Editorial: Gotta Collect ‘Em All

But it's not in English! How can I play it?

$1.2 million does not buy as many games as it used to

Hello, LusiSlaves. Anybody who has been playing video games for even a short length of time inevitably builds a collection of games. I read recently of a collector who sold his collection for $1.2m (£700k) on eBay. While the vast majority of gamers cannot claim to have a collection worth this much, there are often rare games in many collections worthy of boast.

Games the like of Suikoden 2 and Panzer Dragoon Saga command prices today that exceed their value when they were released. Even rare games that have seen a digital re-release can still see a mint condition game sell for a high price to the right collector. These games pale in comparison to prices obtained by selling obscure games from the NES and Atari eras.

So what happens with these games? Dedicated collectors have rooms that display their collections. Shelves stacked floor to ceiling with row upon row of games. Cabinets filled with every console imaginable. These are not rooms designed for gaming; rather they are designed to show off collections in the most eye-catching way possible. These museums of gaming are not for this gamer though. In my opinion games are supposed to be played.

How many have you owned?

Gaming history

I would not say that having a couple of shelves of games on display is a bad thing, but the titles I have out are generally the most most recent games I have been playing; old or new. I have personally spent several hundred pounds buying Saturn and PlayStation one games. I buy games like Dragon Force to play. They might sit on my shelf for a while when I have completed them but in the end they are sorted into drawers with the rest of my collection. I am not against showing off either, I enjoy whipping out my prized possessions to show friends and family. I just do not want my living space taken up by a mass of games.

I have known people in the past who had a ‘look but do not touch’ policy with their games. I understand wanting to keep a collection in good condition, I have a large amount of Magic the Gathering cards filed away. I made a decision a long time ago that if I own a card then I will use the card. The same goes for games. If it is on display, at least play with it. It should be a crime to keep games locked away.

I have one exception to this rule; factory sealed games. I see these less as games and more an investment, to be kept safe and sound until the time comes to sell them on. It would not be a part of my collection either, otherwise I would have to play it. I would not let anyone touch these games either; though I would keep them out of sight so that nobody (especially children) gets tempted to rip the plastic off and start playing with it.

How do you feel about your collection? Do you have a gaming room filled with you favourite games, if so which are you most proud of? Let me know!

3 Comments

  1. Lusipurr
    Posted 2012.07.13 at 20:08 | Permalink

    I have never understood the urge to collect sealed copies of games and then to display them in a case. With something like visual art, this makes sense: the work is the visual aspect. But, with a game, the work is only seen when it is played. Keeping them unopened so that no one can see what makes the game worthwhile makes little sense except as an exercise in personal vanity.

  2. Blitzmage
    Posted 2012.07.13 at 20:52 | Permalink

    @Lusipurr Keeping a sealed copy of a game behind glass is probably the worst thing you can do to a game. The art of video games is found in the enjoyment of playing it and the experience you get out of it. Putting any video game behind a glass case is like saying “I have a rare painting but you can’t look at it because it is in a safe and only I know the combination.”

  3. DefChaos
    Posted 2012.07.17 at 23:40 | Permalink

    When games get that “rare” mystique to it, it seems to encourage even more collectors to track it down and collect it for their shelves, removing even more copies for people to enjoy out of circulation.

    That’s one of the benefits of digital releases. I was thrilled when games like Secret of Mana and Shining Force were made available without having to pay exorbitant fees on sites like ebay. I wish even more games were made available like this so that more people could get to experience games like Suikoden 2 (my most valuable game, played through numerous times, not just there for the sake of being there).