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Thread: AFA to start grading Videogames?!

  1. #1
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    Default AFA to start grading Videogames?!

    Straight from their January newsletter:
    _________________________
    January News

    The following are some of the new services and guarantees which will go into effect beginning February 1, 2008


    * Launch of our new VGA (Video Game Authority) Division to grade sealed video games!
    __________________________

    Isn't this kind of pointless? Grading SEALED video games?? Yeah how about a Playstation 2 Rez graded... What can happen to these games if they're sealed?? I could kind of see a graded loose cart/disc (condition of the sticker/disc, plastic case, working/non-working, inserts, booklets...).. but sealed games? wow...

    What do you think?

    I think there's no market there... except maybe for some NES cardboard based box games...

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    Peach (Level 3) xfrumx's Avatar
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    This is crap. It will drive prices down for sealed unless its graded. Just like baseball cards a real nice graded card can get much more than a better condition ungraded one. CRAP!

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) jferio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xfrumx View Post
    This is crap. It will drive prices down for sealed unless its graded. Just like baseball cards a real nice graded card can get much more than a better condition ungraded one. CRAP!
    Well, that's only because you have a known quantity doing the rating, taking away the subjective 'guess', especially in an auction where you don't get to examine the piece in question.

    Tat said, it is kinda crap, but that's what happens when you get a seller saying it's one grade, and it turns out that it was another, even if it wasn't an intentional lie.
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    Pac-Man (Level 10) FantasiaWHT's Avatar
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    Oh man, I wonder where that one guy went who was all gonzo about grading games.

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    Late to the party DigitalSpace's Avatar
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    Meh.

    Grading food is where it's at.

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    Kirby (Level 13) cyberfluxor's Avatar
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    We've seen these things before including an insane member last year. More than likely this will not be accepted by the classic and retro collectors on sites such as this one but for those that just use auction websites to find their games, they *might* demand this to ensure they're buying a quality product. However, due to the gaming community being primarily composed of gamers a sealed grading organization will fail or be accepted by few.

    *might* is very loose because it's highly questionable. Comics and Video Games do fall into similar crouds but are on different spectrums of entertainment mediums. How many Comic Stops are opening?
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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    I don't really like the idea for one reason. The only result will be a sharp increase in price gouging on Ebay. It's bad enough you have every other video game auction with the word "RARE!" posted everywhere. All this will do is drive people to put "GRADE A!" everywhere too.

    Let's face it. Most people are smart enough to tell if a game is beaten up or in good enough condition and will negotiate based on that if they really care. A formal grading system will, like baseball cards, cause the value of ungraded games (regardless of quality) to drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xfrumx View Post
    This is crap. It will drive prices down for sealed unless its graded. Just like baseball cards a real nice graded card can get much more than a better condition ungraded one. CRAP!
    Yes but I can understand "professional" 3rd party grading on fragile collectibles with cardboard (like cards, or MOC action figures)... but on sealed videogames? What's the point? Like I said, except for the few oddball NES/SNES games which came in a cardboard box, what's there to grade to begin with? A plastic DVD case? A Sega shockbox (hell, did they even sold those sealed to begin with?)?

    They would get way more business just by selling nice plexy case to put in our collectible piece... case which can be opened... the whole "grading/sealed" part of their business is pointless in this hobby, or will cater to such a few people in this already quite niche market...

    I actually liked AFA when they were doing MOC grading... when they came up with their AFA loose grading I thought they were heading down the drain... and now this...

    The company totally lost my respect now... I don't even see a MOC AFA graded figure as something seriously graded anymore because of all this...

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    ServBot (Level 11) TheDomesticInstitution's Avatar
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    That mad genius Neogamer has to be behind this. Anyone know how I can get ahold of him- so that I can swear him my soul and bask in his almighty glow? "Soul" and "glow" kinda rhyme. Bitchin'.

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    This was a long time coming, people have been talking about this for years.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    simple solution. no one use it, and don't pay more to people who do.

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    As a person who proved the "seal" on a game no matter how well it looks doesn't mean squat, it'll fail quite miserably. Even a decently scratched box (like a PSX longbox) will look fine underneath the shrink.

    Bad, bad idea.

  13. #13
    Bell (Level 8)
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    I think sealed game grading is pretty useless, but if this is in anyway successful, I can see them starting to grade completes/cart only's etc, and that may actually catch on.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) kataboom's Avatar
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    i dont think its that bad of an idea. some collectors are pretty serious & would take it pretty far by having a 3rd party grading service grade their stuff. not for me though.

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    This is exactly what I posted about in the other thread (http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=110955). Very slippery slope. In baseball cards, I thought the idea was horrible. Levels of a mint card? That makes no sense at all. Again, this is not like you're judging the quality of a painting or sculpture, or the condition of an antique. They were grading the "mintness" of cards which were produced within the last 5 years. Got totally out of control, to where graded cards were given high high values and ungraded were worth less than before. The entire baseball card industry should have been investigated for insider trading, racketeering and corruption, stemming directly from card pricing experts like Dr. James Beckett. The industry was flooded by wannabe Wall Street speculators, who is this arena, could set the prices and how they changed.....themselves! The market was a facade.

    Thankfully video game companies make games to sell them, and do not do limited editions (not many) or the like. In that way, collecting games is very akin to collecting classic cars. Although classic cars are graded on the original quality, but mostly on the hand-crafted restoration of the old ones. I am all for the grading of Human craftmanship and artisanship, but not the assembly line. What are they going to grade? No scratches, dents, faded colors or crushed corners, fine. Quality of the cellophane? Give me a break.

    I don't collect sealed anything, I want to play the games. But for those who do, or regardless, if these groups start grading and/or setting prices for old games, that is the beginning of the end of this hobby. I've seen it happen to sports cards first hand. You can't trust these firms, because
    they'll be playing games with prices so they can make money themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suckerpunch5 View Post
    simple solution. no one use it, and don't pay more to people who do.
    It's not quite that easy to control the market...but yes, this will only succeed if there's enough interest in the hobby to support it (which I'm not sure there is).

    If they're planning on grading and/or authenticating factory sealed games, I don't think it will take them very long to grade a few reseals as authentic and shoot their reputation to hell.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtualogik View Post
    Yes but I can understand "professional" 3rd party grading on fragile collectibles with cardboard (like cards, or MOC action figures)... but on sealed videogames? What's the point? Like I said, except for the few oddball NES/SNES games which came in a cardboard box, what's there to grade to begin with? A plastic DVD case? A Sega shockbox (hell, did they even sold those sealed to begin with?)?

    yeah - basically all they are grading is some plastic wrap. lame.

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    Won't acknowledge it or grade any of my collection.

    Stupid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    This is exactly what I posted about in the other thread (http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=110955). Very slippery slope. In baseball cards, I thought the idea was horrible. Levels of a mint card? That makes no sense at all. Again, this is not like you're judging the quality of a painting or sculpture, or the condition of an antique. They were grading the "mintness" of cards which were produced within the last 5 years. Got totally out of control, to where graded cards were given high high values and ungraded were worth less than before. The entire baseball card industry should have been investigated for insider trading, racketeering and corruption, stemming directly from card pricing experts like Dr. James Beckett. The industry was flooded by wannabe Wall Street speculators, who is this arena, could set the prices and how they changed.....themselves! The market was a facade.
    And look what happened to the baseball card market as a result! Whenever you try to turn a collectible into a commodity (cards, comics) that can be bought and sold, sight unseen, based on their grading, a crash is waiting to happen.

    Anyway, I think this game grading thing will be the beginning of the end of people who "invest" in collecting. eBay scalpers will see this as a way to cash in even further on the games they hawk. They'll invest a ton of money into getting their games graded. When the games end up selling for less than the price it costs to have them graded (remember, the service ain't free), maybe they'll think twice about picking up games strictly to resell.

    At any rate, as someone who doesn't live or die (or care) about the value of my collection, I can't wait to see how this impacts our hobby. Good or bad, it's sure to be interesting.

  20. #20
    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PingvinBlueJeans View Post
    It's not quite that easy to control the market...but yes, this will only succeed if there's enough interest in the hobby to support it (which I'm not sure there is).

    If they're planning on grading and/or authenticating factory sealed games, I don't think it will take them very long to grade a few reseals as authentic and shoot their reputation to hell.
    That actually is a very good point. Video games differ from baseball cards in one special way. Video games are first and foremost meant to be played. They serve an actual function that most people want to take advantage of. Because of that, the market for the uber quality sealed games will be smaller. And if enough people aren't willing to pay $150 for a mint mint mint grade A+ sealed copy of Super Mario 64 then the prices won't be able to sustain themselves.

    But people must take heed: Remember what happened to Marvel comics (and the comic industry as a whole during the 90s). People started paying attention to how Amazing Fantasy #15 and Action Comics #1 were selling for thousands and every Tom, Dick, and Harry became half-assed speculators. Comic sales went up...a lot. People were buying variant covers and all that crap. So production runs were steadily increasing. All of a sudden people realized how stupid they were being and how little money they'd actually make in the long run and so stopped buying. Now comic publishers were printing a crazy amount of books that nobody was buying and Marvel almost went bankrupt.

    Imagine what would happen if tomorrow a good lot of the gaming community went out and started buying up every Atlus title they could find. Atlus would be thrilled...and would print mountains of copies...until everyone realizes how little these games will be worth and Atlus ends up sitting on piles of merchandise they can't sell.
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  21. #21
    Cherry (Level 1) dlopez9069's Avatar
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    It's a bad idea. The only graded sealed games I think will be bought is by the collectors who need those few more for a comjplete sealed collection. Other then that it will won't work.

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    The thing I hate about grading, such as sports cards, is the guidelines are way out of wack. They make it so impossible for cards to get 9's or 10's. For instance I have a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card that is graded 8. The card is PERFECT. I see no flaws at all. It's worth only about $25 now. If it were graded 10, it would be worth $100. Even though the cards look no different in quality to most anybody except someone with a microscope. So stupid...

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    Well...when (not if) that grading moves to complete copies, and then to loose carts, discs, boxes, and manuals...that'll most likely be the darkest day in video game collecting history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevincal View Post
    The thing I hate about grading, such as sports cards, is the guidelines are way out of wack. They make it so impossible for cards to get 9's or 10's. For instance I have a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card that is graded 8. The card is PERFECT. I see no flaws at all. It's worth only about $25 now. If it were graded 10, it would be worth $100. Even though the cards look no different in quality to most anybody except someone with a microscope. So stupid...
    It's not stupid at all. There's a whole subset of collectors in Numinastics devoted to this phenomena.

    1. Buyer sees a coin in a shop graded MS65. Buyer suspects it could be graded higher.
    2. Buyer buys the coin, breaks the slab open, and resubmits it for grading.
    3. Coin comes back (hopefully) with a higher rating. Instant profit.

    Of course, plenty of people try to do this and very few actually have the skill and patience to make money doing it. Entire books have been written on the subject.

    Bottom line: if you like baseball cards, why do you care that your card isn't a 10? If you bought it and had it graded as an investment, you can always break the slab and resubmit it.

  25. #25
    Pac-Man (Level 10) FantasiaWHT's Avatar
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    IF it would result in higher prices for graded items and lower for ungraded, I see that as a good thing.

    1- Gamers will be able to get playable copies cheaper.
    2- Those interested in improving the value of their games can do so.
    3- Collectors may have to work harder, but theoretically should be able to find mint and ungraded games cheaper than they were previously.

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