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What would you say qualifies as a collection or makes someone a "collector." Is it subjective like art; or objective based on size?

 

If someone has a Wii and say five games; is that a collection? Are they a collector if they say they are?

 

If someone had a big collection and sold 99% of it; are they still a collector? Etc.

 

Curious to hear your thoughts on this one!

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More that two items constitutes a "collection."

 

More than 100 items that have not been touched, played, or truly enjoyed in more than five years is a "hoard."

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Posted (edited)

More that two items constitutes a "collection."

 

More than 100 items that have not been touched, played, or truly enjoyed in more than five years is a "hoard."

 

I agree with you although I suspect many won't. Probably the greatest number of people who consider themselves collectors don't actually play a fraction of what they own and probably never will. This is why being a gamer and a collector aren't necessarily mutually exclusive terms. I recognized this in myself in that I was a collector first and a gamer second. I'd buy whatever, make some inane "pickup" video on youtube and then put everything on a shelf never to be touched again. Ironically, ridding myself of 80% of it all has allowed me to play more and still consider myself somewhat of a collector.

 

To answer the original question though, a collection is whatever the collector wants it to be. It can't or shouldn't be defined by anyone else.

Edited by AtariLeaf
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More that two items constitutes a "collection."

 

More than 100 items that have not been touched, played, or truly enjoyed in more than five years is a "hoard."

 

What? Die in a fire. Slowly.

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I think a collector is either someone with more games than the average owner (which my google-fu pegs at 1-2 consoles with 10-15 games each), or someone actively attempting to accquire games for the sheer joy of it (gameplay notwithstanding.) Also, one must be keeping these machines with intent- simply having an 'old Nintendo in storage somewhere' doesn't count for anything.

 

So- Billy Bob deciding to keep his old consoles hooked up, playing & occasionally acquiring new systems/games for all his consoles, eventually building to half a dozen machines with 20 games each? Collector.

Jimmy Jam who sold off his childhood machines before college & current owns nothing, but is missing it & decides to re-buy all the games he owned or wanted back them? Collector.

Lil' Timmy who got a Switch for Christmas with Mario & Zelda, & saved up his birthday money for a Mega Man collection? Passionate maybe, but not yet a collector.

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I think a collection becomes such when somebody comes to a point where they intentionally desire to expand what they have, whatever that 'what' is, into a larger 'what'.

 

To me that's the difference between having ten NES paks as a teen and it not being a 'collection' compared to having ten choice titles that mean something to somebody, with the intent to get more.

 

I know it doesn't hold up to scrutiny, I'm shooting mental bullets through it already but intent has something big to do with it.

 

I always had a few games, toys, instruments...and even if the numbers are larger than some others, it's always started with a clear intention of what I envisioned the collection to be.

 

Yet my collections that have ended, that is, the ones I have completed my goals with said collection, they kinda just sit there basking in the only thing that makes it a collection worth having: my adulation of said stuff and the people, times and things it represents.

 

I think I might need to talk to somebody about this stuff, lol.

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Ehh collector is someone who holds onto some/most/all their games from one generation to the next, though the degree of the collector varies. If you're just a gamer alone you'll roll the stuff when you're done, or done with the generation and onto the next as it has no value for you to collect them in a space and leave it there. A hoard would be if you let it get out of control in one manner or another regardless if it's a toxic hoard to you and others around you or not.

 

It's too hard to throw numbers at, numbers can easily be rooted around someones ability to rent, borrow, and how much $ they have or friends/family for gifts have to add to what you have on the shelf.

 

RIght now I kind of feel a tad dirty as I want to scale back, but then I find a PSP and then I get Sony to give me my original Sony acct I lost nearly a decade ago back and I'm up +12 games I thought lost plus the 2 it came with and 3 I found cheaply since with Gran Turismo in the mail yet this week. Now I want a safety case for the thing just so it doesn't get more beat up or broken.

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I've owned a PSP for 14 years... I've only kept it in the soft case it came with... still works without issues.

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From wikipedia about "collecting":

 

"It has been speculated[by whom?] that the widespread appeal of collecting is connected to the hunting and gathering that was once necessary for human survival. Collecting is also associated with memory by association and the need for the human brain to catalogue and organise information and give meaning to ones actions."

 

Now onto the most interesting part "list of collectables":

VideoGames is under Toys, games and dolls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collectables#Toys,_games,_and_dolls

and not under Technology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collectables#Technology

(but old computers are)

 

 

So yeah ... "mall armchair definition" of videogame collector -> manchild giving up to his "homo not so sapiens-sapiens" id (as in Id, ego and super-ego) gathering old toys

 

 

I can definitely see myself as that .... not that I care mind you.

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And what better way to organize and catalog information than a digital emulation collection. Excessive physical stuff just straps you down into the mundane grind of day-to-day life.

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To answer the original question though, a collection is whatever the collector wants it to be. It can't or shouldn't be defined by anyone else.

 

 

More that two items constitutes a "collection."

 

More than 100 items that have not been touched, played, or truly enjoyed in more than five years is a "hoard."

 

Yup. I have a collection of shot glasses on a mantle piece. They are displayed as such. However, I never collected them .... they were gifted from different people in their worldly travels. I just placed them together for all to see, as a collection. I'm not a collector in this case.

 

Come to think of it. In my primary school days, in the late 70's to early 80's, I had ... well .... a collection of assorted boogers under my wooden school desk. Not all were mine, that being said, they were still a collection.

... Or if I follow Flojo's definitions, a "hoard" of boogers.

In this case, although I made an occasional habit to add to the hoard, I also don't see myself as a collector in this case, because I had no wish to show them off, play with them or set up a database for them on the TRS-80. I was just a curator.

 

IMO obviously. ;)

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And what better way to organize and catalog information than a digital emulation collection. Excessive physical stuff just straps you down into the mundane grind of day-to-day life.

True, but an emulation collection still straps you down to whatever platform you choose to do the emulation. Unless you consider it part of the cloud, then it could be seen as a personal playlist, as opposed to a collection.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe. I would tend to guess that by now most of us have basic PCs thatll handle most emulation tasks. So it isnt a burden.

 

But.. I see cloud services AS a worrisome affair, no permanence. Because it will disappear on the whim of a business decision.

Edited by Keatah
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Here's a thought...

 

In the 80's, my dad for a time was obsessed with the idea of owning an early Wurlitzer jukebox.

 

He poured over coffetable books of these things, and contacted collectors and dealers. He confessed to me one night that he was going to find a way to buy one. I was young, probably less than 6.

 

I'm not faulting him, at all. He had a family to feed and a wife to appease. He rationalized this by thinking that he could simply keep going to the library and checking out records and tapes, and "bumping copies" onto cassette tapes on his dubbing rig.

 

For 10% of the cost.

 

Great. Now he had access to all the music he wanted, just with a large investment of time and a not-flashy delivery system.

 

Okay cool.

 

Except all his "bumped copy" cassette tapes collection is NOW worth... Wellll nothing.

 

If he'd bought a Wurlitzer and a grip of singles, now-a-days we would be talking HOW MUCH?!?!

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Posted (edited)

I guess. Can't argue with the Wurlitzer example. But that example is being presented as an investment.

 

Thinking about arcade machines, however. I can say that if I was presented with a comfy couch, i7 with MAME, and various classics already set-up - I would pick that option every single time over and above a room full of genuine full-size arcade cabinets. Or I would take the room and cabs and sell them off and buy even MORE i7 rigs.

 

Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There's something magical, mystical, and intriguing, about having a small sliver of silicon (i7 SoC) be this versatile and capable. At least to me.

 

I guess it all comes down to what is important to you and what defines a collection and the material that goes into it.

 

I also think that for collections to have any value, there must be some sort of demand. At the least there must be others seeing things the same as our would-be collector. oh IDK.

 

---

 

An emulation collection may very well be worthless except for the media that holds it. But the experience provided by it is far more valuable - especially to the curator/collector of that material. It may be so high as to be unquantifiable. Games are something to be used and interacted with, and emulation is simply the delivery vehicle.

 

Personally, me, I'm not interested bulky smelly wood cabinets with bugs crawling out of them. I'm happy to stay in the digital realm where that stuff isn't part and parcel for the day.

 

I got to watching a youtube vid of a tour of a personal arcade cab collection in the basement. Guy has like 100 games. And there is ALWAYS something going wrong. Marquee lights fritzed out, monitors distorted, wonky intermittent joysticks, or even games what won't start unless given a swift kick or punch in the side to fix intermittent connectors.

 

I simply could not fathom myself doing all the maintenance work in such a situation. Even if it is simple. In other word I would not want a Wurlitzer because of the upkeep required.

Edited by Keatah
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Yup. I have a collection of shot glasses on a mantle piece. They are displayed as such. However, I never collected them .... they were gifted from different people in their worldly travels. I just placed them together for all to see, as a collection. I'm not a collector in this case.

 

 

I have a friend who does the same. Shot glasses from places he's been to but he doesn't actively seek to add more unless he goes somewhere new. I guess you can have a collection without actually being a collector. If you have a group of things that have some meaning to you or you enjoy but you don't go out of your way to add to it I suppose you can be one without being the other. A collector wants more and makes a conscious effort to do so. In the case of video games, since it's a media that can be enjoyed as opposed to a display case of shot glasses, then obtaining might not just be collecting but just to play.

 

A good friend of mine has lots of games from the last 2 generations but he doesn't consider himself a collector, just a gamer. As mentioned above he'll eventually rid himself of it when the next generation comes along.

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I have a friend who does the same. Shot glasses from places he's been to but he doesn't actively seek to add more unless he goes somewhere new. I guess you can have a collection without actually being a collector. If you have a group of things that have some meaning to you or you enjoy but you don't go out of your way to add to it I suppose you can be one without being the other. A collector wants more and makes a conscious effort to do so. In the case of video games, since it's a media that can be enjoyed as opposed to a display case of shot glasses, then obtaining might not just be collecting but just to play.

I would argue that your shot glass friend is, in fact, a collector- becuase he will seek & buy new ones as travel souvenirs. There's more than one way to be a collector- you can be a casual collector who only adds new items under specific circumstances. I collect coins, but I don't seek out coin dealers on a regular basis- I fish new quarters out of the change till at work. I visit one coin shop, once a year, as part of my PAX convention vacation. I tell people who ask me if I want souvenirs from their travels to get squished pennies. That's pretty much it- it's a very different beast than my far more active game collecting.

 

One can absolutely have a collection without collecting, though- I have a collection of Woodstock plush like that. You know, the bird from Peanuts? My in-laws got it into their heads that I loved that character (I'm indifferent) and started buying me plush & figures every holiday. I've never actually bought a Woodstock on my own. I just ended up with enough to count as a collection.

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I've owned a PSP for 14 years... I've only kept it in the soft case it came with... still works without issues.

Same here with the old 2000 I had back in the day, but I got this at a yard sale and it didn't have it or the battery since it puffed up. I'll need to find out what Sony called it and track one down I guess as it worked great.

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I think there's a difference between "a collection" and "a collector". A collection can be acquired without effort and doesn't really have a minimum; it's just a shorthand word for a group of like things. It's like a gaggle of geese or a school of fish. A collection of Wii games. It doesn't imply a number.

 

A collector, though, is someone who actively works to acquire a collection. The suffix "or" makes it active. You could be a "collectee" I guess and be someone who just passively receives a collection, through gifts or whatever. But a collector is active. To me that implies but does not require that they have more than a "normal" amount of that thing, just because they're working at it, so you'd kind of expect them to have more than someone who's just buying the latest Madden every year. Even that depends on the type of collector, though; some people only collect rare things. You could have five of the rarest games on the planet, and only those five, and still qualify as a collector because you would have had to actively work to acquire those.

 

tl;dr a collection can be any number of the same type of thing, and a collector is a collector if they're active in collecting.

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That's an interesting take.

 

Where would that leave someone who may have been gaming for 20 or 30 years and got rid of plenty, but may still have a few hundred games spread over multiple decades? It's not like you're a collector, you didn't just collect them to have them, they were picked up over time to play just like one would have a small library of books but not necessarily be a book collector as you're not seeking (as you said) the 5 most rare items about.

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I would argue that your shot glass friend is, in fact, a collector- becuase he will seek & buy new ones as travel souvenirs. There's more than one way to be a collector- you can be a casual collector who only adds new items under specific circumstances. I collect coins, but I don't seek out coin dealers on a regular basis- I fish new quarters out of the change till at work. I visit one coin shop, once a year, as part of my PAX convention vacation. I tell people who ask me if I want souvenirs from their travels to get squished pennies. That's pretty much it- it's a very different beast than my far more active game collecting.

 

One can absolutely have a collection without collecting, though- I have a collection of Woodstock plush like that. You know, the bird from Peanuts? My in-laws got it into their heads that I loved that character (I'm indifferent) and started buying me plush & figures every holiday. I've never actually bought a Woodstock on my own. I just ended up with enough to count as a collection.

 

I suppose you're right. I guess there could be both a casual collector and a more hardcore collector. For retro games, I fall into the former category now. When I started I was hardcore - going to thrift stores, yard sales, actively looking on ebay, buying and trading with others here and doing it on a weekly basis. I haven't done any of those things in well over a year now.

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And you're better off for it. All too many people start off hardcore and hung-ho and everything. Then they discover they're expending a lot of time for frivoloties and little ROI - because minutiae.

 

A seasoned and discerning collector may only acquire a few things a year.

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A seasoned and discerning collector may only acquire a few things a year.

 

Strongly agreed! My main collecting interest is not video games, and I am now finding it hard to acquire new items for my collection as I already have acquired most of what is out there (barring the very expensive and/or extremely hard-to-find items that I will never see).

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