The retro gaming industry continues to explode.

CNN reported on the secondary market for vintage games, and the dusty, old cartridges sitting in your mom’s attic are increasing in value — sometimes by twice of what they were valued at years ago. Even The Legend of Zelda, a ‘common game’ that sold for a respectable $12 a few years ago, can now fetch a dealer $25. Rarer games and systems can sell for thousands. One such dealer, Giulio Graziani, discussed the changing times.

Graziani, 50, has been in business since 2003, but says the market only recently began to spike. “Five years ago, I could drive through Texas and stop in little towns and buy everything,” he says. “Now they’re selling games out there for more than I do!”

One might think that online stores, such as the Virtual Console, would drive prices down for these games, due to supply-and-demand. But so far, it doesn’t seem to have had an effect upon demand. Perhaps there’s something to be said for permanent, tactile ownership. And when even the most popular classic games aren’t available through the official outlets, the alternatives must feel tempting.

Image Credit: VentureBeat

Kevin is an AP English Language teacher and freelance writer from Queens, NY. His focus is on video games, American pop culture, and Asian American issues. Kevin has also been published in VIBE, Complex, Joystiq, Salon, PopMatters, WhatCulture, and Racialicious. You can email him at kevinjameswong@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @kevinjameswong.