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

Posted on Mar 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (bickman2k)
Posted under People of RF Generation, Playcast, Dragon Warrior, Snaaaaaake, love me some Cubivore

I found some writings on Erdrick's Tablet. The writings were this interview with the Playcast co-host GrayGhost81!

Name(First only):

Austin, Texas

Where does your screen name come from?
I've been asked many times if it was from the Batman villain, but it's just something I came up with a long time ago that has no backstory.

How did you find RFG?
I was listening to the now defunct Racketboy podcast and one of the hosts mentioned that the Collectorcast was a great podcast for hardcore collectors. Considering myself a hardcore collector at the time, I checked them out and was led to the site that way.

What made you stay and become part of RFG?
For me it's all about the forum. I don't submit to the database and I don't use the collection tool. I stay and participate because we have one of the greatest, smartest, and most polite groups of gaming and collecting enthusiasts on the internet.

Have you ever met or personally know anyone at RFG?
As of the time of this writing, I have not. However, I am very excited to meet my close friend and podcast host Rich, better known as Singlebanana, in just a few months, as he will be in my city for a visit.

Number of Games Owned(at time of printing):
About 700

Number of Games on Wishlist(at time of printing):
Very few. I'm trying to dramatically downsize in general. Although I still have stuff coming in, I am fortunate to own most things I ever had on my wishlists. Sometimes I think I want a WiiU. It's the only major console I don't own but so many of the games are coming out on the Switch.

Number of Systems:
Around 30. It should be only about a dozen but I have two or three of mostly every one.

When did you start collecting?
I've been collecting on and off since childhood but the current incarnation started around 2011.

What was your first system you owned?
I had an Atari 2600 as a very young boy but don't remember being too into it.

What was your first game?
I can't remember but it was probably something on that 2600.

First game you ever beat?
Probably Dragon Warrior.

Have you ever broken anything due to frustration from a game? Be honest, we won't tell…
I've broken more than one controller in my time, and as I recounted on the Playcast recently, I rage quit Area 51 on the PS2 and cracked the disc in half a few years back. I'm a little embarrassed but I learned not to do that again. Now I just scream obscenities.

Are you collecting now, if so what anything specific?
My PS4 collection keeps growing, specifically PSVR games. I love playing in VR and am always looking for the best experiences on the platform.

When did you feel a tipping point from gamer to both gamer and game collector?
I’d like to answer this question in reverse because I feel that as an adult I spent way too much time on collecting and not actually playing, but that changed in February 2012. I started logging games I was actually finishing and it made me very conscious of the value in actually playing video games and not just collecting, or dare I say hoarding them.

What are your goals as a game collector, how have you developed them, and how do you feel about your progress toward them?
My goal for 2018 was to downsize my collection by one third. I didn't quite make it happen during that year, but I'm almost there now. If I were answering this question about six years ago, my answer would be quite different, but about three years ago, I decided to downsize after moving. Having so many games is a huge pain for moving and I don't want to do it again.
How many games, systems, etc. are "enough"?
It's however many YOU feel is enough. I actually have quite enough, to the extent that enough has become too much.

What's your proudest moment as a game collector?
I'm always proud of the trades I've executed with other gamers. I don't have one in particular that sticks out but I got my copy of Earthbound in trade a few years back, just as one example. It's always cool to land a big fish like that without money coming out of your pocket.

What's your least proud moment as a game collector?
In the past I have brow-beat or otherwise annoyed people into giving me stuff that they may not have wanted to. I don't act that way anymore and I feel bad for the times I have.

If you had to give part of your collection away for a worthy cause what part would it be, and why?
It really depends on the worthy cause, but if it's to take care of a loved one or something, I'd sell anything I had to. I'd probably start by selling my “extra” consoles to soften the blow though. I have two or three of everything.

Where/how do you store it all?
I have three pretty big wall units I bought at Best Buy a while back. I use covered tubs for everything I don't need on display. Portable cartridge games are in a big zip-lock bag, and that bag is in a crate with all my handhelds.
What's your favorite part of your collection?
I love my PS2 collection. It is my favorite console and has almost always been the focus of my collection in general.

What about a favorite series?
Has to be Metal Gear Solid. I have many honorable mentions for this question (Persona, Mass Effect, Yakuza just to name a few) but MGS is the only series I can think of where I have finished every game in the series multiple times.

What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to gaming?
There are no guilty pleasures for me. I like what I like and as Playcast listeners know, I put it all out there with no reservations.

What is the most valuable part of your collection(Value or sentimental)?
The Explorer's Handbook for Dragon Warrior is the only thing video game related thing I have currently that belonged to me as a kid. It is really beat up so I keep it in a plastic bag. It is my prized possession. I bought a second one to use for our playthrough this month so as to not further wear out the first one.

What game do you have the most nostalgia for?
Dragon Warrior

What would you like to improve in your collection?
As I downsize, I'm focusing carefully on quality over quantity, and holding on to games that have meaning to me. I want my collection to feel more quaint and carefully curated than monolithic.

What do you think was your best deal while game buying?
On separate occasions, I scored a cib copy of Cubivore for one dollar and the Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition for Gamceube, also for a dollar.

What item in your collection do you feel you overpaid for?
I wouldn't say I overpaid for it but after searching for a good copy of Valkyrie Profile on the PS1 for years and years, I finally made the choice to drop a premium on a good copy on ebay. I'm happy I did it though.

Good spending is crucial in collecting. What do you feel is the strangest or weirdest item in your collection?
I have five copies of Pac-Man for the 2600. I think that's funny. It sold so many copies but is known as one of the worst ports of all time. I have no idea why I have them or where they came.

What item(s) do you not have in your collection that people are surprised to hear you don't have?
I don't own a physical copy of Metal Gear Solid V. I've put hundreds of hours into it, but I only have it digitally on multiple platforms. I would like to own it physically someday, but I'd rather buy or trade for new games I don't have already.

Is there any way you'd ever stop collecting?
I hope to shrink it drastically, but I think I will always have some sort of collection. I've gotten out of it in the past and always come back.

Have you ever had to move your collection to another house? What was it like?
I moved with a moving company from New Jersey to Texas in 2015 and trusting a moving company with my entire collection was nerve-wracking to say the least. Luckily they did a great job. A year later we moved within Austin and it was such a pain the ass that is was the main inspiration to start getting rid of stuff.

It sucks, period. If your significant other told you no more games, what would you do?
This may seem like a copout, but it would never happen. My wife loves video games but more importantly she loves me and wants me to be happy!

What percentage of your games are still sealed?
Probably about five percent. I don't collect sealed in general and any I have are just because I bought them new and haven't gotten around to playing them.
What percentage of your games have you actually played? Completed?
This is an educated guess but I’d say I’ve played almost all of them if only to test them out and finished maybe 20%

Do you own any complete collections?
No way. Every platform has bad games for it and I don't want to own bad games.

Time to bring out the fanboys! What is your favorite game of all time?
Persona 3

Least Favorite?
The Playstation Origins version of the original Final Fantasy. Nobody ever talks about this, but the encounter rate in that version is so astonishingly high, it made the experience absolutely miserable for me. This is the first Final Fantasy game I ever played and it was in 2012, when I had resolved to finish every game I started. It soured me on the series in general and I'm convinced people who recommend this version of the game do so because of the graphics, and haven't actually played it.

Do you collect anything else besides games?
Not really. I have some blu-rays and a lot of books but I'm trying to have fewer of those as well.

What do you do outside of games?
Reading and running.

What other features would you like to see more of at RFG?
“Reply All” in the messaging section.

ReddMcKnight, the previous interviewee, asked, "What is the most mediocre-okay game you can recall playing, beaten or not?"
Lunar Knights. Listen to the last episode of the Playcast to hear all about it!

Thanks for your time!

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Fun story, I have a Wii U on the way because I planted the idea in my own head that I needed one when I answered the wishlist question. Had buyer's remorse for about three seconds but honestly I'm pretty psyched to get it.

Adam, thanks for asking me to do this. I had a ton of fun amswering these questions!
While I'm trying to remember if the Vectrex has any bad games Smiley  ....I remember you talking about the big move more than once. Pretty impressive. Sometimes moving isn't so bad if you have time and it's not too far away but you really had a large journey to make.
We had the same experience a few years ago moving from FL to NH. I had so many boxes of DVD-style clamshell games and already had close to 100 CIB systems, and when we got here I wondered why I even had all of it. Maybe 75% of the games I had never played, and probably never would. Sold a bunch of them off, bought Everdrives to replace them, and now I focus on handheld collecting. Sounds like you're at the same point where your collecting is focused on what you'll actually play and use, which I feel is less collecting than it is just being a gamer. Either way, it's interesting to see more and more go through that same realization.
@nupoile: It was pretty awesome back then going through something so scary but having a place here to share with everyone. I'm glad I have those threads to look back on. My frame of mind was so unique, even if I relocate again, I would do so many things differently. I'm really grateful that I have an almost interactive journal of my journey down here.

@shane: Cool to hear I'm not alone. I used to feel super contrarian when I would talk about even trimming the fat in the collection. Maybe I was just being self-conscious, but now indeed it seems like more and more people are going this route. Maybe it's just a natural progression. You get dazzled by nostalgia in you twenties and you have the disposable income to buy all kinds of toys! Now as I am almost forty, I'm thinking more about how I will retire, and I am so ready to (mostly) embrace the ALL DIGITAL FUTURE! 
I didn't realize the Collectorcast was part of what brought you here. I'm touched to have been a part of that! It's been really great having you on rfgen and especially joining you guys on playcast games and listening to the podcast.

I know you and I have a difference of opinion on A LOT of things, but that's part of what I love about rfgeneration. I've never felt attacked or disrespected when we don't agree on something (and I hope you can say the same). That seems rarer and rarer online these days.

That picture of your weathered Dragon Warrior Explorer's Handbook is amazing. Those kinds of items are just irreplaceable.

Enjoy the hell out of that Wii U! There's still a few gems that havn't been ported to Switch yet. I think you might enjoy Tokyo Mirage Sessions for example. It'll scratch some of that Persona itch, but unfortunately doesn't have any deep social aspects like those games. Does have one of the funnest turn based battle system I've ever played though.
@Crabmaster2000: Dude, my first two pickups were Tokyo Mirage and Xenoblade X, followed by about fifteen other games because they are almost all super cheap, whether on the Switch or not! This was a really cool discovery, to be honest. Even Breath of the Wild, which I also grabbed, runs for about half of the price of the Switch version.

The site would suck if we all agreed all the time or got nasty when we disagreed. Instead, we have a diverse range of gamers and their tastes and the back and forth on the boards and article comments has always kept me on my toes in a very good way.
These are always fun to read, and I'm glad that you got the chance to do this, Shawn. I've had to move the collection a few times, and it has grown a lot in the last 17 years or so that I have lived here, so I understand. I've started selling off some other stuff that I have from childhood lately that I don't care nearly as much for, and it is nice to lighten the load there.

I enjoy listening to the show, and glad to have been involved in a small way to bringing you to RFG.
Great interview, though I feel like I could have answered most of these questions for you after knowing you for so long. Ha ha!

Two things: (1) You got the blue LRG case too!, and (2) the pic of that DW Explorer's Handbook put a big smile on my face. We will definitely have a segment on the podcast discussing it.
@GrayGhost81: Great read, and I wanted to say enjoy that Wii U! I love mine, and while I haven't spent much time with it since getting the Switch, I put a ton of time into it, between The Wonderful 101, NSMBU, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and more. Definitely a system that needs more love, despite its small library.
@GrayGhost81: I really wanted to love Xenoblade Chronicles X, but it just was a big miss for me. I have loved and followed the Xeno games since the start and havn't missed one yet (still need to pick up Torna The Golden Country, but am otherwise caught up). Put about 10 hours into X and have never had any desire to return to that world.
Very nice!  I love the DW manual.  I do something similar with my FF manual and map (which are probably the oldest of my original games).

What you said about FF Origins has me thinking.  Why I tend to play the first FF in Origins every year, for the past two I've played the original NES instead, not so much because I like the original better, but more for the nostalgia factor (I think).  Now I have to go back and play the Origins port again.  Personally speaking, I only play (or played) the PSX port because the two most annoying parts of the original for me - slow beginning progression and only buying one item at a time - are fixed. 

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