In 1978, Michael Thomasson
older brother rode their bicycles to a local Dairy Queen.
"I saw a huge, hulking box in the middle of the restaurant," recalls Thomasson
"It was a Space Invaders that ended up taking the quarters I had saved for my slushy."
Flash-forward to December 3, 2012.
Michael Thomasson, 43, has become a Digital Media Arts professor at Canisius College, a husband, a father, and, potentially, a Guinness World Record holder.
stands beside me in his
basement, adjusting the angle of his
camcorder, giddy and excited.
is about to prove, officially, that he
owns the largest private collection of videogames featuring non-repeating titles on the entire planet.
"When I purchased a copy of the 2011 Gamer's Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and saw the entry, I knew that I was close if not already over the standing record," says Thomasson
Prepared to show the world just what his
passion for gaming has amounted to, his
decades of collecting is about to receive wide recognition.
Going for the gold
Obtaining a Guinness World Record is a lengthy process.
first contacted Guinness
in April 2012, when he
was given permission to make an official count in October of that year.
With boxes, drawers, piles, and shelves of games already pre-counted and labeled by Thomasson
himself, the counters verify his
, with some concern, imagines "a possible scenario where Richard would also beef up his collection to try and retain the record.
Eventually in 1989, Thomasson
then-collection to buy a Sega Genesis.
From then on, he
purchased video games at a rate of roughly 1.25 titles per day.
once again sold many of them in 1998 to help pay for his
Titles in Thomasson's collection include demos for unreleased games and, in one case, a full game made for the Halcyon Interactive, a gaming system prototype that never made it to market.
possesses most of the major titles ever created, a game ironically titled Magical Chase remains elusive for him.
owns many favorites, including Nintendo GameCube's Resident Evil 4
, X-Box 360's Alan Wake, and Intellivision's Beauty & the Beast.
Making gaming history
On August 8, 2013, Thomasson
receives an official certificate from Guinness's
United Kingdom office.
Without ceremony or celebration, the professor has quietly achieved his
After writing and teaching classes on videogames for years, he has become a part of gaming history.
As the Guinness Book of World Records 2014, a popular Christmas present, finds its way into shelves across the country, Thomasson
now relates more fully to the entire Guinness enterprise.
Appearing in a special Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer's Edition, Thomasson's name will now be read by thousands, many envious of his
The new record holder, however, is already looking forward to future endeavors.
"I hope to continue building my brand," he
He has recently received an endorsement agreement with Collectorz.com's game collector software.
also dreams of publication in Retro Gamer and Game Informer magazines