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BaD 2017.6: for the hoard?

On 02/08/2017 at 01:30 AM by Julian Titus

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In my last blog, I wrote about how much I love my physical media, even though it can be a pain to deal with sometimes. That got me thinking about my fabled game collection, which I’ve been talking about a lot on Nerds Without Pants, if you follow the podcast. I’m going to pepper this post with some relatively recent pictures of my game room. Keep in mind that since these were taken I have added some art on the walls, there are more games on the shelf, and there is currently a huge stack of about twenty games sitting next to the TV that need to be filed.

I wasn’t always a video game collector. Back in my Gamefellas retail days I was trading in my games on a nearly weekly basis. I’d buy a new release, beat it in one or two weeks, and trade it in towards the next game. As such, the games you see here are but a fraction of what I’ve owned since 1997. My PSX collection, for example, sits at a paltry 35 titles, but I’m sure I’ve owned a good four to five hundred in my time.

I was excited to finally have a space in which to display my collection, and start, you know, playing these games. Sure, I’ve played a lot of the games on these shelves, especially if we’re talking the 8 to 64 bit eras. I’ve also played a good majority of my PS2 games to completion. While there are a lot of 360 games here that I haven’t played that is largely in part because it was during that generation that I began picking up games that were a perceived “deal” to me; if I saw a good sale on Black Friday or found something good in a bargain bin I’d grab it.

I am not a focused collector. I’m not trying to get every game for a particular console. The only thing that I am compelled to collect are the mainline Final Fantasy games. That sickness is real, and I’m moving on from collecting multiple U.S. releases and beginning the hunt for complete Japanese editions. I try to go for a quality over quantity approach to my older games. That’s changed slightly recently, but I’ll get to that.

So…here’s the thing. I’ve been coming to the slow realization that I don’t really understand why I’m doing this. I don’t have kids, and I never plan on having them, so there is no future where I’m passing this stuff down. I don’t have any family that would inherit the collection if I die, either, and the people named in my will would likely cherry pick a few titles and ebay the rest. I’ve barely played anything pictured since I set up the game room. I played quite a bit of Guitar Hero, but beyond that I’ve only fired up these systems to test recent game purchases.

I think in the back of my mind I’ve been hoarding these older games because I feel that the time is fast approaching when I’m not going to be on the bleeding edge of gaming. I’ve been on that edge since 1996, and I have not taken a break from this hobby, ever. But one day I’m not going to be buying the latest consoles, but I can still see me wanting to play video games. Nostalgic video games. Games that feel a little more “pure”, and less designed by committee and focus tested to death.

But…is that actually going to happen? I can’t even keep up with my current gen releases. I own 31 PS4 games right now, and I’ve only finished about ten of them. Xbox One and Wii U are similarly neglected, although I own fewer games for those consoles.

I’ve been kicking around the idea lately of slowly selling off the bulk of my collection. I’d keep my Final Fantasy games, of course, and certain rare gems like the dot/HACK series, and a smattering of RPGs, of course. I don’t think I could part with my NES and SNES games, as they hold significant sentimental value for me. Like, that NES Metroid cart? That’s my original copy, bought new at Toys R Us when I got my Nintendo. The handwriting of 11 year old Julian is found in the instruction manual for passwords. My Secret of Mana cart? I traded it in to Gamefellas, only to have it come back into my possession a couple years later in the same condition I kept it in. How do I know? The save files weren’t touched, and I used to put the name of whatever girl I was crushing on as the female character.

A lot of memories. A lot of money. But also, a lot of storage room, and the time it would take to play these games is more than I probably have in life. It’s a lot to think about, and I’m not sure I’m ready to make that decision. Sorry for this super long BaD. Hope it was GuD.




02/08/2017 at 02:49 AM

One of my biggest regrets is I stopped buying PS2 games when PS3 offered digital versions in their digital store, thinking I would eventually buy all the games I wanted at cheaper prices and not worry about storage. Well, I like playing obscure japanese and survival horror games which haven't really been released digitally and now are ridiculously expensive. The games I own now, I will never sell and cherish them even more now. I know I could emulate them on PC, which I have, but it's not the same to me as having the physical copy  on the original system. I own Silent Hill HD collection on PS3, but playing original on PS2 just feels better. I also threw away a large CRT TV thinking it took too much room in my house and my HDTV had necessary video connections for older game systems, but old games just look better on old monitors  but then there  is the space issue again. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/08/2017 at 05:42 AM

I had originally planned on keeping this old CRT flat screen for my classic games, but it turns out that flat tubes have a lot of input lag, and the TV was just too big. And I also discovered the My Life in Gaming YouTube channel, and they detail how to get the best picture from your older systems on HDTVs. For example, a PS2 looks FANTASTIC on an HDTV if you use component cables and set the system options to progressive scan. If you want to get really hardcore you can get an XRGB Mini for older systems, which makes them look far better than you could imagine, but that's an expensive route that I have yet to go down. Right now I use a Retron 5 for my old cart games, and they look amazing in HD. 

Catherine Hauser Staff Alumnus

02/08/2017 at 08:33 AM

Those IKEA units are the greatest things. We have 3 just for displays that have lights running through them for our statues and figures. If you're going to spend the money on the stuff, might as well display it!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:43 PM

I fell in love with the Kallax shelves after Friend of the Show John Gholson used them to display his trade paperbacks. They are a wee bit inconvenient for video game displaying though. 


02/08/2017 at 09:15 AM

I kept my CRT flatscreen. It's currently in my closet, but this is the year I clean out the piles of boxes and get rid of or organize the stuff that is taking up space in my tiny cottage. It's amazing what not being depressed has been doing for my productivity! I'll be making a retro corner and I'm really excited about that.

I have to laugh, because I immediately recognized those three boxed sets in with your PSX games. I have all of them, too. Arc the Lad I bought new and still has all the goodies, but the two Lunar sets were used. Lunar SIlver Star Story had most of the goodies, but Eternal Blue only has about half of what should have been in it.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:44 PM

I kept every bit of swag for my Lunar collections. I never opened the stuff for the second game. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I think it's because I had bought the Japanese Metal Gear Solid Premium Package, and lost the t-shirt and dog tags. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/08/2017 at 10:38 AM

damn dude.  That Bumblebee picture/thingamajig.... That's so awesome. 

I don't have nearly the games you do, but even the ones I have get annoying to keep sometimes. Still, I like having them.  I have collected PSONE and PS2 JRPGS, and I'd like to keep it up.  

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:46 PM

My best friend made that for me! He's been getting into Lego art. Which is weird, because he's not artistic. He made this massive Sailor Moon piece for his wife. I have no idea where they plan to display it. It's the size four of the Bumblebee piece.


02/08/2017 at 02:09 PM

I'm starting renting games and my plan is to slowly trade in all my physical games. Some of them, though, would be hard to part with, so I thought I'd check my local crafts store to see if they have frames for games. They have frames for vinyl records, so why not games? I'd like to put a few on the wall as all-time favorites.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:47 PM

That would be cool! I have a handful of signed video games, but they are just filed in with everything else. Wish I had a way to show them off that made sense.


02/10/2017 at 02:50 AM

You can have custom frames made for anything at a frames shop, but it's kind of expensive. I need to find some mass produced product that's cheap. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/08/2017 at 02:40 PM

Oh shit, I still haven't written my will to Teachers Retirement System. I keep forgetting. 

If you have N64/GCN/GameBoy/GameBoy Color/Game Boy Advance/DS titles you need to get rid of, I may be able to help depending on what game it is. 

Cary Woodham

02/08/2017 at 09:29 PM

Gamefellas?  You mean like the really cool game store in Austin I used to go to when I was in college?  That Gamefellas?

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/09/2017 at 08:48 PM

Yep, that Gamefellas! I worked at the Barton Creek mall store from 1997-2000, then I managed the Lakeline store from 2000-2004, and stayed with the company until we folded in 2005. 

Cary Woodham

02/09/2017 at 11:52 PM

Well I was in college in Austin from 1995 to 1999, so maybe I did go to that store when I lived there.  I don't remember the name of the mall it was in.  I do know I went to EB Games a lot in a mall in Austin as well.  There was one employee there who was very nice and was really hepful to me in my first couple of years of being a game reviewer.  So thank you, Tess, wherever you are....

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/10/2017 at 01:13 AM

Sounds like you went to Northcross. I don't speak of them, but if you got someone there who was nice and helpful you lucked out. :P

Cary Woodham

02/10/2017 at 09:47 AM

Well this was when the Internet was in its infancy, and finding release dates and ratings and other info on games was harder to look up.  So I often called or went in to that store to find out information for the first couple of years of reviewing games for the newspaper.  One employee at EB Games in particular was very helpful to me.  Of course, my friends always teased me and said I had a crush on her, but I'll plead the fifth on that one.  But regardless, she was very helpful.

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