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History vs collecting

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I went from being an avid collector to way more interested in the history behind the games and companies.

 

Don't have time for both.

 

How do you balance it?

 

lloyd

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I would say I am definitely both. I collect for certain systems because the history behind those systems intrigues more so than others. My two absolute favorites are of course Atari and Nintendo. What I love about Atari is there is always something new to learn, some tidbit or fact about a game, system or person behind the game to learn about. Makes collecting all the more fun because not only are you just collecting stuff, you have a story to tell to others and pass on the passion and enthusiam. Being a collector has allowed me to discover the history behind games I never knew existed by finding these games on my quest for completing sets. I try to take at least an hour of my day and watch some of my favorite youtube channels, I have plenty of books as well that I try and read for at least 30 min before bed. My favorite is Atari Inc. Business is Fun by Curt Vendel and Marty Goldberg. That book is amazing! If you want to know history i highly recommend making some time each day to read a chapter of that book! It's well worth your time! 

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I think they kind of go hand-in-hand. When you're enthusiastic about a subject, you always want to learn more about it, and I think to some extent, collecting is often a manifestation of that. Even if history isn't a driver for a collector, it's hard to be active in the hobby without learning something about the history of the stuff you collect and its place in the bigger picture of gaming.

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I've shifted to focusing more on history as my collection has grown to the point where finding games I'm missing is more difficult (as is justifying paying the exorbitant prices those games command) but I still want to experience something "new." Learning the history of the games and the people who made them is one thing that scratches that itch.

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Have 5 systems emulated, physical Colecovision & Atari 7800, PS2, DS l, Wii, 6 arcade games & pinball & STILL no time to play thx to Real Life. & if I DO have 15 min to sit down I find I just dont have what it takes anymore. Like I used to kick @$$ at Enduro but now I cant even finish 2 full days.

 

 

Now i just basically re-read all the print I've gathered (just finished browsing thru all my Retro Gamer mags) over the years- I dont bother reading newer stuff about the classics, the origin stories wont change, plus I lived it. 

Now I can only look back fondly at what infe was, & soak in the glory of yesteryear.

Edited by RJ
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Childhood nostalgia inspired me almost 20 years ago to archive and examine VCS ROMs and scans and collect information about companies and thus exploring the history behind games, programmers and companies, although the history behind games already fascinated me as a child.

I still own articles and cut out reviews about games and programmers that I collected back in the day.

8)

 

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Transitioning from player -> collector -> historian is a natural progression that stems from wanting more. There's only so many times you can play Basic Math or HeadKicker, you know?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

Transitioning from player -> collector -> historian is a natural progression that stems from wanting more. There's only so many times you can play Basic Math or HeadKicker, you know?

 

 

It's also far more affordable than collecting the rarities.

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Yes..and chasing after rarities only serves to deplete your savings. Without reward or ROI. I mean they may be rare and desirable and all that, but gameplay might stink something awful.

 

And something "being rare" is usually a state of affairs set and established by others. Because someone says it's rare and valuable - it becomes rare and valuable. Without context and the wanting by others, on its own, it's just a plastic shell and paper box. Desirability is something planted in your head.

 

Half the shit labeled rare & desirable is of no interest to me. Not nostalgic. Not curiosity. Not even technically interesting or aesthetically pleasing.

 

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3 hours ago, Keatah said:

Yes..and chasing after rarities only serves to deplete your savings. Without reward or ROI. I mean they may be rare and desirable and all that, but gameplay might stink something awful.

 

And something "being rare" is usually a state of affairs set and established by others. Because someone says it's rare and valuable - it becomes rare and valuable. Without context and the wanting by others, on its own, it's just a plastic shell and paper box. Desirability is something planted in your head.

 

Half the shit labeled rare & desirable is of no interest to me. Not nostalgic. Not curiosity. Not even technically interesting or aesthetically pleasing.

 

Seconded. There are a couple of high ticket items I still want, but it always has to be tied to a good game. Anything else is just madness to me.

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On 12/27/2020 at 4:05 AM, RJ said:

...I used to kick @$$ at Enduro but now I cant even finish 2 full days.

 

Good news! I got to Day 5 on the GBA version just now!

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I find it interesting that I'm trying to keep quite strictly to remaining a gamer rather than falling into the trap of a collector, and this is how I did it:

 

1) Track what you own so you don't buy doubles (unless in bundles)

2) Track what you've actually finished/played so you don't get into the habit of buying games but never playing them (if you don't want to spent hours on excel, consider something like backloggery website - or both).

3) Convert both your living room and bedroom into gaming centres which encourage the actual use of video game consoles and games you buy, ideally getting the consoles out ready for when they arrive.

4) Keep to hard limits of what you are willing to spend on a game/system. I find this is particularly of note for 2600 games - there is loads of games out there and the system has a considerably large library compared to its 70's and 80's counterparts. Only in the 90's did consoles beat 2600 for number of games - we have various other ways of playing them now (including Atari throwback devices, Atari Vault, etc...). I've personally kept to a hard limit of no more than 2 figures for a game, I've never hit over £100.

 

I get to be both gamer and collector doing this - though I think there was various moments in the last few years where I could have fallen into the trap of a collector.

 

However, I'm immensely appreciative of those who become Historians:

 

In terms of history, the internet has so much to offer now - and actually a lot of this is thanks to fellow gamer/collectors - I think if you have something unique or rare - its really cool to share that knowledge. I have websites that AA members host on my bookmarks, including RandomTerrain's site, the Supervision one, various Odyssey 1 sites etc. That's not to say its not worth you doing something if someone else has done it, it just saves ME the job of doing it XD.

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I’ve always been drawn to collecting and curating ephemeral stuff- magazines, instruction manuals and assorted marketing materials. Not just for retro gaming but anything I’m interested in. Helps to understand the full context of the culture the game was created in :)

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4 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

I find it interesting that I'm trying to keep quite strictly to remaining a gamer rather than falling into the trap of a collector, and this is how I did it:

 

3) Convert both your living room and bedroom into gaming centres which encourage the actual use of video game consoles and games you buy, ideally getting the consoles out ready for when they arrive.

I've seen too many gamers with rooms jam packed with everything under the sun. Some insist they're not collectors, yet it looks like it takes a half'n'hour to switch from one system to the next.

 

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6 hours ago, Keatah said:

I've seen too many gamers with rooms jam packed with everything under the sun. Some insist they're not collectors, yet it looks like it takes a half'n'hour to switch from one system to the next.

 

I've got about as good as I can get it, 8 consoles to the TV. As many connected up at one time to TV. Plug in psu, change wire if required, fish out controller from a box also next to the consoles, switch tv source. Most is on in less than 30 seconds, longer if its modern with a start up, and 5 minutes if I have more than one RF console out (modern tvs don't like to store channels so got to scan everytime I replace one).

 

Wife has accepted this is the way it is unless we inherit a million pounds, so it doesn't get any better realistically. 

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