Why Collect Video Games?

It’s a funny question, you know – why does anybody do anything? Let’s face it, we all have our own little idiosyncrasies, and we all have our own reasons for doing things, but it’s nice to put things in context (and I guess I want to write this for posterity anyway).

So why do I collect video games?

Everyone needs a hobby, I guess, but that’s not a valid reason (this is a particularly expensive hobby, so doing it for the sake of having a hobby is a bit extreme). I guess if I really think about it, I collect games for three main reasons (excluding the obvious – I just love games).

1. Nostaglia

I have been lucky enough to have experienced almost the full breadth of what video gaming has had to offer (while I may have missed the very early years, I’ve owned and played a good chunk of machines over the years, from Intellivision to Atari to Sega to Nintendo and into the modern age). On top of this, as a kid, I was a voracious consumer of video game magazines, and would read them from cover to cover (now I barely have the time to read half of what I buy).

As a result, I have some really fond memories throughout the years, and I would really like to replicate them – not just for myself, but for my kids as well. They’re gonna damnwell like these games or else.

Things I see in my future as a result: Atari Lynx (Xenophobe, California Games, Desert Strike, Robotron: 2084), Sega Megadrive (Sonic series, Streets of Rage), Atari 7800 (Joust, Food Fight), Intellivision (Lock ‘n’ Chase).

2. To fill a perceived gap in my childhood

Keeping in mind that I read a shitload of gaming magazines throughout out the late 80s and all through the 90s, there are a number of games I never played that I REALLY wanted to. And it’s funny, time goes on, you forget and move on, but there’s always that niggling part of your consciousness in the back of your mind – and it never forgets.

Now, I know I said I played a ‘good chunk’ of machines over the years, but the truth is – there’s a hell of a lot more that I missed out on – probably by a factor of ten-to-one. Thankfully, a good 90% of that I will not lament missing out on, but that last 10%…

And picking up and poring over retro gaming magazines such as UK’s Retro Gamer doesn’t help, either (but damn it’s a good magazine)…

Things I see in my future as a result: Atari Jaguar (Alien vs Predator, Rayman), Sega Game Gear (Sonic Games, Alien 3), Super Nintendo (Super Star Wars, Street Fighter 2, much more), Nintendo Entertainment System (everything).

3. To chronicle an industry I love

The last reason I collect games really comes down to a kind of pride – both personal and for the industry as a whole. On a personal level, I want to own a little piece of history, to display/use at my discretion, and in most cases they will be my personal treasures. In regards to the gaming industry, I guess I want to pay homage, show my kids and extended family how things have progressed over the years, and (in a manner of speaking) chronicle my re-discovery on this blog (laziness notwithstanding).

I think this explains my intentions, and I hope to live up to some of the broad strokes I’ve painted above.

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2 responses to “Why Collect Video Games?

  1. I lived in Japan for three years, and I amassed a collection of all the old games that I used to read about in the old video game magazines, but never got a chance to play. And they were all like $1 or less! The nostalgia factor was huge for me, too.

    • MadCapsules

      You know, it’s funny. As you know, there are PLENTY of retro game shops in Japan (many used book stores also sell old games as well), and I would often go in a peruse the many, MANY titles lining the walls and aisles… but I never bought any. Nothing – and you’re right… They WERE (and likely still are) quite cheap, but I never bought any.

      I regret that now, let me tell you!

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