I use to live in Brantford, it has been 10 long years since I have visited . I think I might have to pay a visit soon and possibly over stay my welcome at the PC MUSEUM!
Syd Bolton is the owner, I had the pleasure to have a chat with him...
Keef -Brantford is knowN for many things, Wayne Gretsky, the telephone, Admiral Sub... what do you bring to the table?
Syd - I've always had a love for videogames and for computers which is why I started the Personal Computer Museum around five years ago. Unique in all of Canada, the museum offers thousands of artifacts spanning several years and includes an incredible assortment of computer games and more. I've also been collecting (some would say hoarding) videogames for consoles for many years and my collection has now gone over 7,000 individual original games. If you include the computer games that are part of the museum collection, that works out to over 10,000 videogames! I also try to research and collect information on old companies that made games and software.
Keef - Out of all of your collection, what 3 games have you played most.
Syd- -Played MOST huh? There's a tough question actually (I usually get what is your favourite etc but this one is good). I spent an awful lot of time with the Zelda series and Ocarina of Time is one of those games I have actually replayed quite a bit and spent a lot of time with. Another game that isn't really all that classic (read old) but will sure be destined to be is the entire Ratchet and Clank series on the PS2. I love these games and have played through all of them with great anticipation for their next adventure. Finally, I'd have to say Dragon's Lair. Although the game play isn't really that deep, I love this world and trying it out on various platforms. It is one of the most ported games ever and I'm proud to have one of the largest collections of Dragon's Lair out there because even though the game is over 25 years old, the animation and music still hold up today and are essentially timeless.
Keef - I was on a mad hunt for Dragons Lair Blu-ray and scored a used copy. It was one of those games from my childhood that floored me. Do you get visitors visiting for nostalgic purposes... I know I would.
Syd - Nostalgia is where it's at when it comes to all this. Games and computers are just "stuff" but what it's really all about is the emotion and (mostly) positive memories that it invokes in people. Some might think I'm collecting "stuff" but really it's a bunch of people's memories all bottled up in what they did with said stuff. In the 80's you really had to WORK at using a computer. Getting a piece of software to load was sometimes a major accomplishment and developing your own software was extremely satisfying. It's quite different today. Specifically for Dragon's Lair, I get around 100 to 200 visitors a day at my Dragon's Lair Fan Page at http://www.pixelpower.on.ca/dl where I have all the versions listed. I plan on fleshing out the details of each one and making the site more comprehensive in the future.
Keef -What is the rarest item in the museum
Syd - -Rarity is tough because some things can be rare and not be known or valuable. Computer wise, I think our IMSAI 8080 computer ranks up there among the more rare (as well as the Apple Lisa 2 that we have). Videogame wise you know I have what was once considered the "holy grail" - Chase the Chuckwagon on the Atari 2600, but now we find out it's not really as rare as we thought (although it's still incredibly tough to find). Beyond that, at this point for the games it's more about quantity than paying huge sums for rare games. I know eventually in time they will come.
Keef - I was wondering if you got a e-mail in regards to "Give me regards to Broad Street" that Paul Mcartney game for I think the Commador 64. If so, thats the son of one of the biggest Beatles collectors in Canada. Do you get requests to buy such things often?
Syd - Yes, I have gotten an email asking about that Beatles game actually after one of the pieces about me aired on the Electric Playground (EP Daily) on Citytv. I do get requests from time to time but I think most people know that I am a collector - I don't sell my stuff, I collect it! I actually boycotted retailer Electronics Boutique for a while because I was tired of being asked if I had anything to trade. No. Duh. Trade?
Keef- if you could turn a show, movie, book, anything into a video game...what would that be, and who would make it?
Syd - -I always loved the book "The Secret of NIMH" which was actually called "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" but renamed for theatrical release. There are many elements within the book and movie that I think could make a great game. I also have ideas for at least 3 games in my head that I would love to be able to make someday. As for who would make it, with a book/movie translation I might consider looking at A2M to do it. For my other game ideas well I'm just not sure yet
Keef - What are the chances of Reviews on the Run hosting a show from the museum? I think we should start a facebook group and bring them to the digital Mecca!!
What is your thoughts?
Syd - Believe it or not, I've been in talks with the Eastern producer of Reviews on the Run about hosting some episodes at the museum and with my game collections and they are definitely interested. If you want to start a group page for that go ahead :) The guys at Greedy (the production company that produces Reviews on the Run and the Electric Playground) are great to work with and I know it will happen at some point!
Keef - Fan expo, I heard your going to be involved, how so?
Syd - So speaking of which, Victor Lucas asked if I'd like to join him and Scott Jones at Fan Expo this year for a panel on the history of videogames. How could I refuse? I'm so excited for this I can't even begin to tell you. Just to hang out with these guys for an hour will be a treat and to be talking games is even better.
Keef - - What are you looking forward to doing or seeing at Fanexpo?
Syd- In addition to the panel that is happening on Sunday, I'm looking forward to all the costumes out there and seeing some of those other celebrities up close
Keef – Thank you Syd, any last words…
Syd - So if people are interested in learning more about the museum of course they can go to http://www.pcmuseum.ca/ and if they want to see some video clips of my game collections (and some interesting things) my YouTube channel can be picked up at http://www.youtube.com/sydbolton. Of course, you can also follow the museum's Twitter page (where the world's first VIC-20 was born) @vintagepc or my personal feed at @sydbolton. Finally, my personal page is http://www.sydbolton.com/
SYD ON E.P. DAILY!
SYD ON E.P. DAILY!