“The things you own end up owning you”
- Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
I was browsing the Racket Boy Forums the other day and came across an interesting post. The title of the thread was “Do I have a problem?” Curious, I clicked on it. Here is what the original post said.
“Do any of you often feel that you are more into collecting games than actually playing them? Do you ever feel like no matter how many games you acquire, you aren’t satisfied with the ones you have? I feel this way a lot, for example; I often go online to look for new games that I would like get, instead of spending time playing the games that I already have.
Of course, I collect games to play them, but sometimes I am more motivated to collect instead of play.”
This post reminded me of myself. When you were little, how many video games did you own? Probably not a lot I’m assuming. You didn’t have the money! But you were happy with what you had (at least I was.) Fast forward to adulthood, and suddenly you have some money to spend. Thus begins many gamer’s quest to collect all of the old games that they missed. If you watch any gaming videos, you’ll notice some people have massive gaming collections in their background.
When I reached adulthood, the collection bug hit me. I suddenly had the urge to collect video games. I would go out every weekend and look for games at thrift stores, yard sales, stores, auctions, and craigslist postings. It was an addiction. Now some of you might be thinking “well, it’s better than doing drugs!” This is true. But is it healthy?
I slowly began feeling like the user from Racket Boy Forums. I wasn’t getting games to play them. I was getting these games to own them. I was more motivated to collect than play. Looking around my room, there were games everywhere. They were slowly taking over my office. Just looking at the amount of stuff I owned stressed me out.
That was when I made up my mind. When I moved in June, I decided to sell my video game collection. Not the entire thing, of course. There are some games that are truly important to me and that I love to play over and over again. Everything else I put on E-Bay. I left North Carolina with the following games.
- Little Samson
- Medal of Honor
- Super Mario All-Stars (Wii)
- Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
- Final Fantasy XII
Selling my video game collection was one of the most liberating feelings I have ever experienced. I made several thousand dollars, I payed off all of my debt, and I suddenly had more room to breathe. Since then, I have made a conscious effort to only get the games I want to play, and I usually play them one at a time. My girlfriend recently got me on Gamefly, a way for me to play the new games without actually owning them.
This post was not written to attack people who have video game collections. If you have a collection and you love it, great! I’m simply presenting the other side of collecting video games. Being a retro gamer does not mean you have to own a ton of games. It’s all about playing the games, enjoying them, and talking about them.
So what do you think? Do we collect too many video games? Or have you found a happy medium?