The Columbia Video Game Club

How many of us were sucked into these offers for cheap music, books and games in our lives? Especially when we are young and don’t really understand “fine print?” I think I cut out and filled out dozens of these things in the first dozen years of my life.

My family probably saved me from a lifetime of indentured servitude to the various buying clubs by intercepting me before I could send out offers like these. Still, even after all these years, I can’t bring myself to look at that tiny print. All I can think of is two brand new games for under ten bucks.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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4 thoughts on “The Columbia Video Game Club

  1. Wow, I’d never seen the video game version of Columbia House. They hooked me with cassette tapes when I was 14. The first shipment of a bazillion heavy metal tapes of my choosing was pretty cool. Being on the hook for all the Winger and Slaughter “tapes of the month” after the fact, not so much. I’m can’t remember how I got out of it. I recall there were all sorts of rumors that if you tried to walk away, your credit would be ruined for life. I think that’s just what I did, though. Started ignoring them and they went away. One of the few times that’s actually worked out for me.

  2. I was a member of this and the BMG music club! It really wasn’t bad. Of course you had to remember to uncheck the monthly selection. As a 12 year old, that did not always happen, but they were very liberal with the return policy. I did get a few selections that I tried and hated and I sent them back. I did get quite a few Atari games and met the quota, so it wasn’t a big issue to get out of the club.
    I thought they had a deal that offered more than 2 games for a low price. I seem to remember getting more on that initial shipment.
    It was always exciting to come home and find a new game waiting for me in the mail. Our local shops never had new releases as soon as mail order, so this was the only way for me to get the big launch titles like Decathlon, Donkey Kong Jr, Space Shuttle, etc.

  3. Columbia House had a video game club? It must have been a long time ago since I only remember the music and movie clubs. My mom was a member of Columbia House. I remember the hours I spent browsing their catalogues, checking movies and albums I’d never get. Internet sure changed a lot of things now…

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