Like a real-life Tomb Raider run sans picturesque vistas from an ancient civilization, a pair of YouTuber game hunters found themselves in an extremely messy room that had been locked for close to 20 years. But amid the filth, they found a treasure trove of factory-sealed video games, including mainstream hits like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, cult classics like Drakengard for PS2, and just plain weird stuff like a limited edition Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller.
Aimee and Korbin, who prefer not to share their last names, are the full-time reselling duo behind the YouTube channel Cheap Finds Gold Mines, and usually make their finds through Goodwills and yard sales. But after a viewer tipped them off about a house that was “kind of nasty,” the pair found themselves scouring a very gross environment like Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and finding all sorts of video games, collectibles, and Blockbuster-branded VHS tapes. They’ve made three videos about the experience so far.
Their second video, embedded above, is not for the faint of heart. The house for all intents and purposes has no walkable space, as any trace of it is littered with ceiling debris and cardboard boxes warped by time and infested with cockroaches. The pair are not pickers by trade, and admit they were ill prepared for their search when they arrived at the house sans gloves and wearing shorts and casual shoes.
“Once we got there and we saw the quality of stuff, I was not gonna go home and change,” Korbin says.
There were other games scattered about the house among the cockroaches and ceiling decay but the pair were mostly only interested in factory-sealed finds, so they passed on probably hundreds of already-opened games. They did make exceptions for gems like PS1 Tomba, but also, weirdly, the bad PlayStation 3 port of Bayonetta. In any case, Aimee notes that she can deal with a “little bit of mouse poo” to acquire some good games.
During their spelunking Aimee was bitten by a brown recluse spider, and Korbin was pretty sure he got scabies on his leg. But the pair more than made up for their trouble in unearthing tons of PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and Nintendo GameCube games (shout out to F-Zero GX), as well as stacks of Game Informer magazines.
The duo told Kotaku that the total value of the newly unearthed gaming collection was around $100,000, which Cheap Finds Gold Mines took home $20k of after splitting the finds with eight other resellers.
At the end of the second video a woman named Stephanie provides context about the house and why it had so many video games in it. The property belonged to her uncle and had been the family house since 1965. When the uncle fell ill in 2019, she helped him move out.
“We’ve been clearing out my uncle’s house for the past few days,” Stephanie says. “We’re just trying to get all of his goodies out there...Hopefully (we) got some good people some good stuff.”
Korbin told Kotaku that the house and everything in it were going to be demolished, with all of its contents going to the dump. In the third video, Aimee notes that the former homeowner experienced trauma after losing someone close to him, and ended up collecting anything that was of value to his heart, which turned out to be video games.
Although Cheap Finds Gold Mines were able to turn their gnarly exploration into some profit, Aimee suggests viewers should appreciate their find not just for its economic value, but also for how much the game collection apparently meant to the homeowner.
“We’re saving these video games, we’re saving a piece of history, and we’re saving a piece of this guy’s heart.” And also turning a profit, being bitten by poisonous spiders, and acquiring scabies. Life’s weird that way.