It’s not hard to feel a little envious of Michael de Grussa when standing in his hybrid retro game emporium slash music tuition centre, if not just overwhelmed by the waves of nostalgia pouring out from the loaded display cases. For Michael, Player [1] is a marriage of his life-long passions for the videogames from his childhood and playing music. “I wanted to start up a music school somewhere that’s fun,” Michael told us when we stopped by to visit last weekend.

“It’s a place for kids to learn music, with videogames everywhere, you can’t go wrong!”

Player [1] opened in July, and features five lesson rooms and a waiting room stocked up with retro games which like-minded parents would get a kick out of for sure. Michael says lessons are available for anyone (6 and up) and the retail side is an ever-changing array of consoles and games from the ever trusty Super Nintendo to rare oddities like the original Neo Geo or a boxed Nintendo Virtual Boy. On top of all the usual retro console fare are consoles like the Panasonic 3DO, Commodore 64s, Ataris (pick a model and there’s a good chance he has it) and even a copy of Jurassic Park on Laserdisc. Oh, there’s also a copy of E.T. for the Atari floating about too. Michael also repairs and modifies consoles, such as adding backlights to Gameboys, AV cables to old consoles, and custom paint jobs.

Michael explained that he couldn’t see the retro game business working on its own, hence the decision to blend music tuition into the store, as well. And hey, if you’re going to do something, why not do it surrounded by the things you love? He told us his passion isn’t just about retro games, but more about nostalgia itself. “Everything was just better [from my childhood], I’m a nostalgic guy and now I can afford it.” He also noticed a lot of the musicians he’s worked with in the past were also into video games, so the pairing of the two made perfect sense. If you have a chat with Michael you’ll also quickly discover his major passion: Sega – in particular, the Sega Saturn. “I’m a Sega guy, I think I have every Sega console boxed,” he said with a note of pride.

Michael’s aim is to have the games from his childhood available to everybody, and not just collectors. He’s pricing products at the lowest eBay prices he finds and everything’s guaranteed – including his repair work. “I want people to collect all of this stuff,” he said. Michael also currently supplies consoles for all of the Console Culture events.

Location & Contact Information

Contact: (08) 9328 3867 or

The store is located at 6/342 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth open Monday – Saturday from 10am for retail and lessons.

Brendan Holben
Practically born with a joystick in his hands, Perth-based writer Brendan has seen the best and worst gaming has to offer. Since picking up his first video game magazine as a kid, he knew this was something he wanted to be part of. His favourite things are making Dark Souls and Far Cry 2 jokes on Twitter, while his greatest shame is never owning a Mario game on his SNES.
Brendan Holben