Death of my Desire

A question we get asked somewhat frequently: Do you guys collect retro games/consoles? Here are some random musings on that:

The answer for both of us, as far as I know, is no. I think Kole legit collects survival horror games (makes sense) but other than that, I think he's divested himself of that hobby. I know I have.

Prior to moving to Portland, I had just about every major console. I had every nintendo console (including virtual boy) and every sega console. I had dozens and dozens of games for every system. I used to go into the magical used game stores of my hometown, where, bless their hearts, they didn't know the value of what they had. I used to scour garage sales and flea markets. I went to an annual toy show (which fucking owned) and dug through boxes of NES games.

I never tried to complete a system's library, I just picked up things that were interesting, things I liked. I had Wisdom Tree NES games, Quattro NES carts, most 32 bit RPGs.

I don't have those things anymore! I wish I could say it's an interesting story, like I was robbed or a box fell off my car but honestly, I just didn't have space. Moving cross country with three cats was stressful enough without trying to keep every last thing. I was fairly involved with Steam at this point and I was enamored with the Virtual console. I remember the virtual console roundup being my favorite part of Retronauts for a while, even though they mostly groused about what Japan was getting. But it was at this point I decided to digitize my collection as best as I could.

I don't blame anyone for sticking to physical media. It feels good to touch game cases and boxes (especially old PC boxes). You're giving up something when you go digital. Emulation isn't perfect and not every PC game is on Steam or GOG. It's a sacrifice, it's just one I decided I needed to make.

I can't even claim high ground about not hoarding because my steam collection is a fucking nightmare of unplayed impulse purchases. I just have more space. That's it.

I sort of regret it. Right now, I'll see a big box copy of Fallout at a goodwill and light up. Just beholding something like that will give me some joy. I just need to remind myself that I don't actually need it and should make wiser choices. What I'll do is put the object of my desire in the cart, carry it around for a while, and put it back before check out. It helps, for some reason.

I remember when I first played Deus Ex (on PS2!) I toyed with the idea of collecting copies of it just to give away. If I knew someone who had a PS2, they'd get a copy, period.

I used to collect Marvel Legends action figures and it got bad at a certain point. I would buy very rare figures for north of 60 dollars (not often, but sometimes) and it was critical my collection remained up to date. This was a Dumb Way to Spend Money. Luckily, I sold that collection (and got what I paid for it, weirdly) when I got divorced. Hooray for desparation making us better people, I guess.

Given that I'm so prone to collecting, I had to set up methods of dealing with it, so I didn't go broke. Right now, I collect game books, Lovecraft paperbacks, Call of Cthulhu RPG books and games by From. The trick I use is to never pay more than market value for something. That way, it keeps the feeling of a "hunt" alive. I can't recommend this enough. Every time I go to PRGE or a goodwill or a bookstore or a tabletop shop, I have something to look for. I can make a beeline to the places most likely to have my quest objects and get an unreasonable dopamine squirt when I find them for a decent price. If the items are too expensive, I'll wait to find a deal.

I can't put my finger on what helped me change but it was necessitated by need. I think when you need to make a change for yourself, it's easier? I don't really have anything to button this entry with but I'd ask you guys- Do you collect anything and, more interestingly to me, do you struggle with it at all?