Published on August 16th, 2012 | by Chris Warriner6
Why I Collect Video Games
I have a lot of games – probably more than I’ll ever have time to play. That doesn’t stop me, though. I’m proud of my game collection. Most of the games I own are ones that I grew up with, and later releases in the same series or starring characters I’m familiar with. Other things that have found their way into my possession include games that looked interesting to me, or bargain-bin impulse buys. I have a lot of different games, from a lot of different genres – more than 100 for my Nintendo DS system alone. So why do I have so much?
One reason I’ve amassed so many games is I can’t seem to let go of any game I purchase. Even if a game ends up being a dud, or something I lose interest in, it still has a home on my shelf. I’ve sold games in the past that I wasn’t playing as much as I used to. One particular memory that stands out involves my Sega Genesis. This is the second home video game console our family ever owned. It was an early Birthday/Christmas present one year for my brother and me in the early 90s. The system came bundled with Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but we eventually got a tiny collection together of about a dozen or so games, such as the rest of the Sonic platformers, a few Disney games like Quack Shot and Beauty and the Beast, and even the isometric action RPG LandStalker. These were games I grew up with and had some great times playing for hours on end, but sometime down the line we decided to sell the whole lot at a yard sale. This is a decision that I eventually came to regret.
Sometime later, nostalgia reared its ugly head and I was craving some of those old classics. Like clockwork, Sega releases a compilation of Sonic games with each new system that hits the market. The Sonic Mega Collection for GameCube was able to satisfy some of the old cravings I had for blue hedgehog. I even ended up tracking down a used Sega Genesis, just to play LandStalker. Emulation was definitely an option for me, but there’s nothing quite like playing the games on their original hardware. I’ve also grown rather weary of emulating games since my teenage years, due to its not-so-legal nature, but I’ll save that can of worms for sometime in the future. What this little story eventually boils down to is that although I might grow tired of a game, there’s a chance I’ll want to play it again at one point. There’s also this weird feeling I get out of replaying old games that new games just don’t seem to have anymore. I seem to enjoy new releases as much. But eventually every new release becomes a retro classic (well, maybe not every game).
I’ve also encountered a few games over the years that never really hooked me, for one reason or another. After a while, however, the time is right and I’ll be able to play and enjoy the experience. Certain games are like a fine wine. You’ve gotta wait until the vintage has aged enough before you can fully savor it. A recent example for me comes in the form of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for Nintendo GameCube. When the game was new, I eventually came to a point where I didn’t see a reason to continue playing, especially since single-player mode was my only option. I recently picked it up again, after a seven year hiatus, and completed what was left unfinished. I came to realize what a solid game it was, and how unique and fun its multiplayer cooperative gameplay is. I’d love to see that make a resurgence in a future Mario Kart. If I had sold the game at some point, I may not have made this discovery.
The main reason I collect games, to put it plainly, is because video games make me happy. They’re a fun little diversion, a window of escapism that I enjoy more than any other pastime. I collect the games to play them – many not right away, but I’ll eventually take the time to give every game its fair shot (at least, I keep telling myself I’ll get to them all someday).