Avid video game enthusiast Antonio Romero Monteiro has taken his videogame collection to another level.
The 45-year-old gamer from Richmond, Texas, USA, isn’t just smashing horrifyingly difficult videogame rounds, but records as well.
On 19 December 2021, he wowed the world when he was recognised for multiple record titles which could only be described as every gamer’s dream:
- Largest collection of Xbox items
- Largest collection of Sega items
- Largest collection of Nintendo items
- Largest collection of PlayStation items
- Largest collection of videogames overall
Antonio’s impressive videogame collection, which tallies up to a mind-blowing 24,268 games, has an estimated worth of about 2.1 million dollars and is the largest in the world.
From the very first Nintendo gaming consoles to recent videogame releases and everything in between, Antonio has almost every videogame item you've ever heard of.
Antonio first began building his monumental collection in the year 1987 at the age of 10, starting off with games from his own personal collection.
Although his Sega Genesis collection was the first to claim a spot in Antonio's assortment of videogames, he gradually transitioned into collecting games and accessories for a variety of other consoles.
"Originally my collection focused on purchasing and repurchasing some of the games I played in my youth," said Antonio.
"Slowly it expanded to include games I always wanted to play, but hadn’t had the opportunity to, and eventually expanded to completing collections for individual systems."
It wasn’t just the entertainment factor that pushed Antonio to amass such a remarkable collection, but the personal nature behind his games instead.
"I see videogames as a form of art, where creativity and storytelling transcend to limitless possibilities. Each generation of videogames systems gives further potential to realize creativity and share boundless stories, challenges and experiences," said Antonio.
"Some of my most precious memories include videogames and their experiences with family and friends."
In fact, some of Antonio’s best recollections include his favourite Super Nintendo game - Super Castlevania IV.
"Super Castlevania IV is a classic action game with a great soundtrack and art background, combined with great game mechanics."
"I have some very fond childhood memories playing Castlevania," Antonio continued.
You may be wondering how Antonio has managed to maintain order in his ever-growing world of videogame chaos.
Using a dual inventory system, he has been able to keep track of and manage his entire collection.
One of the inventory systems is an app which catalogues every single game in his possession.
The other system is a custom database which Antonio created to reconcile the games he owns versus the games he’s still missing to complete his collections.
Antonio has also managed to build an organizational structure for arranging and displaying his games.
"I have organized all the games in my collection by system and alphabetically," said Antonio.
"I have tried to further group the collections of each system by manufacturer as well, but my collection has grown so much that space has become a premium, and at times it has become a real-life game of Tetris."
Antonio says seeing the awestruck expressions of those who walk into his collection room is priceless, adding that it’s great to see people reminisce and share some of their most loved gaming memories and experiences.
Figuring out where to store such a vast collection isn’t the only tricky part to owning an array of videogames.
In order to retain the ability to play many of the dated games, Antonio has also had to come up with preservation methods, or risk having years of videogame history erode into thin air.
"Climate control is a must for preservation of games," said Antonio.
"I have a dedicated air-conditioning unit just for my collection room. In addition, I preserve the majority of the older games with paper boxes in a special PVC enclosure to protect the paper boxes."
Surprisingly, it hasn’t been arranging his collection which has proved to be Antonio’s biggest hurdle.
He credits the internet for making it possible to locate videogames which would otherwise be nearly impossible to find.
"It can be pretty challenging to find retro games and systems in local videogame stores, especially as you get to the last 15 percent of a collection," admitted Antonio.
"Some of the rarest games have taken me years to find a good copy at an affordable price."
In fact, this very problem is what has delayed Antonio in completing one of his beloved collections.
"I am currently working on completing my Nintendo DS collection and am down to the last 98 games out of over 1,500 games in this collection," he said.
"There are two games in this collection that have been pretty hard to acquire at an affordable price, but persistence and patience is a must for any collector!"
Antonio recalls jumping for joy during a work meeting when he was first notified that he was being recognised for his record-breaking achievements.
"I do remember as a child, Guinness World Records was one of the most popular books in the school library," he said.
"It was considered a victory if you were able to check it out."
Antonio also says that the news of his newfound record titles certainly surprised many of his friends and family members, who were not aware of his gaming hobby.
While Antonio doesn’t currently have plans to try and break any additional record titles, there is one particular goal that he has his sights set on.
"My current target is to achieve a complete North America collection for all major videogame platforms."
"My estimate is that I am about 1,700 games away from achieving this goal. I am in no rush to achieve this goal however, and plan to enjoy the journey," Antonio continued.
Antonio also offers a bit of a walkthrough for those individuals hoping to someday break a record.
"As cliché as it may sound, follow your dreams," he said.
"If you set goals and slowly work towards them, you will be surprised at where you will find yourself with time."