Barracuda's Blog

Posted on Oct 23rd 2014 at 11:02:09 AM by (Barracuda)
Posted under Collecting, Gaming

  Gaming has always been a large part of my life. I received my first gaming system: a Sega Genesis for Christmas in 1992 when I was 8 years old. I had no idea what a game system was, as I had never even seen one before, but once I got my hands on the controller and played Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time I was hooked. Flash forward 22 years to 2014 and things haven't changed; gaming is still a large part of my life but the collecting aspect is largely diminishing.
  I really got into collecting around 2005 or so. Almost like a light switch had been flipped and I transformed from a gamer to a collector overnight. My gaming habits had changed. I was no longer buying games to play, but buying them to collect. This was a very weird transformation. I was amassing large quantities of games, but I rarely played through them. Many were never played at all. I went on for years like this and it never really bothered me until my first son was born in 2010. When my son was born I realized that my hobby really wasn't sustainable anymore. Buying things just to have them didn't seem so tangible when money could be put to better use elsewhere.
  For a few years after my first son was born I found myself in sort of a collecting limbo. I found myself playing through more games but I was still buying more games then I could play. The reasonable part of myself couldn't handle this. I eventually found myself during this time period selling off parts of the collection or at least trying to. You see selling always seems easier than it really is. After spending years amassing a large collection I just couldn't find it in myself to let go of said collection. These items meant a lot to me but at the same time bothered me as they had become useless clutter in my eyes.
  In 2013 my second son was born and I also came to terms with my gaming and collecting habits wherein I combined them. To this date I no longer just buy games to buy them but I buy them to play them. At the same time though I do find myself keeping some of these games if I find them unique or having high replay value. I found myself on an amazing gaming journey over the years but now I feel as if I have found the perfect place for me as a hybrid gaming collector.

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@Barracuda: Sounds like you found a great balance between collecting & playing games. I believe that knowing what you want out of your collection is large part of keeping yourself from hoarder status and will help you enjoy it more. Congrats on the kids! I find myself amazed watching my son learn about the world.
I hear you, brother.  As my kids age I find myself becoming more and more frugal with my money, especially when it comes to the acquisition of video games.  While I don't see myself getting rid of my games (they are at this point my primary form of entertainment), I don't see myself hitting the thrifts like I used to.  Ever.  These days I actually tend to live vicariously through the Small Scores thread here at RFGen, which is cheaper and overall more satisfying than the hours and gallons of gas it would cost me to find even one decent game.
I have always bought with the intention to play but I find that lately my own collection is morphing to fit my needs.  I've been trading off RPGs I've been hoarding (and not playing) in exchange for action/platforming games that are easy to get into and play for an hour at a time.  Essentially, identifying the things that have little to no respect for my time and replacing them with things that do.  Some of the RPG cuts were hard at first but I'm too busy enjoying the games that have replaced them to notice now.

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