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Dripfree

Philosophical deep thoughts. Why I don't own anything in my collection.

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From time to time I make a long winded train of thought post. This is one of them.

 

From time to time you will see the post about someone becoming overwhelmed by their collection and loosing the passion for it. This may help explain the deeper meaning of those posts, but I must start by saying that has not happened to me.

 

I have many different collections as do many of you. Today I stumbled across The Last Jedi soundtrack on vinyl for 9 bucks on clearance at Target. I scooped it up. I already had episodes 4, 5, and 6, soundtracks on vinyl. As well as Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi story albums on vinyl. I wasn't collecting them I just stumbled across them, or inherited them. This new one changed that. Suddenly it became a collection! But the collection has a dark side. It's the negative space. You see I realized as soon as it became a collection it disappeared. My thoughts wandered to dwell on the ones I didn't yet have. Its always been this way but I had just now seen it. When I would get invested in my collecting it didn't so much matter what I had, because I could only see the holes. I focus so much on the holes that the holes in my collection are the collection. I'm not trying to acquire items to complete a collection. I'm acquiring items to dispose of a collection. In a way I'm just getting rid of the games, albums, trading cards that my collection is missing... I think that last sentence made sense... That's kind of dark in a way... That's how this can become a sickness... I don't care I'll embrace it and I still love it.

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This is a really interesting/insightful thought. I know that, for me personally, I do tend to focus on what I want to get over what I have. I usually don't realize how many games I really have until I make a conscious effort to actually play something.

 

Our brains work in weird ways.

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“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather.”

 

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“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather.”

It's twice as funny considering your membername is "keepdreamin" ... lol

 

To be fair the realization that it is eventually about "closing the gaps" so you're "done with it" it's a step in the right direction.

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I know exactly what you're getting at, I don't have this problem myself, but I have seen it in other 'collectors'. They stop being video game fans or even gamers at all, the 'hole' in the collection matters more than the quality of the actual game in question.

 

There is a major collector I know who has a ton of very rare sealed NES games (worth 5 figures in some cases). He doesn't collect anything but sealed, period. But when I went to his house to see his collection, I noticed he doesn't have a system set up. He stopped being an actual gamer a long time ago, and now there is nothing left but a compulsion to get sealed games he cannot play, and in many cases doesn't even care for the actual game itself.

 

Seeing this both in real life and among online classic gaming caused me to re-evaluate what my collecting was going to look like. I never was going for complete sets, but I had a looser definition of the reasons why I wanted to get certain games. After thinking it all over, I revised my definition of what was worthy of being in my collection, leading to a much smaller collection on just 4 systems, and games I actually LIKE. The difference is I feel like it is small enough to actually enjoy. Every one of these games gets played by me.

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As long as you are not in a completionist mindset, there are no holes to fill. Well, maybe there are, but you don't care :-).

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<<sigh>>

 

Ive never really been a completionist per se, but with my comic book collection, I am a huge *runs* maniac. Before eBay, my dad and I collected comic books.... mostly Silver Age stuff from the very early single digit Fantastic Four comics all the way through the start of the Bronze Age (we considered the Bronze Age to start with Hulk 181 and the introduction of Wolverine, though that might not be the technical cut off point these days... I dont know)

 

I became obsessed with runs. My collection of the original Amazing Spider-Man started with #5, then skipped to 8,9, and 10, and then picked up steam with #15. I had #15 through 30 complete, then #s 33 through 60. I didnt care about getting #s 1-4 or even 11-14. My main focus was getting 31 and 32.... that would *complete the run*.

 

It became an obsession, and with no online auction sites in the mid 90s to speak of, I called comic stores up to 100 miles away looking for these issues.

 

The obsession was the gap. So I understand and agree with the OP.

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From time to time I make a long winded train of thought post. This is one of them.

 

 

Truly deep! You are pretty as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda!

 

giphy.gif

 

I also think you're onto something.

 

I try to remember that while playing video games is a stupid waste of time, obsessing over the accumulation and collection of them is even dumber. I've amassed a big accumulation of media, but I prefer to think of it as "a bunch of stuff I like[d]" rather than a "collection." I've been through enough cycles of purging old belongings to appreciate that while "stuff" is almost infinite, my ability to store, care for, and enjoy it is not.

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I suppose that it depends on what it is that you are collecting. Not all possible collectibles come in neat sets, complete with formal lists or catalogues or checklists.

 

My main collecting interest is books -- especially titles relating to architecture and Canadian history. I presently own ca. 6,500 volumes, and I am still slowly growing my collection. There is no way that I will ever be able to acquire everything on these topics, nor do I wish to do so. There are a few specific items that I would like to complete, but that is a low priority.

 

Related to the above, I also collect prints/drawings of interesting, old buildings. I am not trying to establish a formal gallery so I am very selective about what I acquire. Again, it is not physically possible to acquire everything out there; as others have mentioned, I have only finite space to store and/or display my "treasures".

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Well here is the thing I never thought I was a completionist. Perhaps I'm wrong. Define completionist. My biggest gaming interest is NES. I don't have the time or money to get a complete collection. I've always just got my faves and I play them all. But there are the obvious sets I try to complete. Mario, Megaman, Ninja Turtles. Heck I have even began to think of some things as sets that aren't really sets... Actually That gives me an idea for another topic I want to post.

 

I have begun to analyze the mental hoops I jump through with this hobby and I find it fascinating. Here is an example. In the early 2000's I found all the megaman games at thrift stores for a couple bucks with the exception of 5. It was this gaping hole in my Megaman collection that was always on my mind while I looked at game stores and thrift stores. And I even saw it a few times but it wasn't the price I wanted to pay... You see I do enjoy the hunt and a steal of a deal is a good kill. Eventually my girlfriend got it for me as a gift. I put it on the shelf between 4 and 6 and it was complete... and it was great. But nothing changed. I just focus on a different hole. Now I focus on Turtles tournament fighters and such. NES Megaman is my favorite franchise. From a collection standpoint I think I actually enjoyed having the empty spot. I'm going to explore the idea of "tantric collecting".... oh I like that phrase don't steal it.

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Originally, I had no idea of what "holes" were...I just got the games I didn't have. New ones were where the excitement came from. Then I learned of "complete lists" for a system and of games I'd never seen in person. I found a few.

 

Then I started keeping my own list of what I had, and I started adding those I knew of, but didn't have. Then I learned that some were virtually unattainable... and finally understood: what's the point?

 

Now, I realize I have lots of pot-holes in my collection...and I just step over them.

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This is a very important topic, because it (the mentality) is one of the leading causes for a variety of life issues:

1 - Apathy, lack of drive

2 - Financial Distress

3 - Depression

4 - Lack of mobility

 

 

This is going to be a long-ramble... so hang on. While I've never experienced any of those... I've approached issues #2 and #4. When I was ~18-19 and out on my own. I spent so much extra money buying video games, computers, and all these things I didn't "need." I find joy in buying them, getting the deals, cleaning them up, playing them once or twice, and then occasionally opening up the closet and seeing it all.

 

Collections came in the form of whatever my interest was at the time. While living in an apartment, I had 4 Pontiac Fieros at one time... and a master bedroom closet packed floor to ceiling with old computers and video games.

 

I got rid of some of it, eventually moved into another apartment with roommates, etc. Dated, got married, bought a house... and then started collecting more stuff.

 

I never got anywhere near hoarder levels... but I did have 9 cars (8 of them registered and insured) and every video game you can imagine. It got to be too much.

 

 

#4 - As far as the mobility aspect, there was no way I was going to be able to move if I took a job that required it. I had so much "unnecessary" stuff that it become encompassing. I didn't use it all, but I just liked having it. Sort of like the completionist aspect as well. I want to be clear, I was never a hoarder, and no one would even say I was. You'd come into my house, and you wouldn't know I had all this crap (aside from the fact I had a bunch of cool cars in the driveway). For some people though... their homes become a hoarder house of junk. They buy sheds, storage units, what have you, and they fill it with stuff they don't need, and probably won't ever use.

 

#2 - As far as the financial aspect, I spent so much money on stuff I didn't need, when really financial security was what should have been important. I think though... what could I have done with a lot of this money I spent? I could have saved it, had more for a home downpayment, who knows. For some people though... again, this becomes a huge financial burden to them. They go into debt... and sometimes even go bankrupt.

 

 

All of this can lead people to lose focus on what's important in life. Their STUFF becomes important. It can hold them back from having real aspirations.

 

Thankfully, I always worked hard, and opportunity just opened up for me, and I took it when it opened up. As I got a little older (late 20s...) I realized I didn't need / want all this stuff. When my wife was pregnant, that helped kick it in gear and I pared down my 9 cars to 5, and got rid of a lot of video games. Over time, I get rid of more and more stuff... some of it I simply just give away on here to someone who wants it, other stuff, I sell.

 

 

My philosophy now though is to focus on a few things...

  • I collect "career" stuff (awards, signed pictures with co-workers, gifts from the company, etc...)
  • I collect Atari Jaguar... completionist.
  • Family stuff (books my grandfather wrote, was quoted in, etc...)

 

That's about it...

 

I try to live a minimalist lifestyle. All the old games I had, threw out all the boxes and manuals and just keep the CDs. I have two older computers to play them, and I try to limit it. I re-evaluate my situation every month or so to see if there's something i can give away, donate, or throw out... and let me tell you... it feels good. My home is like a magazine, and I f**kin' love it.

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I'm sorry if you don't like collecting. I try to hold on to the items I had growing up and add things I've always wanted from time to time.

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things I've always wanted

 

As I get older, there are fewer and fewer of these things.

 

Sometimes it's just a function of getting older

"That isn't as cool to me now as it would have been when I was 12"

 

Sometimes it's a function of time

"Amiga is no longer cutting edge"

 

Sometimes it's a combo of the two

"I can emulate any old computer, and in so doing, I learn about the cool parts and limitations without having to spend thousands of dollars."

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I know exactly what Dripfree means, because I've done and felt the same thing in every hobby I've ever had. Back when I used to be into airsoft long ago I was always searching for that perfect assortment of airsoft guns that would make my arsenal feel complete. I need one of each of these types of rifles, one of each of these types of shotguns, pistols, etc. My personal collection just wouldn't feel "complete" unless I had them, but no matter how much I collected I'd always think of something else that was missing to explain why I wasn't happy with my collection yet; and so the collecting quest continued. Once my collection hit $20K in value I sold it all and got out of the hobby, realizing that no matter how much I had I'd never be happy with the collection. There would always be new holes to fill.

 

Some years later I got into playing Magic: The Gathering competitively, Legacy format specifically. I started off with just two decks with play styles I liked, but before long I started to want a bigger assortment of decks. I felt like I needed to have a deck to represent each popular play style in the game and within a couple years I ran into the same problem I had with airsoft. Thousands of dollars spent, half a dozen different decks built and collected, and still no happiness or contentment. Cue me selling everything and getting out of Legacy format Magic. I have continued to occasionally play Pauper format Magic since then though, which only allows Common rarity cards so it's very cheap to play. I'm pretty sure the total value of the 6 Pauper format decks I have at the moment is less than $100.

 

In any case, my next hobby venture after Legacy format Magic was retro gaming and I bet you can guess what happened. After 5 years in retro gaming I'm still not happy with my console selection, and it always feels like there's another system or two I need before I can finally be happy with the assortment of systems at my disposal. I've tried to rationalize it all with ideas like "I should have one console from each generation" or "I should collect for all the systems I had growing up", but I know those are just excuses for obsessive compulsive behavior.

 

At least this time around I learned my lesson from previous hobbies financially speaking, as I no longer have any credit cards and only collect within my means now. It's a step in the right direction, but it still doesn't solve the problem of never being happy with the console selection I have. I think the simple yet unfortunate truth of the matter is that I will probably never be happy with my collection and will always want something new or different from what I already have, because it seems to be a character flaw of mine in every hobby I've ever pursued.

 

Knowing this to be the case I'm trying my best not to worry about "the collection" these days and just focus on having fun playing video games. It's not an easy thing to do some days, there's always that itch scratching at the back of your brain telling you that there's more things you need to get before you can feel happy, but I do genuinely enjoy playing video games so I'm trying my best to just have fun and refrain from any more discontentment fueled mass liquidations of my so-called collection. Perhaps understanding that no matter how much you acquire you'll still never be happy with what you have can lead to some level of peace with it all. As the first noble truth of Buddhism goes, "Life is dissatisfaction."

Edited by Jin

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