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Vimster

I Am Not A Collector

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1 hour ago, Vimster said:

 

I still love games but find I'm using emulation more and more.

 

So come on, confess, when did it dawn on you? What did you do?!

 

When I was browsing eBay looking at buying my 11th Dreamcast. Not even owning them at the same time. I get nostalgic, buy a DC and some games. Hook it up, play with it for a day or so, then let it gather dust because it looks crap on a 4k TV or the games are too expensive etc.

 

Ended up sticking a good DC emulator on my PC and play with an XB1 pad. Turns out that, while I love the little machine and all the noises it makes, it's playing the games that make me nostalgic. And since nothing goes to the Devs when I buy the games on eBay, I have no issues pirating them for an emulator.

 

 

I'm finding now, unless something is an absolute steal, I don't really bother with gaming stuff at the bootfairs anymore. Unless it's broken. Can't help but buy into a wee fixer upper.

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1 hour ago, Vimster said:

It has taken me years to come to terms with this, but I'm saying it now: I am not a collector, I never will be a collector, I don't have the time, the space, the money or killer instinct to get what I want, and I don't have the skills or desire to keep a proper collection organised.

 

There, that's better.

 

I have been buying up tat for years, sticking it in big plastic crates and very occasionally going back to see what I have. But it was only recently I actually tried to keep a spreadsheet of what I had on any given system, and it really shocked me how much crap I had, and how little actual worthwhile games there were.

 

And it made me think, have I actually ever enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, the mouth-watering prospect of getting that one game? And I have to confess no, not really. I still love games but find I'm using emulation more and more. Barring things like my Commodore 64 that I love to bits.

 

This isn't a knock against collecting. I know there are plenty of people here with nice collections all shelved up properly and cared for, or enjoy braving car boots and retro events, who play the eBay and Amazon Marketplace game when need be. And I salute you.

 

But this is for the rest of us who have tried to kid ourselves that we have the chops to collect games yet find in our heart of hearts we're not cut out for it, even though we're still passionate about games.

 

So come on, confess, when did it dawn on you? What did you do? Was it liberating? I'm thinking about cutting it down to a few key games, quality over quanity. But it's going to be hard. You know that thing where you go through your collection hoping to be ruthless and end up justifying keeping everything. Help!

 

Can I have your (sega/nintendo) stuff? ;)

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Also,I don't think it helps how easy it is to get games now.

 

300+ games a on game pass.

4 new games a month on games with gold

300 or so compatible VR games.

Twitch Prime games.

Epic Store monthly. 

Increase in good f2p titles.

 

I constantly have easy instant access to over 1000 games legally. And that's just the ones included in my subs.

 

If you include emulated ones there's tens of thousands that are so simple to get and play.

 

Too much choice, not enough time. I'm not passionate enough to spun my money into retro stuff that won't get used enough to justify it.

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2 hours ago, Mr Tony said:

Also,I don't think it helps how easy it is to get games now.

 

300+ games a on game pass.

4 new games a month on games with gold

300 or so compatible VR games.

Twitch Prime games.

Epic Store monthly. 

Increase in good f2p titles.

 

I constantly have easy instant access to over 1000 games legally. And that's just the ones included in my subs.

 

None of which you legally 'own' compared to software of old.

 

Not calling you wrong mind, just had to point it out. We're trading ownership rights for convinince. In not just gaming but all entertainment mediums, and I sometimes can't help feel that's going to bite society in the arse, if it hasn't been already with de-listed games, live services and unfinished release day games patched later with a road map to tell us exactly when we'll be able to enjoy the content we paid for. :rolleyes:

 

Having a swell night gaming has indeed never been easier, but there's more to a shelf of games in the home than just it's worth. Much the same as with books, music and movies. Some things are worth being able to hold in your hands decades later.

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4 hours ago, NEG said:

 

None of which you legally 'own' compared to software of old.

 

 

 

I get that, and honestly it doesn't bother me. 

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I really enjoy my game collection. However I strongly believe that I get that enjoyment not just from nostalgia and a love of physical items, but from the simple fact that I have much of the games out on display in book cases. That means that I can easily browse and look at a titles when the whim takes me. Same with my magazine and book collection.

 

Having stuff in huge boxes locked away somewhere really provides a disconnect, which would otherwise not exist. If you have to expend effort to look at something the likelyhood is that you won’t bother.

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I just got back from retro spill meissen in Norway. I didn't really have any intention of buying anything, but jesus the prices some of those games go for is crazy! The people i went with spent easily 1K between them.

 

If anything i think the collection of games I have are a nice retirement fund!

 

I haven't really collected retro games for a while, i just don't have the cash to spend or the space. It's only if i see something special whilst out and about that i'd pick something up (and cheap).

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14 hours ago, NEG said:

Not calling you wrong mind, just had to point it out. We're trading ownership rights for convinince. In not just gaming but all entertainment mediums, and I sometimes can't help feel that's going to bite society in the arse, if it hasn't been already with de-listed games, live services and unfinished release day games patched later with a road map to tell us exactly when we'll be able to enjoy the content we paid for. :rolleyes:

Good point, well made. We need to start thinking about preservation of 21st century DLC as soon as possible. Developers seem to have a handle on the 1980s Nintendo Famicom DLC games now, but there's a breadth of titles released for other platforms (such as PS2 and Xbox) that are in need of attention.

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A few years ago now when I stopped going to car boot sales/retro fairs. I'm working my way through clearing out most of my collection & cherry picking consoles/games I want to keep.

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17 hours ago, Vimster said:

So come on, confess, when did it dawn on you? What did you do? Was it liberating? I'm thinking about cutting it down to a few key games, quality over quanity. But it's going to be hard. You know that thing where you go through your collection hoping to be ruthless and end up justifying keeping everything. Help!

 

Moving house and coming to the conclusion that I had way too much stuff. I've ~halved the size of my collection, and could do with another round of cutting. I don't miss any of it. Plus the money raised was very welcome.

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Glad to hear you got out of that habit @Vimster! :)

 

I was a collector, big time, sadly. From about the age of 15 - 22, I spent all my time and money on gaming. Buying games the day they came out, getting special editions, importing and getting into the games industry when I was 17 made the problem far worse! At it's height I was living at home, working 2 part time jobs and owned around 20 consoles with around 400 games.

 

What made me stop was practical reasons. I passed my driving test when I was 21 which was epic, but it turns out the £2K I saved for a car didn't account for the insurance, so I had to spend about 4 months slowly selling off my collection so I could spend about £3K on insurance for the car, with around £500 left to buy the car itself!

 

That process made me feel did I really miss the games and consoles I sold? So over the next few years, I whittled down the rest and finally got to a place where I artificially limited myself to 1 modern console, 1 retro console and a Laptop or PC. Over the next 5 years, that put me in a good place with not having much shit but replaced the hoarding issue with another: I kept buying and reselling consoles to keep within my confines!

 

I've slowly got out of that now and for the past 3 years, I've had just one PS4 and been playing and enjoying the games themselves. However, I've recently just sold that for an all singing, all dancing PC but I think that was through boredom rather than not committing to my rules! Now, I have got back to enjoying the games before I got obsessed with the collecting and hoarding side. As part of that, digital has changed how I interact with gaming and how I treat it. It's not disposable and at risk of being deleted as the nay-sayers have you believe, it's allowed the strangle hold that collectors had over rare games to vanish overnight. I remember hunting for old games, Japanese oddities and special editions and the prices I had to pay, combined with some of the people I talked to, made me realise I didn't enjoy the hunt. I just enjoyed playing the games.

 

So I now just have 1 PC, a SNES Mini and no physical games at all, except for a few games I worked on and mean a lot to have around.

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I've never been like this with anything, it's always been concise and thought out. Else it's gone. If you have stuff in tubs or storage it's an issue. 

 

39 neo games

6 GB games

6 ngpc games

3 shite PS4 games I can't give away 

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Watching American Pickers scratches my collecting itch these days.  It also shows how one persons prized hoard is meaningless to almost everyone else for the most part.

 

I was a collector once but kicked that habit but still occasionally creeps up on me.

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4 hours ago, Wools said:

What made me stop was practical reasons. I passed my driving test when I was 21 which was epic, but it turns out the £2K I saved for a car didn't account for the insurance, so I had to spend about 4 months slowly selling off my collection so I could spend about £3K on insurance for the car, with around £500 left to buy the car itself!

 

 

Why did you pay for the insurance up front? Couldn't you have just got it over a year on direct debit? I know my first lot cost around £2K a year but they were more than happy to let me pay for it each month.

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I keep making and tweaking endless lists of games I need to play or finish. Not as bad, as I’m only spending money on games I play at the end of the day, but it really is a massive waste of time.

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10 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

Why did you pay for the insurance up front? Couldn't you have just got it over a year on direct debit? I know my first lot cost around £2K a year but they were more than happy to let me pay for it each month.

 

Totally, but I was a kid and didn't know any better! Still, the mint Mega CD and SNES went to good homes... :doh:

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17 hours ago, knightbeat said:

Good point, well made. We need to start thinking about preservation of 21st century DLC as soon as possible. Developers seem to have a handle on the 1980s Nintendo Famicom DLC games now, but there's a breadth of titles released for other platforms (such as PS2 and Xbox) that are in need of attention.

 

I'm always grateful to the mod/emulator community for preservation. Publishers see them as pirates, eating into their profits, but that's just capitalist bullshit for the most part.  Corporations see their products as disposable; gamers don't. 

 

Publishers actively encourage the erasure of older titles from their catalogs - it encourages new spend, and provides wiggle room for remasters & remakes. The emulation scene has embraced preserving DLC and patches alongside the original games. They really are the curators of gaming's history :)

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My take is that if you're buying more games than you can play, or buying stuff to play in some hypothetical future where you have more free time you're basically collecting.

 

I don't think collecting has to be an all or nothing thing. I had the exact opposite realisation to the OP when I started buying up old PS1 and PS2 favourites a few years back.

 

My library is probably pretty modest compared to a lot of people on here (it's a fraction of what I've bought over the years), and isn't worth much outside of what the games mean to me, but I keep adding to it and don't plan on getting rid of anything. It's hard to look at 100+ games sitting on shelves and think of them as anything other than a collection.

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2 hours ago, matt0 said:

My take is that if you're buying more games than you can play, or buying stuff to play in some hypothetical future where you have more free time you're basically collecting.

 

I don't think collecting has to be an all or nothing thing. I had the exact opposite realisation to the OP when I started buying up old PS1 and PS2 favourites a few years back.

 

My library is probably pretty modest compared to a lot of people on here (it's a fraction of what I've bought over the years), and isn't worth much outside of what the games mean to me, but I keep adding to it and don't plan on getting rid of anything. It's hard to look at 100+ games sitting on shelves and think of them as anything other than a collection.

I'm aiming for something similar, just whittle it down to games that mean something even if they're not necessarily valuable financially. The PS2 is a favourite console of mine and I do have a number of games that mean a lot to me, but I did buy up a load of tatty job lots a couple of years back and ended up with a lot of rubbish.

 

Maybe it's how you define a collection. For some it may be floor-to-ceiling shelving full of as complete as possible sets of games, but for us it would be more akin to an art collection where each game means something, maybe has a story attached to it. Thinking about it that's probably what I'd like to go for, even if that story is purely for my benefit.

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15 minutes ago, Vimster said:

 

Maybe it's how you define a collection. For some it may be floor-to-ceiling shelving full of as complete as possible sets of games, but for us it would be more akin to an art collection where each game means something, maybe has a story attached to it. Thinking about it that's probably what I'd like to go for, even if that story is purely for my benefit.

 

Bingo. It's nice to collect for a system out of love but at the end of the day, it's the 20-30 odd games you played as a kid that'll have the stories, the fondness and going back to most often. If I ever start making the Mega Drive collection smaller (which honestly, even at a 100+ titles now, still all fit on a single bookshelf easily, no space issue), those childhood titles will still likely remain.

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I have a collection of hundreds of retro games. My interest in playing them (and games in general) comes and goes, but I've been through it enough times at this stage to know it always comes back after a break. I've never seriously considered selling off my games. There are people on here who seem to sell off and buy back consoles and collections every time their mood changes, which I just think is madness and also has to be more expensive in the long run.

 

I like having a collection of games to dip into when the mood takes me and also I dispute the idea that collections and retro gaming in general are just about wallowing in your childhood nostalgia or that all anyone needs are the top 10 big name games from each console.

 

I'm currently playing through Rent a Hero No 1 on the Dreamcast. It's a game that's been sitting in my collection for a few years but I finally had the urge to play recently. It's the type of thing that I'll get around to playing if I have it in my  dreamcast collection but if I didn't I probably wouldn't suddenly go shopping for.

 

I like games and gaming history. I like having a collection of games and I don't stress myself out if I'm not currently playing them.

 

On the other hand I rarely buy modern games despite owning the hardware. Western AAA stuff has just about reached a point where I have zero interest in it, a lot of smaller Japanese stuff is just otaku pandering now and a lot of interesting indie games get given away for free on epic/twitch prime etc.

 

With most modern stuff I quickly get a sense of boredom and "I've played this before", like I'm playing reskins of third/first person/open world/indie metroidvania templates.Modern customers and developers know what works and what doesn't, what control scheme is acceptable, what levelling system to shoehorn into your game. You get a lot of pretty good, extremely familiar feeling games.

 

What you (I) don't get from most slick modern games is that feeling of the unknown when you put Mizzurna Falls, D, Echo Night or some other janky adventure into a PS1 and you don't know if it's going to be a disaster or great. It feels more like experiencing individual works of art, less like templates built on Unreal Engine and Unity.

 

What does this have to do with collections you ask? Ummm, I like looking at the boxes/manuals and playing on real hardware I guess. It's part of the experience and most old games aren't very expensive, if your tastes aren't Saturn shmups and Earthbound type stuff. The prices aren't going down though, so might aswell buy them now/10 years ago. Why not sell them after playing them? Not sure, why do people have bookshelves/record collections etc?

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I think the collections as art is a really good analogy. Apart from the games themselves, it’s the visual decoration they afford. A simple book shelf with stack of game/book/magazine spines facing you is a magical treasure trove. I love the visual sense and atmosphere a bookcase lends a room. Everyone should have one! :)

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A bookcase absolutely. Game spines are often less inspiring for me though. I think it's heightened because I've got my games in a library right next to my books, many of them beautiful ones, but things like the PAL PS1, PS2, Switch and DS spines are rather bland and uniform. 

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1 hour ago, partious said:

I have a collection of hundreds of retro games. My interest in playing them (and games in general) comes and goes, but I've been through it enough times at this stage to know it always comes back after a break. I've never seriously considered selling off my games. There are people on here who seem to sell off and buy back consoles and collections every time their mood changes, which I just think is madness and also has to be more expensive in the long run.

 

I like having a collection of games to dip into when the mood takes me and also I dispute the idea that collections and retro gaming in general are just about wallowing in your childhood nostalgia or that all anyone needs are the top 10 big name games from each console.

 

I'm currently playing through Rent a Hero No 1 on the Dreamcast. It's a game that's been sitting in my collection for a few years but I finally had the urge to play recently. It's the type of thing that I'll get around to playing if I have it in my  dreamcast collection but if I didn't I probably wouldn't suddenly go shopping for.

 

I like games and gaming history. I like having a collection of games and I don't stress myself out if I'm not currently playing them.

 

On the other hand I rarely buy modern games despite owning the hardware. Western AAA stuff has just about reached a point where I have zero interest in it, a lot of smaller Japanese stuff is just otaku pandering now and a lot of interesting indie games get given away for free on epic/twitch prime etc.

 

With most modern stuff I quickly get a sense of boredom and "I've played this before", like I'm playing reskins of third/first person/open world/indie metroidvania templates.Modern customers and developers know what works and what doesn't, what control scheme is acceptable, what levelling system to shoehorn into your game. You get a lot of pretty good, extremely familiar feeling games.

 

What you (I) don't get from most slick modern games is that feeling of the unknown when you put Mizzurna Falls, D, Echo Night or some other janky adventure into a PS1 and you don't know if it's going to be a disaster or great. It feels more like experiencing individual works of art, less like templates built on Unreal Engine and Unity.

 

What does this have to do with collections you ask? Ummm, I like looking at the boxes/manuals and playing on real hardware I guess. It's part of the experience and most old games aren't very expensive, if your tastes aren't Saturn shmups and Earthbound type stuff. The prices aren't going down though, so might aswell buy them now/10 years ago. Why not sell them after playing them? Not sure, why do people have bookshelves/record collections etc?

 

Pretty much this. Although I've been in a gaming slump for a long time now and do occasionally think I should just get rid of it all. I probably won't though. 

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I went through a spell of collecting a few bits and stopped fairly quickly. Whilst the thrill of the hunt and all that is good I very quickly realised it was becoming stuff just on my shelves at home for consoles that I never had any real attachment too.

 

What I did / have done is bought games that have more sentimental value so I have a complete collection of the Final Fantasy Series, them being the games that got me through troubled school years.

 

Mega drive games that I remember playing with my brothers when growing up, in fact Fifa 96 is a prominent game as being 1 I looked forward to playing with my dad whenever he was willing to give it a go. Eternal champions being the fighting game my best friend and I used to play all the time.

 

Premier Manager 98 because of the endless hours spent playing with my cousin.

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I still have a fairly big collection of games stored in the garage, half of which is on display on a bookshelf and half is stored in plastic boxes. I bought most of the games because they were cheap and generally because the game was something I wanted to play, or it was well regarded. This means I have a large backlog of stuff I haven't given the time it deserves. But it's nice to have them there when I need/want them. For example, this week, whilst reading about the new Igavania title, Bloodstained, I thought to myself "I have four Igavania's in the garage that I've barely touched" and so last night I set up the Gamecube with the GB Player and played Circle of the Moon - it was very enjoyable. It's nice to be able to do that on a whim.

 

I don't really buy old games anymore and anything I don't enjoy will get sold, so the collection is only getting smaller as time progresses. I used to have a collection of very good/mint condition SNES games (the console of my youth), but emulation and the SNES Mini, not to mention the high prices they sell for mean I have only a few left, and I suspect only a couple of those will stay forever due to nostalgia for the physical item itself, not just the game. I have already been trying to thin out the collection. RPG's are the first on the hit list - haven't played any to completion since FFVII, and that was my first! I am also looking to offload duplicates or titles that have had an HD update or similar.

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Well I have a ton of stuff stored in cupboards for years in case I want a quick go on something. 

 

Realised that actually I never use it. Unlikely to use it in the future. So selling the whole lot... :) Someone is coming to pick everything up tonight. Getting £1500 for everything. Result. 

 

The money I get from this is going towards a trip to Japan!  :)

 

It will feel liberating.... I'm following my new mantra in life that is to live in a minimalist way as I can. Everything around me must have a purpose or add value to my life. The rest just clutters it up.

 

I think the change in heart came after reading "Goodbye Things" late last year. Although the author of this book is extreme in that he goes almost fully minimalist I've adopted many ideas he presents. Worth a read if you are trying to de-clutter your life! :) 

 

TBH I won't even miss the games or consoles and other bits of gaming stuff. Think it mostly comes down to the experiences. And you can get a retro game experience from many places these days - cafes, emulators etc. So what is the point of maintaining all that "stuff" at your home. Go out. Socialise and experience it out there or fire up an emulator if the urge takes you to revisit the past. 

 

I'm now even looking at my current consoles too.... might only have a switch by the end of next week. Going to be moving into a new place in August and want nothing in there that doesn't have a purpose or add any value to my life. 

 

 

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