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Keatah

Do you find yourself drifting away from the scene?

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Not really. I do that because A. I have the space and B. I'd rather have a system out that I can turn on and play at a whim rather than have to go get it off the shelf and spend time hooking it up. By that point the moment has passed and it also adds to the wear and tear on the system.

We'll see. I already do this, and I really don't think it will be too much trouble. Hooking them up is part of the ritual. And putting them away keeps dust off.
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For me, it's been disconnecting with the more toxic parts of the retro gaming fanbase. I get *really* tired of some of the elitists who use their collections as a kind of weird, 'members only, I'm better than you because I own XXXXXX' club, as well as the re-sellers/flippers, and anyone who says retro gaming is 'only' for some sub section of the fanbase. I see a lot of this stuff (I run conventions), and I'm beyond tired of it.

It doesn't matter how big your collection is, as long as YOU like it. And it's about sharing the hobby with other cool people and making friends, not lording it over others and being a douche.

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For me, it's been disconnecting with the more toxic parts of the retro gaming fanbase. I get *really* tired of some of the elitists who use their collections as a kind of weird, 'members only, I'm better than you because I own XXXXXX' club, as well as the re-sellers/flippers, and anyone who says retro gaming is 'only' for some sub section of the fanbase. I see a lot of this stuff (I run conventions), and I'm beyond tired of it.

 

It doesn't matter how big your collection is, as long as YOU like it. And it's about sharing the hobby with other cool people and making friends, not lording it over others and being a douche.

 

This is part of the reason why I try to stay away from video documentaries about famous video game players and their 'amazing' high-score records.

 

A buddy of mine has a collection of retro stuff too. The main difference between him and me is that he loves the drama, thinks it's amusing, and watches it like comedy. I look at the ego-mania as something that cheapens what I consider to be -- in many cases -- works of art. I guess what I don't like is the shift in focus from great games to the not-so-great 'top-ranking' people who play them.

 

I'm sort of trying to tie this into what Lord Thag is saying. I'm guessing some of the collectors who attend gaming events are sort on their "It's all about Me" pedestals in the same sort of way.

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This is part of the reason why I try to stay away from video documentaries about famous video game players and their 'amazing' high-score records.

 

A buddy of mine has a collection of retro stuff too. The main difference between him and me is that he loves the drama, thinks it's amusing, and watches it like comedy. I look at the ego-mania as something that cheapens what I consider to be -- in many cases -- works of art. I guess what I don't like is the shift in focus from great games to the not-so-great 'top-ranking' people who play them.

 

I'm sort of trying to tie this into what Lord Thag is saying. I'm guessing some of the collectors who attend gaming events are sort on their "It's all about Me" pedestals in the same sort of way.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. The needless drama, the elitism, and the entitlement. I know a bunch of YouTube personalities from back before they got famous. The ones I'm friends with are cool people who happened to get recognized and are still the same people I met... and the rest are often extremely entitled, rude, selfish and generally unpleasant to deal with. I think the social media/vlog/YouTube aspect really introduced a lot of ego and (constant) validation seeking to a hobby that used to be about friends, games, hunting, and just general fun. I have no patience for entitlement or elitism. I don't give a rats ass about how many subscribers you have, what your gender is, how long you've been gaming, what high score you got, or how many ultra rare games you own:

 

I care if you are a decent human being.

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Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. The needless drama, the elitism, and the entitlement. I know a bunch of YouTube personalities from back before they got famous. The ones I'm friends with are cool people who happened to get recognized and are still the same people I met... and the rest are often extremely entitled, rude, selfish and generally unpleasant to deal with. I think the social media/vlog/YouTube aspect really introduced a lot of ego and (constant) validation seeking to a hobby that used to be about friends, games, hunting, and just general fun. I have no patience for entitlement or elitism. I don't give a rats ass about how many subscribers you have, what your gender is, how long you've been gaming, what high score you got, or how many ultra rare games you own:

 

I care if you are a decent human being.

Yep, all of this. ^^^ and it's not just their attitudes towards gaming or collecting. Talk to them about virtually any other subject, and they are invariably on wrong side of everything. Loathsome, hateful, creatures.

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By "scene" I mean anything and everything about the hobby. Clubs, forums, emulation, collections, game playing, historical research, curation, homebrew hardware and software projects, youtubing, publishing, and more!

 

By your post, it simply sounds like you've changed priorities and interests within the scene. Most people seem to get tired of collecting at some point. So no big deal. The community here sees occasional purges and selloffs, the rate of which is increasing. Collecting is but one small aspect of the hobby.

 

 

I see, and yes by your definition I've definitely slowed down. To put it simply, retro gaming isn't on my mind nearly as much and not a big part of my life anymore. I guess in a way it's in the proper place in my life for the first time in 10 years. When I started collecting it was an almost obsession that took up, admittedly, way too much of my time and energy. I've said on one of my videos years ago that I used to buy things to just to make "pick up" videos. I look back at that time and think what a waste of time it was, as if I was important enough that people wanted to see the crap I would buy from some yard sale or thrift store and the cheap price I paid like it was some nerdy badge of honor.

 

Bottom line is I'm not out of the "scene" but I've definitely shifted focus. I still come here, obviously and I read through the threads that interest me and comment when I feel I have something to contribute. I still watch some youtube retro gaming channels but it's more entertainment and sports now. I do enjoy my emulation and I think that will factor more into my gaming preferences.

 

That could all change in a few months. I have had two very large collections I've bought and sold since 1992 and I swore this time I wouldn't get rid of what was most important to me, which is why I only sold 80% and not 100% of my collection. Maybe this is true of others, you go through spurts where you don't want anything to do with it, even years perhaps, and the bug bites you again and you start over. That's what I did twice and I have no desire to start from scratch again.

 

The other big part of the reason I downsized was failing hardware. Lets face it, this stuff is anywhere from 25 - 40+ years old and the more hardware you own, the more there is to fail. You can repair them to a certain degree but when custom chips fail and the replacement pool is getting thinner, original hardware will get harder to maintain as time goes on. That's why I'm interested in things like a new Colecovision and other FPGA projects.

 

Anyway, I've rambled enough but this was a great thread topic :)

Edited by AtariLeaf
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"Scene" ?!?!

 

 

LOL!!!!!!!!!

 

 

:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:

 

 

Never cared for any "scene" as I am not a scenester.

 

 

 

My love for gaming is eternal. I'm a gamer for life. Screw scenes.

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I see, and yes by your definition I've definitely slowed down. To put it simply, retro gaming isn't on my mind nearly as much and not a big part of my life anymore. I guess in a way it's in the proper place in my life for the first time in 10 years. When I started collecting it was an almost obsession that took up, admittedly, way too much of my time and energy. I've said on one of my videos years ago that I used to buy things to just to make "pick up" videos. I look back at that time and think what a waste of time it was, as if I was important enough that people wanted to see the crap I would buy from some yard sale or thrift store and the cheap price I paid like it was some nerdy badge of honor.

 

Yes. I swear. No one, NO ONE, nobody outside of the hobby was interested in my wall of carts back in the day. In fact once they found out how much they cost they thought I was nuts! But they didn't know most were given to me by my parents. The interest and usefulness was confined to us gamers.

 

I'm not sure I ever tried to impress anyone with the 1,000+ carts and even more disks I had going back then. I even sort of cringed in embarrassment. The crawl under the desk thing. Or continual internalized ruminations on how to justify it all. Shit was expensive back then!

 

My Apple II collection gets marginally more recognition and interest, but that's "because Apple!" and all that. I also recently get the feeling that if I downside the literal hoard of Apple stuff the remaining material might even have a chance at becoming a conversation piece! That'd be cool. And you bet I'd brag all over town about it. Screw modesty!

 

 

Bottom line is I'm not out of the "scene" but I've definitely shifted focus. I still come here, obviously and I read through the threads that interest me and comment when I feel I have something to contribute. I still watch some youtube retro gaming channels but it's more entertainment and sports now. I do enjoy my emulation and I think that will factor more into my gaming preferences.

The other big part of the reason I downsized was failing hardware. Lets face it, this stuff is anywhere from 25 - 40+ years old and the more hardware you own, the more there is to fail. You can repair them to a certain degree but when custom chips fail and the replacement pool is getting thinner, original hardware will get harder to maintain as time goes on. That's why I'm interested in things like a new Colecovision and other FPGA projects.

 

Anyway, I've rambled enough but this was a great thread topic :)

 

If it weren't for emulators and their continual development I would not be back in the hobby at all. I tried briefly to rebuild back in the late 1990's, but the resources simply weren't there like they are now with Marketplace sub-forums and ebay. I quickly saw it was lost cause. Maybe for the better because emulation stepped up to bat nicely.

 

In addition to being somewhat of a completist I also like all my hardware to work correctly and completely. At full spec, all the time. Anything marginal and I bring it into the shop. I couldn't imagine me messing with constant color adjustments, or trying to tune out the last remnants of a jailbar pattern. Not today, not in this phase of life.

 

I hadn't had to adjust colors for my virtual VCS consoles in like ages! Ohh I played with the sliders to make some amusing effects and all that. But color and geometrical stability are paramount to me.

 

Emulation may not be perfect, but you know what? It doesn't have to be. Sounds like that is in conflict with what I just said about wanting stuff to be working correctly. You see. Emulation methodology is so different, it attacks the problem from complex and "weird" angles. Ways impossible to have envisioned back in the day. It's almost like an alien computer setup. If a "Game Program" could offer an opinion I bet it would agree. But emu is being refined all the time and being made more true-to-life. So some slack has to be given. In exchange it offers benefits far beyond what the original hardware (aging or not) could ever do. And I appreciate that.

 

I can't personally derive any value from the ritualistic connecting and disconnecting consoles/controllers/adapters and the inserting/removing of cartridges. There might be some nostalgia for the thunk. And the snap of the power switch being turned on. Might be nice to see it in action again after all these years. But to have it be a way of life - I don't think so. Just can't handle it.

 

When I was a kid I "traveled" across the sub-division to WaReZ conferences with the Apple II. It was an hour's ritual to unplug everything and load it into BMX + RadioFlyer wagon or (later on) the old Chevy. I hated doing it then and I hate doing it now.

 

That's how I play. That's how I roll. As a gamer I'm just trying to add 1 more point to my Air-Sea Battle score.

Edited by Keatah
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I had a feeling that this thread might be yet another of Keatah's EMULATION IS GOD proselytizing exercises and it sure did end up in the now familiar territory.

 

To be honest, I find it a bit tiresome by now, I've been here only few months but it's like a regular fixture. Now, if emulation works for you and you enjoy it, it's perfectly fine but is there really need to try to convert everybody to this method? Especially while painting the usage of the original hardware as some hellishly painful and cumbersome exercise and people undertaking it as stuck up luddites with mental issues? Never even mind the laborious and questionable pro-emulation arguments such as the one that "it attacks the problem from complex and "weird" angles"....not sure what does that even mean. Or the one about colour adjusting, as if people do not spend endless hours tweaking their emulator/PC settings.

 

I'm saying this as someone who uses emulation for about 80% of my vintage gaming neeeds and owns literally one retro-machine at the moment (in storage anyway). So yeah, it's my prefered method, but it does not mean I look down on those who use the real stuff. In fact I do love it myself and in other circumstances I'd definitely have a bit more of it up and running. For various reasons, but mostly because I have great respect for that old hardware and like to keep it alive and happy...just because. Sounds silly? Perhaps, but as long as it's my little harmless thing then it's nobody's business really.

 

It's similar with game collecting, is the fact that there are some obsessive douchebags and narcisstic show-offs out there a reason why I can't enjoy a box-filled shelf or three of my own?

 

Sure, compulsive hoarding of anything can be a problem but I don't think it's some infectious malady endangering the community. I also know rom hoarders who have so many games that they can never decide on what to play and quit everything after a minute or two.

 

tl, dr: live & let live

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I predict both events will occur at exactly the same time.

 

And through the glory of estate sales, a new collector shall be born - on the cheap no less!

 

(the ciiiiiircle of life!)

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I did the estate thing a couple of times in attempt to rebuild my then monster-sized collection. No go. It was like a flooded engine. Maybe the composition of estate sales are different today then those of 20 years ago. I seem to recall getting a lot of NES junk that was overplayed and thoroughly worn out. Hardly inspiring. Not to mention that the games seemed flat and lame, all platformers or top-down RPG. Anyhow..

 

Thing about drifting away from the hobby is you may conduct a sell-off. And right now I'm wondering how "it would be" if I just kept my first childhood and teen Apple II stuff? Come to think of it I never really stopped buying Apple II things. At first it all came from the computer stores like Compu-Shop and Computerland. Those small "officey" shops in strip malls. Then later it was school donations as they purged and moved to MAC + PC. And finally in the early 2000's the ebay acquisitions started.

 

In one way a sell-off means loss of interest in sold items. At the same time it allows for focusing into the interesting and nostalgic aspects of the platform. So what to do?

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I’m only here for the hardware. The creation of these wonderful pieces of gaming technology are almost more interesting to me than the games.

The simplistic style of early video games with their awesome original gameplay mechanics are a huge draw for me as well. Combine that with how complex it would have been to create games in assembly language for this primitive hardware, and you have the most beautiful nerdgasm my brain can comprehend.

Sometimes I try and imagine what it would have been like to walk into Atari and see the commotion and everyday life of the premier tech company of the age. It would have been euphoric to walk in their with a background in engineering/mathematics and be able to use those skills with such creativity. Ofcourse they added to that euphoria with select chemicals of choice, but still it would have been an amazing experience.

I don’t understand the need for pure software emulation with the advent of fpga. I know we aren’t totally their yet, but we have plenty of good working vintage hardware that will hold us over for many more years to come. Tinkering and exploring these old game machines is a fun experience all on its own. The add ons and hardware hacks are awesome to follow here on the forums. I love seeing these old RF signals upgraded to composite/Svideo/component/HDMI/ scart or whatever flavor you like. I understand that it’s not cheap monetarily. But what hobby is?

Then theirs homebrews! I could go on for another 5 paragraphs.

Edited by adamchevy
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I have a few more thoughts on emulation.

I’m sure emulation really thrives because of piracy. I’m sure their are a few who use it with pure intentions.

Emulation takes away the physical form factor. This is space saving, but also damaging to content consumers. Because you lose a lot of control over your content.

Digital games for example can not be resold, borrowed, or traded. They can only be accessed under the digital distributors terms and conditions.

Emulation leads to less focus on a given game or gaming system. If you have endless systems at your fingertips through emulation and endless software, what creates a desire for attention to one specific system or game? You’ll be tossed to and fro on the sea of indecision. You only have so much time in one lifetime. Its possible a lot of drifting away is caused by emulation .

Also, where’s the real joy in emulation? Maybe I’m missing something, but you’ll always know that it’s just emulation. And probably always feel like a pirate. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be Jack Sparrow? It’s probably fun for a while.

It’s also not kind to game developers unless they are ok with it. I remember when I purchased GhostNZombies a while back from a forum member. Jim I think. I also purchased a cartridge from Atarimax that allowed me to dump the rom. I posted a picture of me playing it on a Multicart. The developer was not happy. I have never redistributed that rom, but that doesn’t mean others wouldn’t.

Edited by adamchevy
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I’m only here for the hardware. The creation of these wonderful pieces of gaming technology are almost more interesting to me than the games.

The simplistic style of early video games with their awesome original gameplay mechanics are a huge draw for me as well. Combine that with how complex it would have been to create games in assembly language for this primitive hardware, and you have the most beautiful nerdgasm my brain can comprehend.

 

Could you imagine the kinds of games and simulations we'd get IF programmers would hit the bare metal on a modern microprocessor? I'd like to think the results would be many orders of magnitude better than the primitive VCS or Intellivision consoles of yore.

 

However. There may be a point where the microprocessor becomes too complex for the "1-man creative machine" to work its magic. At this point maybe AI could help out. Something like a smarter compiler. IDK..!

 

 

I don’t understand the need for pure software emulation with the advent of fpga. I know we aren’t totally their yet, but we have plenty of good working vintage hardware that will hold us over for many more years to come. Tinkering and exploring these old game machines is a fun experience all on its own. The add ons and hardware hacks are awesome to follow here on the forums. I love seeing these old RF signals upgraded to composite/Svideo/component/HDMI/ scart or whatever flavor you like. I understand that it’s not cheap monetarily. But what hobby is?

 

Software Emulation seemed to have started out from school/work projects and was nothing more than, "Hey look I can play Pac-Man on my PC. With the original code!!" There was no sense of preservation or commercialization, or, anything! Not yet. It was just an experiment. And eventually it evolved into what we have today - with all its side features and whatnot.

 

FPGA simulation of classic videogames also started out as a curiosity, too. But it made the jump to commercialization relatively quickly compared to the years it took SE to do the same. FPGA rigs/consoles seem to get more oohs and ahhs too.

 

I fear FPGA will still remain niche until more standards emerge. Until more cores can easily be transported across more chips and finished consoles. And until prices come down on the main chip itself. Software Emulation is less strict in that sense. The latest builds of Altirra and Stella will run on a Pentium-M up through today's i7 and i9 chips. This is a huge 15-year range of interoperability. Drop down a version or two and you can go back as far as a Pentium III or earlier.

 

---

 

Gamers don't actually need SE. But some like the added features, savestates, play on different devices, mobile, play 1/2 or 1/4 speed. Stuff like that. Now, developers, there's huge benefits to simulating and watching your code run. SE provides a lot of insight to what's going on. There's tools and the ability to watch loops in detail. And more. I'm not a dev so I can't officially comment with strong authority. But many devs say the tools we have today would've been like black magic back in the day.

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As the essence of retrogaming is being expanded and muddled by modern mainstream millennial media I find myself looking for greater, richer, niches in this hobby.

 

And of course there are other reasons which aren't of interest to a retrogaming forum.

 

Richer interests like emulation?

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I have a few more thoughts on emulation.

I’m sure emulation really thrives because of piracy. I’m sure their are a few who use it with pure intentions.

Emulation takes away the physical form factor. This is space saving, but also damaging to content consumers. Because you lose a lot of control over your content.

Digital games for example can not be resold, borrowed, or traded. They can only be accessed under the digital distributors terms and conditions.

 

Digital games don't really have anything to do with emulation as I see it. Not today. It may be in the future that virtualization & emulation will allow those locked-down games to be played. Maybe it will matter maybe it won't. Depends on the future nostalgic tendencies of today's youth. I suppose..

 

 

Emulation leads to less focus on a given game or gaming system. If you have endless systems at your fingertips through emulation and endless software, what creates a desire for attention to one specific system or game? You’ll be tossed to and fro on the sea of indecision. You only have so much time in one lifetime. Its possible a lot of drifting away is caused by emulation .

 

Absolutely. This can be a very real problem. The physicality of real hardware can root you down enough that you get into a game long enough to complete it or work through it and discover things about it. Emulation is like BZZZT! NEXT!

 

Since I grew up with real hardware in the 70's and 80's I find it easy to see and recognize the symptoms of this indecision. Someone coming straight into emulation may not have that mindset.

 

Emulation may not allow one to experience the trials and tribulations of a playing a keyboard game on the Odyssey2.

 

I also don't think (but would like to otherwise) that emulation has the drawing power of real hardware. Most all newcomers to a platform are going to start with some form of console or cabinet.

 

---

 

I don't know how my interests in classic gaming today would have turned out had I bought that Ultravision back in the day.

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Richer interests like emulation?

 

No! Richer interests as in exploring other things the hobby has to offer besides just playing the games and watching screaming youtubers over-articulate gestures while spewing forth inaccuracies.

 

I recently found those 1-hour "ultimate talk" series to be quite satisfying.

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No. In fact I'm more interested than ever. New indie hardware, homebrew games, etc. All have spiked my interest. I'm actually trying to find a way to make classic gaming more convenient for me in my current home. I'm even building custom furniture just for the task.

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No! Richer interests as in exploring other things the hobby has to offer besides just playing the games and watching screaming youtubers over-articulate gestures while spewing forth inaccuracies.

 

I recently found those 1-hour "ultimate talk" series to be quite satisfying.

I like those as well. I also have enjoyed a lot of the recent Atari Books. Racing the beam was excellent. I also enjoyed Atari: Game Over.

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I didn't do Game Over yet. It's likely in my growing backlog of reading material.

 

Sometimes my head feels like a rubber band. Being stretched this way and that way. After a pause it's easy to see there are so many aspects to this hobby one may never be able to drift away entirely.. leave the scene entirely.. not before something pulls you back in.

 

 

No. In fact I'm more interested than ever. New indie hardware, homebrew games, etc. All have spiked my interest. I'm actually trying to find a way to make classic gaming more convenient for me in my current home. I'm even building custom furniture just for the task.

 

I did this when I was a kid. I made kardboard kiosks and all sorts of shelving that threatened to collapse in on itself at any moment. And eventually they did. One fun exercise was to make a universal power supply for ALL my consoles. This entailed one extension cord connecting to a power strip tree inside a 2x2x2 box. And in there I crammed ALL my power adapters and made this tree of a power strip by using those 1-to-3 power outlet expanders. One plugged into the next, into the next, each yielding 1 or 2 more outlets.

 

My intent was to make it simple. Plug one cord into the AC outlet and then simply use the correct output plug. There was one for each console. The reasoning was one plug, one "adapter". It worked for a while till I had to unwrap the whole thing and tape the tree of powerbricks together. Then there problems keeping the live output plugs away from each other. But I didn't care. I wanted ONE BOX! And that was that!

 

Heat was an issue with 8 powerbricks in a confined airtight box. I didn't care about that either. I just opened the window. I built it in the winter and I loved the cold air. So that was that. Gaming in the living room with my NASA jacket on. Cool!

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Attention cheapskates: if you want to read Game Over, the text is on archive.org ... not the nicest formatting one could imagine, but it's fine for skimming and searching.

 

https://archive.org/stream/Game_Over_1999_Cyberactive_Publishing/Game_Over_1999_Cyberactive_Publishing_djvu.txt

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Not really. I do that because A. I have the space and B. I'd rather have a system out that I can turn on and play at a whim rather than have to go get it off the shelf and spend time hooking it up. By that point the moment has passed and it also adds to the wear and tear on the system.

 

We'll see. I already do this, and I really don't think it will be too much trouble. Hooking them up is part of the ritual. And putting them away keeps dust off.

To chime in on this from an aesthetic standpoint, I'm definitely finding myself in the one-at-a-time camp. I think making one system the focus helps create more appreciation for it. The walls-of-stuff concept has lost its luster for me for this reason. It's certainly impressive to look at, especially for non-collectors, but when I actually play games, I find it all kind of distracting. Like it makes feel like I need to blow through what I have out at the moment and "get it over with" and go to some other thing that's staring me in the face.

 

I've been finding that I enjoy my systems and games much more when I pick out a console and six or eight or ten games from my gameroom (really, game library) and bring them to another room to play. I end up spending more time with them, and it's a good way to explore lesser-played titles more in-depth. Basically like when we were kids and only had one or two systems and one or two dozen games--we played and appreciated what we had. :)

 

Although sometimes I cheat a little bit and hook up two systems at once (usually a '70s-'80s system through the RF and a '90s system through the A/V, or maybe a Pong) as a minor concession to convenience. ;) :P :-D

 

I've even been considering just boxing all my stuff up and turning my game room into a music room or office or something. :skull: (Although not very seriously since that would take a lot of work. :lol:)

 

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The walls-of-stuff doesn't affect how I play. I am aware it can cause jumping all over the place. But I just pick a game/cart/rom and go at it. They're going to be there when I'm done with this one game. It's not like there's a time limit.

 

Furthermore in scanning through a wall of carts or list of roms with intent to play something like game X. I might come across game Y and seriously want to get into that instead. So there are advantages.

Edited by Keatah

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