MetalFRO's Blog

Posted on Sep 8th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under game collecting, game collection, video games, game hunting

This is a game collector's website. That seems like an obvious statement, but I feel it's important to frame this article immediately. After all, one of the first rules you learn about writing, performing, etc. is that you need to know your audience. Most of you who visit this site, and decide to make a home here, do so because you collect games. I collect games, as well. Over time, however, the way I collect games has changed. My tastes haven't changed, so much as other factors I'll delve into here. Ultimately, what I want to accomplish with this write-up is to instill the need for you as a game collector to have a plan.

When I started collecting, back in the late 90's, it was all about picking up games I fully intended to play. I bought games new, and used, as I had time. I focused mostly on genres I liked the most, but occasionally stretched out into uncharted territory, going for games that were highly regarded, or came recommended to me. A lot of this was picking up Game Boy games I missed out on, Game Boy Color stuff that would be fun to play during car trips, Sega Genesis stuff I missed out on as a kid, and eventually, both PlayStation and Saturn. Eventually, I got a NES, a SNES, and even a 3DO.

Hopefully your games aren't lying around all willy-nilly like this.

At some point, I had that "eureka" moment as an adult, that I could afford most of the stuff I could never buy as a kid, which conflicted with the meager salary I was earning. As much as I wanted to "buy all the games!" I had to naturally balance that desire with also collecting music CDs, and doing the adult thing, like paying for rent, food, and other necessary expenses. The first lesson every collector needs to learn is this: don't collect beyond your means. Most of us are guilty of that, at times, and it often leads to credit card debt, among other financial maladies.

When the late 2000's hit, and I started to see a lot of used games at Goodwill, I began buying anything and everything I found, aside from the glut of sports games. This helped me balloon my collection quickly, but also led to collection bloat. Most of my games ended up living in boxes and totes for years. I've been blessed to have enough space the last few years to actually set up a dedicated games room, but not everyone has that capability. In addition to collecting within your means, I would also recommend making sure you don't buy more than you can realistically store.

If you have to keep your games in totes and boxes, make sure to use "right size"
containers, both that will fit the games you're storing, but also that aren't too big to lift.

Within the last couple years, I've realized that there are only a limited number of games I'm ever realistically going to be able to play. Some of what I have, I'll never use, and is merely here for the fun of collecting. Some of these pieces have good memories and stories behind them, and those games don't necessarily have to get play time to be fun parts of the collection. I've also run up against space limitations once again. I still have a little room to grow in my current space, but I've found that I need to start being more choosy with what I buy.

I've also shifted my focus back to the genres and game series' that I know I want to play. I'm buying fewer games overall, and have gone back to only purchasing the stuff that will complete the sets I'm working on, games I'm planning on playing, and occasionally some pieces just for the sake of collecting. I'm not buying 70 or 80 games a month anymore, so it helps me be more thoughtful about what I'm bringing in and putting on my shelves. This will ultimately help me keep the size of my collection under some level of control, until I can move into a larger space.

If you haven't noticed already, I've hidden all the high points throughout this write-up, but let's recap:

1. Determine the scope of what you want to collect.
2. Budget how much money you can realistically spend on your collection.
3. Hunting for deals is great, but remember what your ultimate collecting goals are.
4. Keep storage and display in mind as you buy games and accessories.
5. Don't let your collecting keep you from playing. Inversely, don't think you have to play all the games you collect.
6. Don't be afraid to refine your collecting goals over time as your financial or living situation changes, or as your tastes change.

I hope you found this set of tips helpful. Game collecting can be a fun part of the hobby of video games, and having a plan for how you want to acquire and keep your games will help keep this aspect to a low-stress level. Happy hunting!

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Great write up.  These are some things we never think of and things that need to be thought about.
Quite true! Nice post.
@shaggy: Thank you! I spent a lot of time not really caring what I was doing with my collection, just sort of buying stuff up. I'm trying to be more thoughtful about my approach now, hence the write-up. Thanks for reading Smiley

@toze3: Thanks!
Thanks for the great read and helpful reminder! I'm about 60 games from completing my Dreamcast set. I've always wanted to complete one console, so I'm going with my favorite console in history. I'm right around 400 games at this point in my collection. Every other console has been downsized or condensed.

It's certainly easy to let collecting aspects overshadow the gaming aspect of the hobby if we get carried away. So many messages about deals, new releases, and pre-orders thrown our way. It certainly makes it challenging to filter out the noise and keep your goals in focus.

I don't have a dedicated game room at this point but man am I excited about the day that I will. Thanks for the great article!
That is a really good write up.  In June 2020, I took a near 5,000 PS1 Game Collection, a few dozen systems, hundreds of accessories, dozens of books, and a lot of other material for the PS1 and moved them to a hybrid business storage facility in a curating manner.  I have really enjoyed this as before hand it was in my apartment, making as much sense as I could with them, but lacked enough room for it.  Now the entire collection and such is within 200 square feet and looks awesome, growing each and every week with rare items, and newer items for PS1.
@Blu: Thank you for reading! Good luck on completing your Dreamcast set! I'm working on a loose Game Boy cart set (licensed US releases), and a full, CIB PSP set. I'm a little over halfway there for both. I'm also casually working toward a complete US Wii U set. Otherwise, it's shmups, other specific games I enjoy, and whatever else strikes my fancy. But as I said, I'm trying to be a bit more thoughtful about what I bring in now, so as not to just fall into the trap of collecting stuff for the sake of collecting stuff.

@The Official SP1SC: That's an interesting idea! I don't know that I'd want to do that, because it might be weird to try and insure stuff that's not inside your home, and it makes it less accessible, so you would have to be a lot more specific about grabbing what you wanted to play, and sticking with it, so you're making fewer trips to the storage unit. That said, I can see benefits to this approach, as well. Thanks for reading, and for the feedback!
@Metalfro, Focus, has really been my most recent issue in collecting.  So, thanks for this! I like the idea of being more thoughtful in my collection. 
What a great collection! Amazing! Even what you wrote is quite helpful. Maybe I'll try to collect something, but I don't know if I'll be so patient, lol. I like to play online, and that's all. For example, my favorite Jox is World of Warcraft. Yet I play in it because I use, and it is much easier for me to pass all the stages of the game. However, I don't like it when something takes a lot of time.

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