A book fair is a great place to find a used copy of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Visit your local book fair if you're looking to bulk out your classic games library.
assassin's creed revelations book fair

I’m a big fan of book fairs. There’s all sorts of goodness you can find in their hallowed halls, from out-of-print film guides, to a childhood book you’ve forgotten. If you look carefully enough you can also, pretty much always, find a copy of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Possibly three or four copies, in fact.

Most book fairs have recently expanded to include video games, and there’s plenty of fantastic finds in these sections. Based on my experience, a book fair’s video game section is usually hidden somewhere alongside the cheap Blu-Rays and DVDs, almost as an afterthought. I’ve been to several Lifeline Giant Book Fairs recently, and there’s always been a small box of video games stuffed between more “important” cases.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations commonly makes an appearance in these boxes, as does the original Assassin’s Creed. They’re frequently joined by older FIFA games, Just Dance, Wii Sports, and the like. Some of the donations make sense. If you upgrade to a new FIFA, you’ll consider donating last year’s edition. The same goes for Just Dance.

But there are deeper patterns to donations that are noticeable, and suggest a commonality to human behaviour. When a game is outdated, it gets donated. The same goes for when a game gets a HD remaster. As older consoles are phased out, it’s more common that hauls of these games will find their way to your local book fair or op shop.

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And when that happens, you can find real gems: like Tamagotchi: Party On! for Nintendo Wii, which I recently picked up in mint condition for the princely sum of AUD $1.

Image: GamesHub

There was also a sleeved copy of Prototype 2 at a recent book fair I attended, although the cover was scrappy and covered with grime. Regardless, it was a great find – and solidified the value of attending book fairs in my mind.

With the advent of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S generation, the consoles of a decade ago are now losing their place in culture. Games bought for upwards of AUD $60 are donated for free, and sold on for AUD $1 and $2 a piece, with little memory of their former value.

Games at book fairs are typically given generic pricing similar to DVDs, for simple ease. And with PS3 game prices currently skyrocketing, you can pick up great titles for far less than they’re worth. If you know where to look, and what you’re looking for, you can find games for an absolute bargain.

A slice of history

Beyond financial worth, game donation boxes are also worth examining as a slice of gaming history. Seeing somebody’s hand-picked collection is neat, and it’s always fun to point of which games you share in common. But a look at what games are less loved is an equally valuable snapshot.

Hovering over a box filled with Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, you might wonder how each found their way to Lifeline. Copies of Assassin’s Creed 2 tend to be fewer, as it’s a much better-loved game. Brotherhood seems to be even rarer. Is it just that Revelations is a smaller-scoped game? Is it a spin-off that’s less memorable than its companions? Maybe enough people bought The Ezio Collection for PS4.

Seeing donated games out of context presents few clues – but it remains fascinating to see the same patterns of donation repeated at multiple book fairs. No matter how many donated video games are present, you’ll pretty much always see Revelations. It really is a phenomena worth studying.

All this to say, a book fair is a very good place to find gaming gems you might be looking for. With the golden era of the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii firmly wound down, many of the best games of this generation are now finding their way to charity shelves – and there’s plenty of goodies to mine. Of course, the best part of any purchase is that it goes directly charity, so while you’re treating yourself to the offcuts of a stranger’s gaming collection, your donation is heading to those who need it most.

Next time a book fair rolls into your area, consider taking a gander at its multimedia offerings. You’ll be surprised by what you might find in a donation box – even if it’s just seven copies of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.