RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Apr 2nd 2018 at 12:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Collecting

Through some relatively recent unfortunate financial circumstances, I was compelled to sell off my copy of Stadium Events for the NES. My journey to complete my NES collection and the fact that I'm just a handful of titles away from having all the unlicensed games as well, made it quite a difficult decision to let go of this game. A brief little background for those unfamiliar, but it took me nearly 10 years to gather a copy of each licensed NES game. This journey lead me to meet many friends over the years, some from RFGen, NintendoAge, Facebook, locally and many other areas that helped me reach this achievement. The final game to cap off my collection was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Ubisoft) and it was sent to me as a surprise when a group of amazing buddies on RF Generation pooled their resources to purchase me a copy and send it along with a card signed by each contributor's signature. It was truly the perfect end to a fantastic journey and has held a special place in my home for the last several years. The recent selling of this single game however has me really contemplating what and how I plan to collect going forward. This may have changed my overall approach to collecting.

After completing my NES collection, the next logical step was to see what other sets I'd enjoy collecting for and start completing those. TG16 was an easy one for me to jump into as it is a very small set with a lot of games that I enjoy playing. I had already owned about one third of the set before I even considered going for all of them anyway, so why not? It took me about another 2 years after finishing up with my NES set to complete that one. Dreamcast seemed achievable and has a good variety of quirky gems in it's library too, so I've been plugging away at that one and am quite close to a full set there as well. SNES is one of my favorite systems, and although it has a larger library, it's got a ton of stuff I havn't played yet that I think I'd enjoy. After knocking off nearly all the most challenging titles, I've been slowly picking away at the library to the point the end is nearly in reach. CIB Virtual Boy collection? Easy peasy compared to any of these other sets I'm working towards, plus I actually enjoy playing the system. I've never collected for a system as it was actively sold at retail, so going for a full Wii U set seemed like it could be a neat change of pace. Fast forward to now, and I'm in the home stretch of that console also. These all seemed pretty easy and all were closing in on being done so why not look for a real challenge on another console I love? Enter PS2 full set collecting. Late last year, I passed the halfway mark on the PS2 set and am now well over 1000 titles into the system.

As I look at my now incomplete NES collection and realize that it will likely never be complete again, I begin to wonder if I want to continue on my quest of full set domination. While I've greatly enjoyed it and don't regret a second of it, I feel like that part of my journey may have passed and it took a significant event like this for me to realize it. The collecting landscape has changed so much in recent years. There are no more games while garage sale-ing in my area. Pawn shops are devoid of carts and just full of modern generation sports games and shooters. I'm in far too isolated of a community to enjoy retro conventions without significant travel costs. Facebook groups have overtaken craigslist/kijiji and vgpc/gamevaluesnow/lukiegames and other sites have all but ensured that deals are next to impossible to be had for those on a budget unlike the old days. Even shipping costs and the comparatively weak Canadian dollar have made it prohibitively challenging to order online. Most new games coming out are becoming less and less appealing to me with games selling me only a fraction of the content I'm used to receiving up front and promising to charge me more for those extra characters or missions down the road or have just gone straight to digital only. I'm in a weird spot right now where the older stuff I want is hard to get , expensive or both, and the newer stuff is becoming less and less appealing at an accelerated rate. What's a collector to do?

Even at well over 6500 titles in my collection, I've got a pretty extensive wishlist that I'd like to work towards filling, as well as many items of which I'd like to upgrade the completeness or condition. The idea I keep coming back to lately is to make a shift from collector to curator. This would mean going through my full sets and nearly full sets, and in some cases even my entire library for certain consoles, and make a massive purge. I would keep only my favorites and use the funds from the purged items to make a big dent into my wishlist. This idea has been rattling around in my mind since I had to let go of my Stadium Events several weeks ago and I've been looking for a way to continue to enjoy my hobby of collecting and gaming.

This blog is more or less me just working through this idea out loud and as I spend the next two weeks on vacation traveling around with my family. I plan to come to a decision of how to proceed by the time I return home. Any advice or feedback will be taken into consideration, but I'm also just curious to know if any of you guys are feeling the same way about collecting in recent years.

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After finishing my NES titles, and acquiring many of the games that I want for older systems, I have really slowed down lately. I've considered divesting myself of some systems that I don't care for as much for a while, but without any pressing need like the one you have run into, I haven't had to make the decision.

Overall, I'm good at where I am. Are there some titles that I wish to get still? Absolutely. Am I combing the stores looking for them? Not as much. As you mentioned, the fun part of hunting for games has really changed. I'm excited to see where this new development takes you.
I've definitely changed from collector to curator and I've never been happier with my collection. There are so many good games on most systems that you can still have a relatively large collection without having to bulk it up with sports titles or games you have no interest in ever playing. Sure, stadium events is impressive from some points of view, but I'd much rather have a couple hundred (or more) better games for probably less than it would cost me to buy 1 Stadium Events. There's nothing more satisfying than looking at your shelves and knowing that you could grab anything from them and enjoy it, without any feeling of trying to ignore the "stinkers".

I still have some areas of my collection that I'm more lax about getting "good" games, like if there's 1 bad game in a series I'll probably buy it just to complete the series because it would feel silly not to.
I was sorry to hear about you having to sell off Stadium Events, but at the same time, it's good that you were able to look to that, and had an investment in something that allowed you to move forward.  This is an interesting idea, and definitely a paradigm shift from the primary collector mentality.  I think I kind of exist somewhere in the middle.  Yes, I'm collecting a couple full sets, but I have no illusions that I will ever have a full NES cart set, or a full set of boxed Genesis games.  My primary goal is to acquire what I can, when I can, as inexpensively as I can, and have fun building memories along the way.  Some of those will be from playing random games I picked up, some of them are from the hunting process itself, and some of that is the relationships formed, as you said, with other gamers discussing the process.  I've found myself, of late, considering the collection less an end unto itself, but rather, a journey.  I'm enjoying the journey so far, and am collecting for systems I actually own, so I can play any of the games I grab at any point.  If I ever decide to slow down, or stop altogether, I would have more games than I could ever realistically play through for the rest of my life.  I'm also looking at it as a bit of an investment.  Most of the games I'm picking up, I'm doing so as inexpensively as possible.  At some point, these games will hopefully swing back up in value, and if I can turn that into good trade material for some of the things I want more, so be it.

Anyway, it's an interesting idea, and I hope it results in a more focused collection that you can both be proud of, and also enjoy more, because it's full of games you love and enjoy playing.
I'm in somewhat of a similar situation as Duke in that I've slowed down quite a lot lately. Having finished my NES set, the only other set I'm really looking to finish is for SMS and I'm almost there. I also collect all of the 2600 games that I come across and do not have. These are the primary systems that were around during my youth, and are dearest to me. Other than that, I collect for other systems, but with the majority, my intent is to collect what I feel are the good remaining games for that console that I want to play.  I think a big part of my collecting nature is to have a primary focus and see that goal to an end before moving on to the next goal. Sure, I will accumulate games that are desirable or those that look fun and quirky, along the way if they are cheap enough, but I don't have a multitude of systems that I want to continuously grab games for to complete. 

It seems that you have a multitude of sets that you are trying to collect for and for me that would be too daunting and take a good deal of the fun out of it.  Just a suggestion, but maybe take some time and determine what systems are most dear to you and focus more on those, if you still want to complete a few of them.  I think that setting these goals makes the collecting much more enjoyable and of course satisfying when the goal is obtained. 
I'm almost 100% in agreement with MetalFro. To me collecting is a journey and I while I still enjoy the hunt and find some good deals out there I'm sticking to game series and games I've always wanted to own. I've been moving more towards flash carts to play everything else. I've also been keeping an eye on homebrew as there's always something new to play on old systems like Lizard. With that said you determine how to collect and can't let it be dictated by anyone else. Your collection is a reflection of you and like you changes.

The older I get the more I realize it's the communal aspect I enjoy and have set up my gameroom and games around parallel play. There are 6Tvs and 2 projectors with over 50 game systems connected so there's always something to play for everyone. I even made sure to put in a small bar table with 4 chairs for board games.

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