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Credits This is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for the Usenet newsgroup rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (hereafter abbreviated to rgva.collecting)
This FAQ is posted every 20 days and the current copy should be considered to supersede all previous postings.
This FAQ was developed by Tony Jones, and reviewed by Doug Jefferys and Steve Ozdemir. This document may be freely distributed, as long as the above credits remain in place.
I welcome all comments and suggestions for improvement via email to email@example.com.
Information about UK sources was kindly provided by John Keay.
WWW version by Frederic Vecovenveco@montefiore.ulg.ac.be
Index of items
What is rgva.collecting?rgva.collecting is a forum for discussion related to the collecting of arcade video games. The main topics of discussion are the various methods available to purchase games, technical discussions of game hardware, issues relating to the maintenance/repair of games, and game conversion, which is the process of converting or augmenting an existing game to play one or more additional games.
Discussion of all games is welcome on rgva.collecting, as long as the discussion is related to collection (as defined above).
Postings relating to game play, game history, game features and game advocacy (the various merits of a game or games) should be directed to the parent group, rec.games.video. arcade (rgva), unless a clear link to collecting can be made.
Guidelines to posting to rgva.collectingrgva.collecting is a Usenet group, no different from any other. As such, most if not all of the usual guidelines for posting articles apply.
Remember that before posting to rgva.collecting you should already be familiar with the posting conventions and guidelines that are posted periodically to the newsgroup news. announce.newusers. If you cannot find these guidelines by reading the group, wait a while and a copy will be posted, or try asking fellow users or the system administrators at your site for a copy.
In addition, newcomers are strongly advised to read rgva.collecting for at least a few weeks before posting for the first time.
You are, of course, free to ignore all of this advice. You should, however, remember that your postings reflect upon yourself. If you choose to pursue collecting video games further, you will be dealing with people who read your postings, and first impressions can often be lasting.
Answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How can I get the list of moves for the game "latest&greatest"?
I was playing "punch&kick" last night and this happened, has anyone else ever seen it?
Does anyone know of an arcade which has the game "old&dated"?
My favourite arcade game is "classic". What is yours ? Please don't post these questions to rgva.collecting. These are "gameplay"-related questions; they belong in rec.games.video.arcade
I want to buy the game "myfavourite", what can I do?First, do some research before posting. You'll learn a lot in the process. The knowledge in this FAQ, for instance, came from doing the same kind of research.
Games can be bought from four main sources :
I want to sell a game by advertising on rgvac, are there any tips?Yes, buying and selling games on the net is discussed in details in section 3.2.
How much does a game cost?Brand-new games can cost $2500 and up. A typical old game will go for $100-$200 in decent condition, and old, broken games (which may be trivial to fix!) can go all the way down to $25.
Experienced collectors often find it cheaper to buy a game circuit board and adapt it into an existing cabinet, rather than buying the complete game. It's cheaper, and it also saves a lot of space. Most boards generally sell for between $5-$25 "as-is" in a bulk deal with an operator and $30-40 guaranteed from a fellow rgva.collector reader. See Section 3.6 for more details.
John Distant has a game I want, but lives far away. Can I ship it?Yes. Of course, but since a game weighs 200-300 lbs, it'll cost you.
Usually this translates into about $200-$250 to deliver the game to the shipping company's closest warehouse (relative to your home). Add extra bucks if you'd like it delivered to your doorstep. The seller will also have to "crate" the game before taking it to the shipper, which costs additional money, to say nothing of his time.
Expect to pay extra to ship very long distances, or to ship larger cabinets (i.e. 4 player or sit down cabinets). Shipping smaller cabinets (i.e. coctails) or shipping very short distances (next state) may end up slightly cheaper, but not much.
Still want to ship the game? Okay, but remember we warned you first. Finding one locally is a far better idea.
I have the game "earlygame" and someone just gave me the board for the game "latergame". Can I use this board somehow?
I want all these games, but I don't have room for this many cabinets! What can I do?This is generally referred to as "conversion", the process of taking a new game (usually just the circuit board) and installing it into the cabinet from an older game.
This is perhaps the most complex subject for video game collectors. Fortunately, there is a detailed FAQ dedicated to the topic; you will likely want to read this before you start brandishing your soldering iron. See Section 4 for more details.
I just bought a game, but there is no documentation, can someone send me some?Don't expect rgva.collecting readers to answer your post until you've checked the sources of information outlined below and in Section 5.
If the information you are looking for is not present in the archives, information on how to locate the manufacturer should be, and they are often willing to supply documentation for around $10-15 per game.
If that doesn't work, your local operator will often have filing cabinets full of documentation. Sometimes they will let you leave a deposit and borrow some. Develop a relationship with your local operator(s); it can really pay off when the game's manufacturer has gone out of business or discontinued support.
If you locate some documentation which was not in the archives, PLEASE take the time to type in some useful sections and make it available to the rest of us! (See Section 5.1 for details)
Where can I buy parts for my game?Call the operators listed in the "Amusement Devices" section of your Yellow Pages and find out who your local distributor is. They'll be able to help you (for a price). You can also try operators for spare parts -- if the game is old and they have spares, the price can often be quite a bit cheaper.
Failing this, see Section 5 for help in finding the addresses of parts suppliers.
Other FAQs available for this groupThe following additional FAQs are available. See Section 5 for information on where they can be found:
Further sources of informationIt's a good idea to exhaust these sources of information before you post a question. Readers are much more likely to answer a post when it is clear that the poster has already put in some effort themselves.
FTP archivesThe rgva.collecting anonymous FTP archive at http://www.stormaster.com/Spies/arcade/">stormaster.com is kindly provided by Stormaster and Damon Beals.
Additions/corrections to the archive are welcome, especially information about pinouts and switch settings.
(In the following transcript, "..." indicates lines deleted. You would see additional output if you were following the example yourself.) $ ftp stormaster.com Connected stormaster.com. 220 stormaster.COM FTP server (Version 6.11) ready. Name (stormaster.com:
World Wibe Web (WWW)To access a WWW server, you will need a WWW browser such as Lynx or Mosaic and a full Internet connection (e-mail only is not sufficient).
If you have questions regarding the WWW (what it is, how to use it etc) PLEASE do not post to rgva.collecting. Instead try asking your local site administrator, or subscribe to the USENET newsgroup comp.infosystems.www
The following WWW pages are currently available:
Most of the FAQ's from rgva.collecting in WWW hypertext format. (NOTE: these versions may not be as current as those available from the rgva.collecting ftp server stormaster.com).
Mail server archivesFor those without FTP access, or if you experience a problem with the FTP server at wiretap, there is an email interface kindly provided by Jonathan Deitch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The following subset of the FTP information is available from the mail server:
Keyword Equivalent information on stormaster.com ------- ------------------------------------------- pinouts info/pinoutinfo.lst addresses info/FAQ.addresses <pinout_name> boardPinouts/* <switch_name> switchSettings/*To request information from the mailserver, send an email message to: email@example.com
The "Subject:" line of your message MUST read
Mail-to: <your email address>To obtain the pinouts/switches for a particular game, first obtain the list of available pinouts by using "request pinouts". Then request the specific pinout or switch using the keyword as specified in the pinout list in place of <pinout_name> or <switch_name>.
$ mail firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Request <pinout_name> Mail-to: <your_username@your_site.subdomain.domain> EOT
Network information servicesMany network providers maintain online databases containing addresses and telephone numbers of various organizations. Querying these databases can be an easy way to find an address.
For the Internet, AT&T operates internic.net, the Internet Network Information Center. There is a telnet interface, allowing interactive queries. Most entries also list an email address.
As is the case with all databases, the information you get out is only as useful as the search criteria you provide.
(In the following transcript, "..." indicates lines deleted. You would see additional output if you were following the example yourself.) $ telnet internic.net Trying 188.8.131.52... Connected to internic.net. Escape character is '^]'. ... [
Some commonly used terms and acronyms
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