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Posted on Oct 27th 2008 at 12:45:24 AM by (NES_Rules)
Posted under Collecting, Collectors Dilemma, Collection, Polls, Opinions

Form or Function?

CD: Form or Function?

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Ah, the good old debate of which is better, stuff that looks pretty or stuff that works. Now, you're probably wondering how I'm going to relate this to game collecting. But anyone with a sizable collection of boxed Genesis games or loose Atari 2600 games knows the answer to that.

Basically, many of the older systems' game boxes had no real design template for developers to follow. For example, many Genesis games came with the clamshell cases with a red end, but a good portion have a black and white squares pattern. Atari 2600 games are also like this. Both Atari and Activision had very similar box designs, but Atari's cartridges were black labels with colored lettering while Activision had colored labels with white lettering. While nearly every other company had something completely different.

So, hopefully, you can see where I'm going with this. What I want to know is, how do you categorize your games? Do you go by color/design (form) or alphabetize them (function)? Alphabetization sure makes it quick and easy to find the game you want, but colorization looks really cool.

And in case my wording isn't as clear as I think it is, I've included a couple pictures of what I mean, the first one is alphabetical order; it looks sloppy but a particular game is easy to find.

The second picture is all according to the color/design of the case; it looks pretty but can be a pain finding a particular game.

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I'm a fan of alphabetical by system. Yeah, it may look jumbled or out of order, but it's way easier to find stuff.
I like alphabetical because I like to be able to find stuff.  Also when arranging by color there's always a few oddballs you're not sure where to place.  (For instance, the Genesis version of Road Rash-- its case is half red, half black and while it's closer to the old black Genesis case design it doesn't really fit in with anything)
I go with Alphabetical order simply b/c it is easier to find a particular game.

Now the real delima is "do you go from left to right" (as you would read) OR "from right to left" (so when you read the titles you are going down).

Does that make sense?  Just check the picture above of the Sega Alphabetical order picture. Now tilt your head so that you can read the titles.  The titles go in reverse Alphabetical order.

@cverz2: My brain asplodeded. Tongue
I think it's tough with the Genesis library to pick form versus function, but with 2600 carts, it's a lot easier to memorize who made what game, and leave things sorted by publisher / cart type. Mine aren't sorted yet, but I plan to at some point in the future.
I'm not really sure what you mean, like A to Z left to right vs Z to A left to right, or which way the text on the spine reads?

My Atari carts are sorted by Publisher then color coding. The 1st party Atari games and Activision games make nice little rainbows. And I don't really play them enough that not being alphabetized bothers me.
I organize them by system and then by Alphabet, it's just easier to find a game that way.
"Everything is categorized by color/shape/size."

I really hate having games look like they do in that first picture. I don't want my collection to become an epileptic's nightmare.

In fact, (call me odd if you want to), I'd rather not see my collection at all. If I'd live on my own in X-years time, and if I'd have a lot of games by then (say: 1000+) I'd consider getting some sort of apothecary-style drawer system, so everything is put away.

I'm not a fan of the whole "museum" aspect of a collection, I find it too claustrophobic for my tastes. A good example of what I mean would be [url=http://www.rfgeneration.com/cgi-bin/collection.pl?action=profile&name=blissfulnoise&folder=Collection]Blissfulnoise's game room[/url].
@blissfulnoise: don't get me wrong here, I think your collection is awesome, I just don't like the way it's displayed. Wink
@ Logical123, and nes rules
I think my brain locked up just trying to explain it.

@ sirgin
I think this is truly a preference thing.  All collectors have different ways of displaying there games.  I personally look at blissfulnoise's collection and think it is great.  I love the way he has things displayed.
Well except the plastic containers blocking some of his shelves.
I having almost 300 Complete Genesis Games go alphabetical, but I could see that maybe it would be worth it for cosmetic purposes to go alphabetical but by color. A to Z with the classic inserts then go A to Z with the common red insert. Then finish it up with just sports titles regardless of what color they are. Sports are sports. I think that would work out best for you.
Mine are organized by system and then by genre.  Shooters with shooters, sports with sports and such.
@cverz2:I completely agree, everyone can do has he/she likes. I just prefer not displaying my collection at all. Calmer for the eyes.
I only have 3 boxed Genesis games and they all have black cases, so I don't need to worry about that yet.
@Sirgin: I love the look in people's eyes when they walk into my game room either for the first time or the first time in a few months. You can just see the amazement/disbelief in their eyes, as they think "how can one person have this many games?" The it turns into the "I wonder if he has insert favorite childhood game here?" look.

And for the record, I love Blissfulnoise's setup. It's essentially what I want mine to look like someday.

@Ghost Soldier: That's a good idea, I've never thought about doing it that way.
I go alphabetically, but for some occasions, I do separate by color.  PS1 is split into Longbox, black spine, and Greatest Hits, and Dreamcast gets split by regular and SEGA ALL STARS variants.  I stack my Xbox 360 limited edition cases off to the side, but Genesis gets the straightforward treatment, separating only between boxes and cases.
I would sort by color/label if possible, then alphabetically. Sorting by genre sounds like fun, I have seen it done with SNES, it worked. I've also seen someone sort 2600 games by "great", "ok", and "bad" categories, though I doubt I would try that. Currently my games are only sorted by consoles, but I don't think I have more than 30 games for any single console, so no worries yet.
One console I would never attempt to sort is PC games.
@NES_Rules:That must be pretty awesome indeed. And for those purposes, a game room is pretty cool. If I'd want a game room like that, I'd need a seperate room for where I actually play the games. I just don't like a crowded room like that, it bothers my peripheral vision. That's all. Smiley
I dont really have my sega genesis games displayed but i do separate greatest hits from original boxes
Mine are organized.... autobiographically.
well when mine are actually on the shelf mine are only organised by system, i cant be botherd with all the alphabetical thing but i do like all boxed togther and then loose

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