tetris.
As a retro game collector, it makes me very sad that these systems have not been tended to or taken care of in any way, shape or form. I'll have to look out for another SNES to use with these games and possibly my own, or try to fix his if he'll allow me to, because this is just unacceptable.