Engineer enters Guinness World Records with vintage gaming system collection
Linda Guillory an electrical engineer from Richardson, Texas, is the owner of a massive video game console collection that has earned her two record titles.
The largest collection of LCD gaming systems, 1,599, and the largest collection of playable gaming systems, 2,430.
Linda’s collection spans a number of brands and decades. Her first-ever system, a Red Conic basketball game, was collected at the age of 8.
A few of Linda’s favourite games in her collection include the Coleco Pacman, Tandy Cosmic 200 Fire Away, Actronics Grandprix Turbo, Epoch Galaxy II, Soopa Doopa by Toytronic.
Sadly, she lost this along with some other consoles in a family house fire a few years later.
Decades later in 2003, Linda’s passion for game collections was unexpectedly reignited after having a chat with her brother who was visiting her on vacation.
“We were up late one night talking trash about who had been the best player for various games we had as kids. Then he asked, ‘whatever happened to your tabletop Pacman?’ The next thing you know I was on eBay looking for the Coleco Tabletop Pacman.”
“I wanted to see if I still could beat my high score. As I searched, I saw dozens of games I always wanted as a child but never had. I thought I would be satisfied buying two or three. Then it seemed silly not to have the whole series.”
Eventually, this method of thinking required her to get curio cabinets to start storing her new games. Noticing how some of the shelves still had more room, she decided to buy enough to fill all the shelves in the display.
One excuse after another led Linda to purchase a second curio cabinet which she promptly filled with more games, and before she knew it, her collection was born.
“It took years before I considered myself a collector, I thought I was picking up a few systems that brought back memories.
“Initially I only purchased broken games to see if I could fix them. Taking them apart and working on them was just a fun pastime.”
Now, after 20 years, she has two wonderful record-breaking collections to boast about- but she’s still eager to find more gaming systems.
Linda has travelled the world looking for unique systems to add to her collection. She even took several memorable trips to Japan in search of vintage game sellers.
“The ability to buy in Japan was huge. I cannot count the number of cities I visited. If there was a rumour of a game store selling vintage gaming systems, I made it my business to find it. I was fearless in my search. Thoughts of being lost and searching the back streets of Akihabara in Japan still brings a smile to my face.”
Linda credits her late husband as her biggest supporter in expanding her collection. He was the first person she shared her new status as a record-breaker with, shortly before his passing in May. Her ambition and hard work are officially recognized in the upcoming Guinness World Records 2022.
“Words cannot describe the feelings of accomplishment and joy. To achieve a world record for something you are passionate about makes everything just a bit better, and the world feels a little bit brighter. The satisfaction of knowing you have reached a lifelong dream is truly amazing.”
In the future, the gaming collector and engineer hopes to combine her favourite pastimes to design electronic gaming kits for kids, so they can build a gaming system from scratch in an electronics workshop or at home.
She also wants to use vintage gaming systems as a method to teach children about electronics and one day work with a museum to preserve her collection as part of an exhibit.