Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Wannabe Collector Too

I am a lucky gamer.

I once asked my significant other if when I brought home random gaming stuffs or bought them off the internet if he thought "Oh great, another box of useless shit". He thought about it for a minute and said, "I guess that's true, but, no, I don't think that" :)

So, as you can imagine, I've been buying lots of useless shit lately. And what I once read on the internet is true: you have to watch out about becoming a collector because all too soon it becomes an obsession. Obsession? No, no, no. That'll never be me. I thought as I checked the pseudo-Craigslist every hour. (I live way out in the boonies, so we don't have real Craigslist. It's just some stupid website run by some locals who feel the need to shut down their site every freaking Sunday!)

Oh, NES, someday you'll be mine again.
What's maybe a little sad is that this obse . . . um, 'hobby' has come to the point where I've started collecting games for systems I hope to own someday. You know, when I find it at the right price at the right time and place. (Please remember that I live out in the middle of nowhere without flea markets, so I'm left with online and thrift stores.) Hell, if it's cheap enough, I don't mind the games sitting on my game shelf. Not like I really play the games I do have the system for :(

Sometimes I think, Well, this is certainly a waste of money, but I rationalize it to myself by saying that I don't spend money on manicures/pedicures, I don't go to a salon to get my hair cut and I don't buy clothes to keep up with the latest fashion trends (though with my subscriptions to Vogue, Elle and Runway, you'd think otherwise) . . . you know, stereotypical 'girly' stuff, so I think it's okay to spend a few bucks here and there on video games. (Longest sentence ever!)

I certainly wouldn't want to encourage or discourage anyone from collecting games, but here are a few things I've learned over my transition into a collector:
  1. Unless money isn't a concern, be aware that getting the more coveted games are going to cost you. If you don't happen upon a random copy of Earthbound for the SNES from someone who has no idea what they have, you'd better be prepared to spend $100+ to get it. Sorry, I don't see it's value dropping any time soon (or ever).
  2. Know what you're jumping into before shelling out the shells (however few) for something. Find a few websites (always good to have multiple sources) that you can check up on for price checks. (I like Rarity Guide and Price Charting , but don't be afraid to find others.)
  3. And these are just my recent PS1 purchases.
  4. Don't just take things at face value. Just because some guy on a website says he has a PS1 controller for sale and you agree upon a price shouldn't stop you from looking it over once you have it in your hands and depressing all the buttons, plugging it in, etc. I always look any game over before buying. And I'm not just talking about CDs, I check the boards on cartridge games too. Sure you can't exactly tell if there's something wrong, but if it's insanely dirty or has a gouge in it, it may be better to avoid (not to mention this, in particular, can tell you if a GBA cart is pirated).

I'm no expert; I know I still have a lot to learn about as far as collecting goes, but I thought it might be nice for other beginners out there to hear about collecting from someone who's a beginner herself. Someday I'll have a collection worthy of its own game room video, but for now, my games and systems will have to be content taking up a little bit of shelf space in my closet. And I don't mind it one bit, it's a sort of personal haven for me.