Salvation for Loose Games
                    by Marriott_Guy
Loose games are definitely the red-headed stepchildren of the video game collector.  Regardless of how many hours of enjoyable game play they provide, I always find myself harboring a certain disdain for these orphans.  I can organize till my heart’s content and yet they don’t even come close to presenting as well as their CIB counterparts in my Room of Doom.  In all honesty, I find myself utilizing them as ‘spacers’ or ‘props’ for their CIB brethren rather than integrating them fully into my collection.

I love the game Halo and (believe it or not) the actual disc (pictured to the right) still plays great, even though my brother’s dog got at the game case like it was a piece of fresh steak.  The only reason this would be displayed in my collection would be as a conversational piece.  Now that is just wrong.

As any CIB purist will tell you, the solution is to simply re-buy a game in its complete state.  I wholeheartedly agree, but let’s face reality – not many people (including me) have the unlimited discretionary funds at their disposal to do this.  I just want to be able to proudly display these strays, while keeping my financial investment at a minimum.  To accomplish this, there are basically two areas that we need to focus upon – the casing and the accompanying artwork/cover.

Let’s provide some redemption for these lost souls – all for around $1 per game!!


The first step in our ‘orphan makeover’ is to get them a new holder. Seeking out some of the oddball packaging (Sega CD, CD-i, 3DO, etc.) is not really an option since we need to keep the total cost per game at about $1.  The table below shows what replacement case to use for a respective system, along with some popular web links on where to purchase (these will open in a new window).
Standard CD Jewel Case
You can use these for any of the CD based systems, including the TurboGrafx (HuCard – with modification).  I am not a big fan of these, but they do save on space.  Systems that originally came in this packaging were the Sony PlayStation (for the most part), Sega Dreamcast (various colors). TG-16 CD, Philips CD-i (without the big box) and the Bandai Pippin (though deeper).  The Casio Loopy and Bandai Playdia also came in modified versions of this CD case.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.24 USD

eBay  Amazon
Standard DVD Case
This is my preferred method of storage for loose disc-based games.  Tall, plenty of room for artwork, manuals, easy to display, etc. – I love DVD cases!  This was the standard casing for the Sony Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube and NUON titles.  In addition, this is the casing of choice for Sega CD, Panasonic 3DO, Philips CD-i, NEC PC-FX, Memorex VIS and the original longbox Sony Playstation games.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.38 USD

eBay  Amazon
Wii DVD Case
The standard casing for the Nintendo Wii is the white DVD case – nothing flashy but highly effective in it’s presentation.  I haven’t had the need to replace any of my Wii titles as of yet, but these will run you a few more cents.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.42 USD

eBay  Amazon
Xbox DVD Case
These translucent green cases are designed for Microsoft Xbox and Xbox 360 games.  These are a little bit trickier to find.  You will pay through the nose for them on the various auction sites – I definitely recommend getting a lot of these and split them up with you buds.  This will save you a boatload of cash.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.51 USD

eBay  Amazon
PS3 Blu-ray Case
This frosty clear Sony PS3 case can be rather expensive.  Sometimes you can score these pretty cheap on the mainstream sites, but don’t expect them to have the signature Sony logo on them.  If you want that, be prepared to shell out another $3.50 or so per case.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.62 USD

eBay  Amazon
Universal Game Case
This is definitely one of orphan’s true savior.  This marvel can hold nearly any cart that you have lying around.  It is the same height / width of a DVD case, but is twice as deep (1").  Definitely purchase them in bulk – you will end up three times as much if you don’t.
Approximate Cost per Unit: $0.57 USD

eBay  Amazon


Now that we have some new digs for our loose games, it is time to get them a little ‘paint’.  There are a few websites out there that offer downloadable artwork, but the best by far is The Cover Project.

At this website, you can download very professional renditions of the original game’s jacket, as well as some customized versions.  With all cover art organized by system, the site is very easy to navigate and downloading the artwork is a snap.  For each submission the author lets you know what game case the design was intended for.  Simply download, print and place in your previously purchased game case and you are ready to roll.  Full-sized inlays at home costs around $0.20 (depending on your printer) per copy.  This is based on using regular paper – not the shiny high-gloss variety (which you really don’t need for this project).  To send it over to your local Kinko’s will run you around $0.53.  This is not a bad deal either to be honest, especially if you do not have the means at your home to produce quality color documents.  Some of their sample offerings (size scaled down for this article):
Universal Game Case Samples

CD Jewel Case Samples

DVD Style Casing Samples


None of this is necessarily ‘new’ info, but I thought it would be helpful for all collectors, regardless of experience, to have this info all in one place.  And no, I am not getting any kickbacks from any of the sites listed/featured in this article.  I am listing them only as a possible resource.

My bro is never going to get a free pass for letting his dogs destroy my copy of Halo, but for around a buck I can once again fully integrate it proudly into my main collection.  Do not give up hope on those loose, misbegotten souls – new life is just $1 away.

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