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Interview with Jay Hatfield From The Game Chasers

Jay Hatfield from The Game Chasers Sits Down for A One-On-One

 

If you managed to find yourself lost on YouTube while searching for retro video game reviews, you’ve probably came across a show titled “The Game Chasers”.  Jay Hatfield and Billy Hudson have been chasing games on their YouTube channel since 2010, discovering extremely rare games while digging through flea markets and garage sales around the country.  Being around for close to  7 years has given them the chance to build a strong bond with not just each other, but other YouTubers who also share in their retro video game interests.  With a few different sub-channels now under their belt, you can imagine that these guys are really busy. So, we were overly excited when Jay (Billy couldn’t make this convention) agreed to sit down and talk to us during the 2017 Too Many Games convention in Oaks, Pennsylvania. Crack open a cold one with us as we discuss game chasing, the future of their channel, and of course…farts.

 

HPP: Can you tell the readers about yourselves and how you and Billy met?

 

Jay: So, we are The Game Chasers.  You can find us on YouTube.  Literally just do a search for The Game Chasers.  Basically what we do is, we go around the country to game stores, conventions, flea markets, thrift stores, things like that, and we look for retro video games.  We were heavily inspired by American Pickers.  It’s definitely that kind of show.  The only difference between us and them is we look for video games instead of random junk and we don’t resell anything.  We keep everything that we find.

 

HPP: All of it?

 

Jay: All of it!

 

HPP: You guys get a lot!

 

Jay: 100%. If we come across doubles, things like that.  We typically don’t buy them.  If we do, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy everything that’s there.  20-30 games, whatever. We use that to trade off and get other stuff that we need.  

 

HPP:  We’ve noticed you guys are getting a lot more into collecting displays, like store displays.  We saw the KB Toy store episode, and a few others that you’ve picked up.

 

Jay:  The KB Toy thing, that was just random happenstance, honestly.  We just randomly ran across it.  The mall was actually the mall I would go to in high school.  I would remember going into that KB Toy Store when I was younger.  That mall closed down, and someone bought it and tried to re-open it as an indoor bazaar/flea market kind of thing, and they reused shelving and other things that stores had left behind.  KB’s Nintendo 64 cabinet just happened to be some of the stuff that they were reusing.  Chance was all it was.

 

HPP:  Who tends to be the more mature person of the group?

 

Jay: (laughs)

 

HPP:  Who’s the one who reels it in when things start to get out of hand.

 

Jay: Um, I would probably say me.

 

HPP:  We figured that. (laughs)

 

Jay:  When we go out of town it’s usually, “You’re (points at himself) in charge, and if something goes wrong it’s your fault”.  I’m like, if you’re putting me in charge that we have problems, but yeah, usually it’s me.

 

HPP:  This question may be a little bit tougher to answer.  It seems that finding the diamond in the rough is getting tougher now that there are so many game seekers out there.  Your show has evolved from game chasing into more of a camaraderie, or group of friends hanging out and hitting up shops, road-trip kinda show.  How has that transition been, and do you see it somehow getting back just into game chasing, or is it going to continue with building relationships?

 

Jay: It’s just natural progression I think, you know.  Doing what we do and meeting the people that we’ve met, we’ve actually become friends with them.  Like 8-Bit Eric, Wood from BeatEmUps, AlphaOmegaSin, and Norm the Gaming Historian; these guys come out to Texas a couple times a year and they’ll be there for weeks at a time. So, if we go out filming and they’re with us, it’s just going to be a good time. We can only put up what happens, basically.  If games aren’t found, trust me, we’d like to find the, like you said, diamonds in the rough every episode, but it’s just not realistic and it doesn’t happen.  We get a lot of people telling us, especially guys, are like, “My wife hates video games but likes watching you guys because you’re funny”, and this and that.  If games are (still) found, I know the last two episodes, the last episode especially that came out a few days ago.

 

HPP:  Last one (episode) we saw was the one where you guys were going house to house, which seemed to be a really good idea.

 

Jay: There was actually an episode after that, and I haven’t seen it yet, but we find a lot of games. There’s a lot of games in that.  But again, if we find it, it’s on camera.  If we don’t, it’s on camera.  Nothing is scripted, nothing is planted, nothing is faked.  It is what it is, and everything you see is what happens.  There’s actually a lot of misses.  A lot of times where we find nothing.  There’s days and weeks where we go out and find nothing.

 

HPP:  Like you guys always say. That’s the way game chasing goes, right?

 

Jay: Exactly.

 

HPP:  Who would you say is the more competitive of the two of you?

 

Jay: It’s equal.

 

HPP:  It is?  Even while gaming, not just hunting?

 

Jay: Everything.  It doesn’t matter what it is. Sports, we play softball.

 

HPP:  We did just watch the softball game episode.

 

Jay: We’ve been playing softball together for years, and it’s like, if I hit a homerun, he (Billy) will come into the dugout and be like, “alright…”, (laughs) and vice versa.  So, in just life in general.  I think that’s normal, especially for dudes to be competitive, but you know, when it comes to video games and were playing a game, it’s equal.  We used to play Madden a lot.  I mean a lot.  Back in the early 2000’s, and we knew each other so well, like, we’d play a 100 games and it would literally be 50/50.  So yeah, I don’t know.  We’re both (competitive).  There’s not one that’s more.  It’s both of us.  I’m probably louder about it, honestly.

 

HPP:  We can see that.  Even on the show. (laughs)

 

Jay: (laughs) He definitely matches me with the competitiveness.  

 

HPP:  Ok, here’s kind of an off topic question that has nothing to do with game chasing.  Worst gas?  You guys are always busting ass in the car.  Rolling down the windows and hanging heads out, and all that stuff.

 

Jay:  (Exhales).  So, first of all, when you say “you guys”, it’s “them guys”.

 

HPP:  Oh, it’s not you? (laughs)

 

Jay:  I don’t really…I mean everybody farts.  Let’s be honest.  But, I don’t do it like they do.  I burp a lot, and I burp as much as they fart.  So, I guess it depends on what we ate that day.  Maybe my burp may be worse than their farts at times, but if we’re talking everybody.  Billy, he takes a lot of supplements and protein and shit like that, so protein farts are…

 

HPP: Death

 

Jay: Yeah.  So worst fart is definitely him.  And he…I swear to god, one time we’re on a roadtrip, and he farted.  20 minutes later, he farted again.  So then I started watching the clock, and it was every 20 minutes, and then it was every 15 minutes.  It was almost like he did it at will, ok. He literally got down to every 7 minutes.  Every 7 minutes there was gas escaping from his ass.  I was like, dude, this is like…I’m going to drop you off.  I quit.  So, Billy, for sure; worst gas.  

 

HPP: That’s good to know, I guess.  Sorry, I had to ask it, man.  Enquiring minds want to know. (laughs)

 

Jay:  It’s fine.  We put it on camera, so.

 

HPP:  Ok, final question and then’ll we’ll let you get back to the convention.  Any future plans for The Game Chasers that you would like to let us in on?  We know you guys now have The Toy Chasers, but are you guys maybe thinking of doing another (different) show?

 

Jay:  We started a…I don’t know if this even falls into that geek culture category, but we started a show called Chasing The Unknown, and it’s about paranormal stuff.  Cryptozoology kind of stuff, Bigfoot.  Our first episode was Roswell.  Of course you gotta film Roswell.  We have been filming recently, a couple of things to get ready for the next show.  Me and Melvor went to Norway about a month ago and we found a local legend thing out there that we filmed and hopefully we’ll be able to use it.  There is something, I don’t want to say a whole lot. But that and more game and toy chasing stuff.  It’s difficult because not everybody, this ain’t their job.  So, we’re just going to keep truckin’ so to speak and keep filming content.

 

HPP:  OK, awesome.  So we have The Game Chasers, The Ghost Chasers, and the Toy Chasers.

 

Jay:  I mean, kinda, yeah.  The paranormal stuff is something we’ve always been into.  We’re always talking about it.  There is a show called Coast to Coast, and we listen to that on road trips and that kind of stuff.  

 

HPP:  We listen to that. There is some crazy stuff that people call into that show.  

 

Jay:  For sure.  What we do, like I said, nothing is faked and nothing is scripted.  I can’t stand watching these ghost hunting shows where they’re saying, “Did you hear that?  What was that noise?”.  No, we’re not going to do that.  If something happens, then something happens.  Even with the Roswell thing.  We didn’t find an alien.  We didn’t find bodies.  We didn’t find ship wreckage or anything like that.  It was – What can we maybe stumble across that someone else may not have?  This thing we’ve been filming recently, I don’t want to say what it is, but we kind of did some things and we have almost an expert on the subject who has been with us on this journey…I’ll say it…it’s called The Goatman.  We were doing things and talked about things and he was like, “You know what, no one has ever done this kind of thing”.  We did this experiment. This thing apparently flung a tire a couple hundred feet and we were like, OK let’s see if we can reproduce it.  Obviously, it’s not supposed to be human. It’s a creature.  But, what could a human do.  So he was like, “I don’t know if anyone has ever done this”. We think outside the box and I think it shows on camera.

 

HPP:  Awesome!  I know you’re busy with the convention, but thanks for your time.  We really appreciate it!

 

I wanted to end this with one of my favorite episodes of The Game Chasers. These guys are full of heart, and it’s episodes like this that let you really get to know them.

 

 

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Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.

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