The Game Chasers
Season One DVD
I’ve known Shady Jay and Billy Hudson—The Game Chasers—for a couple of years or so now, thanks to seeing them at various comic book and video game conventions in Texas. When I’m manning a booth at a show, trying to pawn my books off to anyone who will give me the time of day, they usually stop by my table to say hello, which is always cool.
At the ScrewAttack Game Convention in Dallas this past July, I admitted to Jay that I had never actually watched an episode of their YouTube show, The Game Chasers. In the program, which is now on season four, he and Billy, a couple of regular Joes wearing baseball caps and wife beaters, drive a Ford Ranger all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area, haunting thrift stores, flea markets, and other places one might find video games (including actual retro video game shops), hoping to add rare gems (and common games alike) to their collections at a good price.
Instead of good-naturedly harassing me for not watching the show, which I thought he might do, Jay gave me a review copy of season one, which has 10 extended episodes, a “lost” episode, two animated specials, exclusive interviews, an episode called “The Game Chasers Take Pax,” and various outtakes, deleted scenes, and make-of specials.
Billy and Jay describe The Game Chasers as an American Pickers of sorts, but with video games as the focus.
When Jay gave me the DVD set, it was a friendly gesture that I very much appreciated, but I wasn’t sure I would get past the first or second episode as I’m not really the target audience (thought I knew my teenage son would enjoy it, which he did). While I play and collect video games, I don’t watch reality TV, and I would rather read a serious book about video game history than watch YouTube “celebrities” talk, joke, and cuss about old video games (although there are exceptions—Keith Apicary cracks me up).
Despite my interest in collectibles, and despite the fact that I have a booth at an antique mall, I’ve never seen an episode of American Pickers, although I suspect I would probably enjoy it. What I have seen—as of a couple of months ago—are all the episodes of The Game Chasers season one, plus most of the special features.
Yes, I blazed right through the first season, once I finally sat down to watch it. I didn’t binge, but I did watch an episode every couple of days. The show revels in its Beavis and Butt-head-style dumbness (such as Jay calling the town of Waxahachie "Waxasnatchie"), but it’s actually pretty fun to watch Jay and Billy go to stores that I frequent, and to watch them dig through NES commons and the like to find the occasional diamond in the rough. The humor doesn't always resonate with me, but each episode does provide a few laughs.
I’ve been game-chasing for decades. It’s pretty cool that you can now watch a show about such a thing.