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The most expensive video game ever sold goes for record $1.56 million

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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A mock Nintendo 64 console, controller, and game cartridge
© H.M Abstracts/stock.adobe.com

Last week, an unopened copy of The Legend of Zelda became the most expensive video game ever sold when it was auctioned for $870,000. The record lasted for barely two days, however, before a mint-condition copy of Super Mario 64 nearly doubled that price when it went for $1.56 million at an auction in Dallas, Texas.

But while that may seem like an obscene amount of money to spend on a game—and it is—its value is determined more by what the game represents than what most people would deem it to be worth. As Heritage Auctions, the group that facilitated the sale, noted, “The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount.” 

You see, Super Mario 64 was one of the best-selling games of all time because it was the first to transport the beloved character from his 2D roots to a 3D, open-world concept that allowed players to feel more immersed in the experience. As such, it holds a unique place in the hearts of many young adults for whom the game represents an important part of their childhood—important enough for someone to spend a small fortune to place it on shelf as a memento. 

Don’t stay on the shelf

When I first read about the sale, I couldn’t shake this feeling of bewilderment that someone would spend that much money on a video game, much less one that they had no intention of playing. After all, if you just wanted to relive the experience, you can get one for less than twenty-five dollars online. The only reason you pay an exorbitant price is to display it for all to see. 

Far too often, however, we act like that’s how God values us as well. The reality could not be more different. 

God paid far too high a price for us to leave us sitting on a shelf. We were bought for a purpose (1 Corinthians 6:20), and that purpose will only be fulfilled when we get out among the lost around us and allow the Lord to work through us to help bring more of his lost sheep into the kingdom.

That’s also the only way we’ll ever begin to see ourselves as he does: people worth the record price that he paid to redeem us and make us his own. 

God doesn’t get buyer’s remorse, even if there are days when we can’t imagine why. His love for us and the value he places on us never changes. That’s a powerful message that the world desperately needs to hear. 

Will you get off the shelf and share it today?