In Gage We Trust

Its our Rule #2…

About a year or so ago, I met a man. He was tall and burly. He laughed a lot, had a huge red beard, and tried to sell me video games. He was different than I was in almost every way, vegan, didn’t like to swear, he bad mouthed Grubhub. In fact, the only thing we seemed to have in common was our love of video games. And even though we were very different, me and this man clicked. He didn’t judge me because I ate meat, or used the word “Fuck” like it was the only verb in my vocabulary. He didn’t try to change my mind on how convenient I thought Gruhub was although he found it extremely lazy. This man only cared about one thing, that when I tuned in, I was having fun. It was one of his rules. You see, the thing is, although I met this man, till this day, I’ve actually never really met this man. We’ve had hundreds of conversations and have seen each other hundreds of times, but only ever on Instagram. Kevin Gage, also known as YOUNGGAMES916 on Instagram, is a salesman. A social media retailer. A digital hustler. Every week on his instagram (usually on a Sunday night) he can be found having a “Live Claimsale”. He spends his week bartering and negotiating prices in the streets of Sacramento for video games, hunting from houses to pawnshops, so he can bring his followers the best deals he possibly can.

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When I first attended one of Kevins “Live Claimsales” there was maybe a handful of people watching, about 10 or 12. In fact a lot of those people one year later who like me would attend week after week, are no longer around or even on instagram. But the one constant was Kevin. regardless if there was 5 viewers or 20, Younggames916 sold his video games as if he was in front of an audience of a thousand. He would start week after week at the same time as if it were a television show and then before each sale, give you his rules. Now here’s where his magic kicks in, the basis of what will forever be his legacy in the retrogaming community. Youngs Rules. Rule number 1 is: Have Fun. That basically means, while you’re in the chat of his Instagram, be polite, be kind, and treat each other with respect. He wants everyone who attends, even if they aren’t buying anything, to have a good time. He understands that for a lot of the people who do watch him, this is their social life, and he wants them to feel safe and included. I’m going to skip rule number 2 for now because it means a lot. To everyone. It’s literally what holds this now HUGE community of video gamers together, so it deserves to be spoken about in depth. Rule number 3 is: Wait for the price before claiming an item. That rule has been broken so much (by myself included) that it’s just a formality at this point. I mean if you break it you can be reprimanded by the people in the chat, but it’s bound to happen, especially if it’s something you really want. Everyone has the word “Claim” already typed and fingers do slip.

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So now back to this “Rule Number 2”. It is used in EVERY claim sale I have ever attended. RetroConnection’s (a sometimes partner of Younggames when they do duel sales), Thriftalicious, Zodi123, and a basically everyone else, all implement Rule Number 2. Rule Number 2 is: Give Back. Imagine a stranger, someone you have never met and only know by their weird Instagram name, putting money towards or just outright buying you a game purely out of the goodness of their heart. They expect nothing in return and only wish that when you can and are able to, you pay it forward. That is Rule Number 2. Someone in the chat goes “I had that, it meant a lot to me. I wish I could afford that right now..” Then randomly some stranger types “Claim Pokemon! Send to Such and Such!” You can’t see the person who was just gifted the game, but you know that they’re smiling. You know you’ve made someones day. And at the next claim sale, that person whose day was made will remember that feeling, and make someone elses. Thats Younggames gift to the community. a rule of giving that is never ending. The other night I attended a sale that wasn’t Kevin’s and I was gifted a game. It was really expensive but 9 random strangers got together and pooled their money so I could have it. The first thing I did after freaking out was text Kevin. I said because of your rule number 2 I just got the best gift I’ve had in a long time. He simply replied “Its OUR rule number 2…” This is who Kevin Gage is. This is who Younggames916 is. I don’t know where the instagram gaming community would be without him. He is a man I have never met and yet, he has given me and everyone else in the community literally the best rule we’ve ever followed.

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