I was wheeling and dealing at a local video game store. This is not always a good thing because I often try to wheel and deal without having any knowledge of the actual value of the items. I discovered a box filled with Sega Game Gear stuff and made an offer of $50. Sold to Wild Man Ted! I took the box home so I could go through it thoroughly and was thrilled to discover not one but FIVE Game Gears in the box with approximately 30 games and other peripherals. Dollar signs started to roll in my head! I went to get some AA batteries (a lot of AA batteries!) and began to test the hardware. It did not take long to discover that I had exactly zero working game systems. However, it looked as though I had enough working components make at least one, if not two – fully working games.
Fortunately, the Game Gear is held together almost entirely by phillips head screws, with the exception of a single “security screw”. I ordered the special screwdriver on Amazon and was soon looking at the guts of several machines. The 1994 technology was actually pretty impressive. After far too many hours spent taking each one apart, reassembling, testing, and failing – I finally had some success.
The photo below is a little dark, but I wanted you to see the screen of the one good Game Gear created out of five bad. The game on the screen is Road Runner Speedtrap. Did I make a good deal? It was probably just a break even deal, especially when I consider the hours spent tinkering around. But I learned a lot and I have a special appreciation for the device. Even though I already own a Game Gear, it feels good to know that there is another fully functional vintage game system out there.
What was my motivation? I have respect for Sega. I was always a Nintendo fan, but in retrospect I find it impressive that Sega was in the battle for video game supremacy – slugging it out with the Goliath-like Nintendo. In the competitive handheld market, Nintendo had the lead with the Game Boy – a technically inferior product that still came out on top. How infuriating it must have been for Sega to lose the popularity battle with a back-lit COLOR screen against a small, monochrome, tilt it just the right way so you can see it Game Boy! There are reasons why they lost the battle. With advanced technology came a higher price tag. Back in the day, I could not afford the $149 price tag of the Game Gear. Yet, somehow I managed to end up with TWO of the cheaper Game Boys. Then, there also was battery life. The Game Gear is a battery hog, and I am lucky to get 5 hours from 6 AA’s. Meanwhile, the Game Boy rocks on for 10 hours from 2 AA’s. Of course the final blow, THE GAME BOY HAD TETRIS. I still play that game (and playing “Columns” on the Game Gear doesn’t compare).
So now they stand side by side. Once mortal enemies, they now swap old war stories as they rest in my collection. Here is my Game Gear – rescued from a box of broken down machines, restored, and now proudly displayed for all to see – and play if they want to.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Some versions translate “workmanship” as “masterpiece”. I like that. This verse makes me feel a little bit like that old Game Gear. It was broken and unwanted, yet rescued and put back together. God does that with us. He sees the value when no one else does. he doesn’t even care if it is a “bad deal” for him. He rescues us and he restores us. He turns us into his masterpiece. He looks at us and says, “Look what I did!”