As my collection has been growing, my acquisitions have been slowing. It makes sense that at some point, you will eventually reach a saturation point in your collecting in which it's harder to find titles that interest you than it used to be when you had less games. However, I still really enjoy gaming and collecting so I don't want it to stop quite yet. Over the last few weeks, one of my collecting goals has been to update my rfgen wishlist. Sounds simple enough. Yet, I found myself pouring well over 50 hours into this project. I wanted to make sure my list was comprehensive and accurate. This meant reaching out to trusted friends with expertise beyond mine for certain libraries, doing a fair bit of research, and watching a ton of YouTube playthroughs before assigning a coveted checkmark to the wishlist box.
Continue reading Collecting Wishes
*pic from Mission17.org*
Towards the end of 2011, I had a discussion with my late friend Jesse about gaming in general, as this was typically all we ever talked about. We were talking about the age old balance of gaming versus collecting. At the time, I was all about collecting and spent way too little time actually playing games. I was persuaded and inspired by Jesse to start enjoying my collection for more than pieces of plastic that look nice on the shelf. I decided to lay down and follow some "rules" for myself for the year of 2012. I would play no more than two games at a time (this allowed me to play one console game and one handheld game concurrently). I would finish every game I started. Lastly, I would remove at least one game from my collection for every new one that came in. The last rule helped me trim a lot of fat in collection, but it's not something I strictly adhere to anymore. However, I still try to follow the first two rules to this day.
Continue reading A Year of Unfinished Games
If you're as old as I am, go take a nap. Are you back yet? Sorry, I didn't want you falling asleep while reading, as folks our age tend to do. I may have yet to hit the big four-oh, but it feels like the world is a different place than in my youth, and it sure is spinning faster these days. Yeah, when you've been into video games this long, you see quite a few things change over time.
For example, it doesn't seem like too long ago that once a game was released, it was as simple as walking into any major retailer to nab a copy. Sure there have always been obscure titles with small print runs, but preordering felt like an extravagance, online retailers felt like they had unlimited inventory, and unless you were importing or looking for a game more than a few years old, most relatively modern games seemed pretty easy to get. Although I do remember the challenge of trying to ask for Katamari Damacy at a GameStop during the week of release (or just explaining what the game was.)
Continue reading Gaming Retail Ain't What It Used To Be
It's been quite a while since I gave any love to my actual collection, either in real life or on RF Generation. In fact, after recently moving my entire collection for the second time in just under a year, I noted it to be quite burdensome, and I found myself wondering: "Why?" However, in organizing, setting up, and alphabetizing everything after the move, I realized I truly still love the hobby. Holding items in my hands, which I forgot I even had, renewed the sense that I am in fact curating a library of games and items that reflects my personal tastes and curiosities. The room I'm using in our new place is actually smaller than any I've put my games in before, but I actually think this is the best iteration of my game room yet for exactly that reason. The cozy, intimate setting takes me back to huddling around a garbage-picked CRT dinosaur in my parents' basement playing Super Nintendo with my friends and siblings. Let's be honest, the reason we collect is largely to chase that feeling.
As much as we try to organize, there are always odds and ends that fail classification and confound even the most obsessive collectors. Sure enough, after the move I discovered and took a second look at some of the eccentricities in my game library. I imagine we all have odds and ends like this, and they should be celebrated. They make our collections unique. Here's what I have.
Continue reading Collection Odds and Ends
Being a little kid means having lots of free time and an unrealistic understanding of how the world works. Especially when it comes to money, economics, and practicality.
Since I was a little kid, I had an ambitious goal.
Not pictured; me or my panicked mom. Pic from timpickens.com
And once I realized how terrible an idea it was to attach rocket boosters to my bicycle, I got another bicycle and a new goal; the ability to play any video game my nerdy heart desired, be it an arcade machine, home console game, or PC title.
Fast-forward many decades and hoping my back doesn't go out due to whiplash, and I still can't shake that little-kid voice. Especially after sharing so many games with so many people over the years. If I see a game for a few bucks that we don't own, my natural inclination is to pick it up for our collection or run through a list of folks I think may appreciate it.
Continue reading Thoughts And Suggestions About Collecting On Modern Systems
Like some of you, when I was a kid, I distinctly remember seeing all of the ads on television for the Nintendo Entertainment System and several of its games. Each time they came on, I was filled with excitement and longed for the day when I would own a square, gray box of my own. It wasn't until my grandparents' Christmas gift of a faulty telescope in 1987, that I was able to turn "misfortune" into gaming gold with the help of my older cousin and via the Customer Service Department at Brendle's. My parents were not pleased, but somehow my crafty maneuver paid off and I was able to keep it. And so began, not only my love for the NES, but a kind of gaming resourcefulness that would last a lifetime.
Enter 2015, a 38-year old gamer with a wife, two kids (another on the way), a new dog, a mortgage, and the same zest for gaming since he gave up the ability to look at the stars. Though unable to peer into space, several years ago, instead I began filling space with a collection that now consists of approximately 2,585 games across 35+ systems, and a great deal of accessories and controllers. Collecting has become a hobby and being able to now own systems and games I could only dream of during my very humble childhood and share them with my friends and family gives me great joy. As I've gotten older and earned greater responsibility, money has to be disbursed through various necessary channels and the appeal of buying new systems and games with my disposable income has greatly waned. Some might call this being "cheap," but that's really not the case at all. For me, there are various reasons why I choose to wait to purchase systems and typically stay a generation (and sometimes two generations behind).
Continue reading Why Wait?: A Collector's Guide to Patience
I'm a fan of the British author, Nick Hornby. His style is very approachable for all readers, it's humorous and has a nice way of making the reader reflect upon his/her own life. If you're not a reader, you may still be familiar with his works through their screenplays. Some of Hornby's more well-known adaptations include About a Boy, Fever Pitch (sadly Americanized to replace soccer with baseball...), and my personal favorite, High Fidelity. High Fidelity tracks the diminishing relationship of record store owner, Rob and his girlfriend Laura. After they separate, he reflects on his past relationships to get a better understanding of "what is wrong with him," even going so far as to meet with his old girlfriends to grill them on his hang-ups. What ensues is quite comical and is really worth a viewing if you haven't already seen it. So what does this have to do with gaming you ask? Well, stick with me here a little while longer if you haven't veered from the page already.
Continue reading Your Video Game Collecting Autobiography
I'm very happy to bring back (again) the People of RF Generation series. This time let's sit down with blogging staff member, and over all great guy, slackur!
Continue reading People of RF Gen: slackur
Oh well. Back to Words with Friends. (SlackurJes, if you ever want to play.) Pic source: lazygamer.net
Folks spend their money and time on what they want or what's important to them, gamers included. Ah, but it's never that simple, is it? There are as many stories about collections as there are collectors, and probably half as many assumptions about both that are mistaken for various reasons. In the same way that a person's income, background, religion, appearance, and other factors often lead to very inaccurate assumptions about an individual, often anyone who owns more than a few video games can be labeled quite incorrectly.
Continue reading A Collection Story
As many of you on the site know, I'm an avid collector of Atari 2600 and NES titles. While I'm going for a complete, licensed collection of the later, I am very realistic about my collecting goals for the 2600. For those of you who love and collect for this system like I do, you know that this goal is impossible for the Average Joe. During the days of the 2600, licensing laws were quite more lackadaisical and it seems like anyone and everyone with programming skills tried their hand at developing games for the 2600. Many of these games saw small production numbers, and this has resulted in astronomical prices in today's market due to the high demand of serious Atari collectors. And let's face it, I'm not one of those guys who can justify paying ridiculous amounts just to have a game in my possession. On the other hand, I'm not the kind of guy who wants to play an emulated version of a game on his PC. So what's a guy like me to do?
Continue reading Dr. BrazilLove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Clone
It's been a while since we've had a "People of RF Generation" blog. Actually, it's been a really long time since these posts have gone up. That's why I'd like to breathe some new life into this fun series and let members know a little bit more about the people in our community.
I thought this month would be the perfect opportunity for us to get to know the newest member of the Community Playthrough team, Disposed Hero. So, without further ado, let's get to know more about this gentleman.
Continue reading People of RF Generation: Disposed Hero
CCAG 2014. Cleveland's annual Classic Console and Arcade Gaming Show.
An event so enjoyed by my Beloved and I that we plan half a year in advance and spend the whole day getting the most out of it. It is mainly a vendor event, but it also has arcade and pinball tables set to free play, old PCs and consoles set up for fun, tournaments and competitions for prizes, and a Chinese auction spread throughout the day. We've been going for over a decade and have yet to be disappointed.
This year was particularly memorable for several reasons. We nabbed five (!!) more NES games for our set, over 50 PS2, GC, and Xbox games for a buck apiece, several C64 and Bally Astrocade carts, more systems and parts for our Xbox LAN (yay original Halo LAN!) along with lots more goodies. We got to reconnect and chat with several convention buddies, and we tried Colombian cuisine for the first time, which was absolutely delicious.
Also, for the first time I found myself in a pseudo-argument with a gentleman selling me a game.
Continue reading CCAG, Playing Games, and the Philosophy of Flipping
In Part 1 of my critique on video game categorization I posed the question "Can the Zelda games be considered RPGs?" My stance is that these games cannot be labeled as Role Playing games on the basis that they do not depict the character growth, statistic building, and depth of narrative required of games of the genre.
The Zelda series no doubt presents many enthralling story lines, but the characters are subject to the direction of the narrative. Consider these games to be akin to a Greek myth in which the hero is a victim of the fate determined by the gods. Like Odysseus, Link must take up arms, embark upon a journey of epic proportions and cope with an unalterable destiny. The characters of Adventure games are driven by the story. RPGs display the opposite. The characters push the narrative forward.
Despite this critical fact that separates Adventure and Role Playing games one cannot argue that both involve playing the role of a hero on an adventure. This is why I am not comfortable with the term "RPG." Modern video games, and even many retro titles, cannot be pigeon holed into just one genre category. A game such as Secret of Mana is rooted in the RPG basics and incorporates gameplay elements from the Adventure genre. Titles that merge these two genres are too conveniently labeled as Action RPG. This does provide insight on the game's play style, but does not accurately identify the game as a whole. My solution to this is to look at the adventure itself, the context in which it takes place, and whether characters grow as the game progresses.
This is the typical RPG whether it is turn based or played out in real time. These games depict stories which are driven by the protagonist and his or her companions. Character development is illustrated via statistics, but more so in the dialogue or cut scenes. As the characters grow the story becomes deeper much like a film or novel. These games tend to be longer as more time is spent allowing the player to experience the characters and setting. The structure of the narrative often follows Joseph Campbell's Monomyth.
Fantasy Adventure/Action Adventure
The story is set in a fantastical world which has power over the hero. The protagonist's shortcomings do not impact the story; in this case the story predetermines his or her weaknesses. The focus of these games is directed more to the player having to adapt to and overcome challenges presenting by in game obstacles. These games also follow the Monomyth structure, but take the shortened path which is shown in the upper portion of the diagram.
I've enjoyed looking at what constitutes an "RPG" and like that there is no definitive answer. My solution for the categorization problem uses the characters and storyline of the games, as I feel they are integral to a great gaming experience. What are your thoughts on these labels? How do you identify what is and isn't a Role Playing game?
The first article in my new RPG Analysis series sparked some great conversation about community members' thoughts of the pricing of Role Playing games. We discussed some of our favourite titles and touched upon the timelessness of the genre. One comment, however, stood out from the lot. Addicted cited The Legend of Zelda as the first RPG he had played to completion.
There is no doubt that Zelda series boasts many great games in its catalogue. The debates lies here: can the Zelda games, which commonly accepted as Action Adventure games, be considered RPGs?
Continue reading Categorization Caveat: Part 1, The Problem
Wow, its been a long time. This year has been really dry for me, every time I browse the small scores thread, I get more and more jealous of the finds other people are getting while I'm stuck in a drought. But I suppose its not all that bad since I'm out of room for most of my systems anyway. I've resorted to having some SNES and some Genesis games on the floor because there's just no room left on the shelves for them. The PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PS1 are all right behind them, with room for less than 5 games left on each of those systems. Maybe that's why I've been apathetic toward getting up early to hit up garage sales like I used to. This past weekend was the first time I actually woke up early and got out there on Friday and Saturday, but it still didn't do me any good. And don't get me started about the flea market this year, its gone to total crap. It used to be 75% people selling their personal stuff and 25% professional sellers. The last few years its been 50% and 50%, last year was closer to 25% and 75% and this year is more like 99% professional and 1% regular people. At first it seemed like the flea market quadrupling in size was a good thing, but if all they're going to sell is overpriced storage unit junk and crappy Dollar Store junk, it doesn't really matter how big it is. I guess that's just the evolution of flea markets though. They start out small with good stuff, get a bit bigger and have more good stuff, then they get too big and commercialized and the buyers that made them popular quit going and all your left with is people coming from church, retired people, and hipsters that just browse and don't actually buy anything. Before long, the whole thing collapses, and is either gone for good, or the process can start again.
Enough of my rambling, I know that's not why you read these, you want to see those deals! I hope your not too disappointed with my meager finds over the last couple months.
Continue reading Treasure Hunt Chronicles '12 - #2