Annoyances for the Video Game Collector
Author :        Date : 26-Sep-09

Every video game enthusiast absolutely loves adding a new title or system to their collection.  Whether it be a treasure that has been extremely elusive or simply an anticipated release for a current gen system.  We love them all and experience a certain rush with any new addition to our respective "Hero’s Chest".  On the flipside, a boatload of irritants accompany your new conquests of war.  Some of these are akin to mosquito bites while others can truly suck the life right out of your soul.  The following lists a few of my ‘favorites’.
Storing Boxes

I am definitely a CIB fanatic when it comes to video game hardware collecting.  That being said, I absolutely hate going through the arduous task of storing system boxes once they are displayed in my collection.

First there is the simple fact that 90% of us do not have unlimited space to devote to our hobby.  When I first began collecting, I thought that it would be cool to be able to present every original box with its respective system as a part of my presentation (hence basically relieving myself of this storage issue).  This was great in theory but not so much when my collection began to quickly outgrow the physical constraints of my Room of Doom.  A secondary space needed to be allocated, but not just any closet to toss the boxes in and forget about them.  I need room to maneuver for my biggest annoyance – box rotation.

Even with the Star Trek Deflector Shield activated (aka monster bubble wrap), the pure combined weight of mounded system cartons will eventually crush even the sturdiest of these retail packagings.  In lieu of using the ‘box-in-a-box’ method for preservation (thus requiring even MORE storage space), the only way to protect them is a solid rotational program – a time that I have come to dread every month without exception.  What a pain!

Being “Out-Sniped”

You have the sought-after mint Atari Lynx system with 19 games in your crosshairs.  The auction ends on a Wednesday evening at 4:00 AM (not exactly the Friday closing bell time of the NYSE – perfect!!).  You set your alarm clock for 3:45 AM to ensure that the ‘morning’ duties (microwave a cup of yesterday’s leftover coffee; hit the bathroom while your cup of Joe "brews") do not interfere with your upcoming focused bidding efforts.  Now positioned in front of your PC (3:57 AM), you see that the opening ‘feeler’ bid of $9.99 is still all that has been placed.  Yahtzee!! you say to yourself.  You increase your maximum bid to $75 (better to be safe than sorry you say to yourself).  Time ticks down and you can almost taste victory…

I don’t have to finish this personal recollection – obviously I lost this auction to a sniper (which I was coincidentally trying to do) for $75.50.  This defeated feeling we all know too well – missing out on a good deal.  I also feel this way when I am ‘asleep at the wheel’ and view "Sold" items that I missed out on that went for a great price.

Cleaning the Wares

I’ll keep this section short and sweet since this is pretty obvious – we all hate this.  I find this so tedious that I actually farm out this chore (albeit to my lady friend).  It costs me a gift certificate to Michael’s Salon for her every month, but this is well worth it for me to get out of doing this necessary task (also ensures she looks good and maintains her eye candy appeal).

As with most of my articles, I chose to share this writing with the aforementioned "her" prior to publishing.  What a mistake!  She took one look at this section and began to blackmail me wanting an additional $20 gift cert to said salon for, of all things, a pedicure!!. I don’t know about you, but feet don’t do a whole lot for me.  Well groomed or not, they should stay stay firmly planted in their ‘sock house’ and only be allowed out once a day max (for the morning shower).  I ended up reluctantly agreeing to her new terms, but only after I had successfully negotiated moving another despised duty off of my list onto hers – laundry.

Shuffling the Display

I feel safe in saying that most video game collectors have a fierce sense of organization and require their spoils of war to be displayed just so.  It is pretty easy to incorporate one game into your presentation – quite another when dealing with bulk software purchases or adding a new system.

Besides the obvious space issues, many times items need to be rearranged to properly incorporate your new acquisition.  For hardware, I have everything displayed by the year of its release (yes – I admit to having a bit of an OCD issue).  Adding a console released in the 1970s requires me to move the rest of the systems ‘up one’ in my main shelving unit to accommodate this new hardware.  I know I may go a bit overboard in this regard, but I am sure you can relate in your own way based on your own Room of Doom.  You develop a style/feel within it and anything new has to be properly ‘integrated’.

Selling

No one likes to sell anything when they have invested substantial time and effort in acquiring.  Trading dupes is one thing: the win-win ratio is nearly 100%.  Selling a holy grail from one’s collection is a completely different animal and many times this truly has nothing to do with price or rarity of the item.

For instance, I have a copy of King’s Field for the Sony Playstation CIB in the original ‘long box’.  Nice – sure it is, but rare or pricey it is not. However, I love this game and it is one of my favorite titles to this day.  Parting with it would be difficult.

How many posts have you read where people wish they would have kept their original NES system and ended up having to purchase another one many years later?  Regret, like the weather, can never be accurately forecasted.


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