@zoofame said:Not to deflate Jeff's dreams of retiring from the auctioned sale of his garage finds, but there was some interesting context in the r/games thread about that Mario Bros. story.Apparently (I have done no research on this) Heritage Auctions is notorious for artificially inflating auction prices to drum up hype for certain collectors to unload their assets in a pump-and-dump type scheme. It's similar to the NFT mania astroturf campaign from a few weeks ago and the long-standing illicit dealing in fine arts.Basically these auction houses collude with the "seller" to boost the reported auction price by simply swapping ownership from one front to another. The item never actually changes hands because the buyer is secretly also the seller. The media report on the eye-popping new value, creating interest and momentum for potential buyers who want to get in early on a new speculative bubble. Then the original owners can actually sell their items and the auction house gets a juicier commission. In the art world it's often used to launder money through the auction or by donating items for a fat charitable deduction on taxes.Oh wow, this made me feel really gross and I 100% believe it.