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Mikebloke

Learning to let go of your physical collection

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Hi all, I wanted to make a post which is half-rant, half-question. Today I think I'm finally on the process of letting go... of my physical game collection, of sorts. In limited situations. Which might become a snowball.

 

I would be particularly interested in viewpoints of others who have gone through this dilemma, regardless of the outcome and whether they felt relief or regret from their decision.

 

There is a lot that has led me to this place, but the ultimate power that is probably effected a lot of us in the last few years is this: As a hobby owning legitimate copies of games for original hardware is something I'm increasingly priced out of, alongside continued rareness as number of collectors go up and number of copies of games in the wild go steadily down.

 

My game purchasing not that long ago was scatter gunned - I would buy anything that was cheap even if I didn't want to play it. Early consoles I justified to myself as "finishing a collection" and to be fair these are ones I intend to keep - they are ones I'm most nostalgic about even though many I only played as an adult (videopac, intellivision, coleco, 7800 etc). Like many people, I grew up through the phases of 2600, NES, Sega then moving on to Sony/Microsoft. It is perhaps ironic that many of those consoles - the NES, Master System, SNES, Mega Drive and PS1/2 are likely the ones I'm targeting games to get rid of.

 

Today I went through those consoles, looking at what games I wouldn't miss, and put them into 'storage'. I think I will sit on them for a few months, and if as I suspect, I am completely unbothered by their hidden existence, I will likely look to part with them. Recently I came to the mental decision of stopping myself from buying retro games - I will probably pick up the odd retro game here and there, but not hunting for them on a week to week basis. To even think of selling some (other than doubles) was unthinkable even a few months ago. I was able to pluck out about 75 games from these consoles, which makes less than 5% of my entire physical collection - but it was a good start. I hadn't even looked at copies of the same game such as lemmings, cannon fodder and theme park that I have on multiple consoles for no good reason (that might make it up to a hundred, I could probably filter out some more PC games to double it further).

 

I find myself increasingly buying homebrew, or finishing off collections close to being 100%, but other than that, I'm now choosing not to buy games I would have bought before.

 

I know some users on here have gone to full emulation, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet, I like my physical hardware, and I still see romcarts largely as devices for unofficial ports, hacks, mods, translations and homebrew.

 

 

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Understand completely. I am mostly just buying homebrew physical now and stopped collecting physical as prices rose. I'm inclined to play on the PC Engine mini, Neo Geo Mini, Nes Classic, Atari Flashback nowadays. But I also have rebought Castlevania, Sega, and Megaman collections on PS4 where I had owned all the originals at some point before purging myself.

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40 minutes ago, Mikebloke said:

PS1/2 are

If you end up parting with any RPGs I'll be watching, I'm looking for a few

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44 minutes ago, neogeo1982 said:

Understand completely. I am mostly just buying homebrew physical now and stopped collecting physical as prices rose. I'm inclined to play on the PC Engine mini, Neo Geo Mini, Nes Classic, Atari Flashback nowadays. But I also have rebought Castlevania, Sega, and Megaman collections on PS4 where I had owned all the originals at some point before purging myself.

I was thinking of mentioning this as well - I do buy these classic collections that come out quite often. I have a lot of versions of the mega drive collection but also have various sonic collections, mega man collections, namco and taito etc. They are certainly more convenient to use when you want to spin up a few games, but I still feel they lack that feel of the 'original' console. 

 

Regarding ps1/2 rpgs, they will be the last to go but you can keep hoping XD

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I didn't have to learn, I was forced into it and ever since up until recent times it has been this weird effect much like the tide.

 

Up until 2004-05 I never let go of anything, kept even the receipts for some deranged reason from my 90s buys even.  Not going to go into the why in detail, but had to do what I had to do, lost I'd put it at 80% or more of what I had.  I think that gets into where you're looking for answers.  What do you do?  I picked a Top ## list per system I retained and made some choices.  The hardest was starting, a psychological bandaid attached to a hairy spot yank basically where I let loose entire systems and their libraries.  Sony...gone, Sega...gone, coleco tabletops...gone, various models of Gameboy(backwards compatible overlap), Virtual Boy, NGPC, Turbo Duo, vintage handhelds including a lot of Game & Watch, then into the more painful personal stuff...the TOP LIST.  My tops didn't include everything (largely did on some) what I owned since they came out of the box (bday, christmas, earned...)

 

When things started to get better into 2007 I started to try and recover a little here and there, and this is still about 5 years before scum decided to monetize the hobby into a predatory disaster.  I hit this weird valley, shell shock I guess still, because some I had no stomach or will to deal with again, I couldn't...it stung and would be a lot of money even in the cheapy days.  I started to make choices going after core stuff I cared mostly for, others got backburnered.  Eventually the hell of late 2011 into 2012 caught up with my pace, then slight pangs of regret hit, but mostly just disgust.  When the writing hit the wall with first NES, then the cancer spread into NEC(TG16) I gave up on the TG entirely as a come back, figuring SNES would be fubar next...I had used a flea market to get hundreds of NES games, so I started to trade/sell off to swap out for SNES titles...rode one wave after the next making choices what stays, what goes...  some few regrets would be never owning the likes of an Earthbound BOX/tray again or Aerofighters on SNES.

 

Ultimately as this isnt' worth writing paper over I did the following into this year... bought and sold/traded to get what I want on a shoestring budget.  Luck and good timing helped largely with some stuff, others were just one off dumb luck wish lists like my Neo Geo arcade cabinet locally found...what 90s kid could afford the home one?? HAH!

 

This year thought with the tax scam going next year on selling your own property and being triple taxed on it now (tax on your job, tax on items bought, now tax on selling not trashing stuff...) I reset my gears hard for the last time I think.  I sold off damn near the allowable amount for reporting this year both to get some wants, but have a nest egg for a PC replacement.  And on that reset I gave up selling on ebay a week ago entirely, and am now for some months now ONLY buying to PLAY...PLAY not resell, trade, or bundle off.  IT IS LIBERATING.  I'm walking a walk I talked an addicted friend into, KID ON A BUDGET.  Pretend it's the 80s/90s again ok?  Get you can have some form of allowance per month, you buy within it, and it's a relatively(reasonable) amount, and otherwise gifts.  Focus on less stuff, enjoy what you have, re-enjoy what you have, and find a few new things almost entirely locally, and actually play to enjoy.  That's the key...they're games, not trophies.

 


Around that, get flash kits.  Do NOT pay into these scumbag prices run by filth that caused all this damage.  Buy a kit, load it with what you want, a little or a whole library, actual period games, hacks, homebrew, your own projects, whatever.  Do that, and buy little.  Enjoy what you want you can find, then enjoy what you can't without paying a prick.  On the reverse, if the old game is back into the market (Piko style licensed old goodies, homebrew, public domain former sold goods, etc) buy or use those correctly.  Why not right?

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I very nearly started selling off everything in 2012. But I didn’t have anything set up to test my games, so it all remained in the attic or the storage unit. Then the pandemic happened, and I have since all but stopped playing modern games and have gotten out virtually all of my games and put time into darn near everything I own except the Saturn games (because I have misplaced the system…)

 

I find it hard enough to stick to one game as it is, and for whatever reason having a physical object makes it easier to focus on it than having an SD card. I don’t have any “full library” sets on multicarts (except for the Vectrex) - I only try to put stuff I will play on there - but I still find myself less likely to stick with it without a real cartridge involved. It’s weird.

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2 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Pretend it's the 80s/90s again ok?  Get you can have some form of allowance per month, you buy within it, and it's a

We had a mall arcade, laundrymat arcade, movie theatre arcade, and this place called Geneva on the Lake had a strip with 4 big arcades. All my money went there. But my father collected Atari, Intv, Nes, Snes, and Saturn. When he passed I continued the collecting. He even did the receipt thing you described. So I carried it on several years myself. But with most of it gone now, I play what I have. And feel that disgust when I look at getting DragonForce again or even just an Earthbound cart let alone boxed.

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38 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

but I still find myself less likely to stick with it without a real cartridge involved. It’s weird.

Yes I agree with that. I bounce around on the Jag Game Drive and haven't finished anything it feels like. Just a bunch of taste testing.  Where on the Lynx its all carts that I'm switching out and feel like I play for hours. Even that Flashback I got I haven't spent a lot of time with any one game like I thought I would.

    I think that flighty feeling is why the Evercade looks so appealing. That physical media between collections gives it that real sense of physicality you don't get from emulation or flash carts. 

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I only buy games that I actually want to play, but I also live in a tiny 1-room apartment, so I do not have space for lots of things anyway. All of this old hardware is old and will fail eventually and likely become increasingly difficult to repair as parts become increasingly rare due to not being made anymore, so the best option is to use the MiSTer, especially since that allows/will allow you to play all kinds of rare arcade games that have never gotten 100% accurate home versions and MAME is well-known for being inaccurate for some games. Might as well switch to MiSTer or software emulators now if you are thinking about it, especially since the DE10-Nano already became more expensive recently and I suppose it's possible that it could become more expensive again in the future.

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23 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

DE10-Nano already became more expensive

I prefer an RG351 myself.

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2 hours ago, neogeo1982 said:

We had a mall arcade, laundrymat arcade, movie theatre arcade, and this place called Geneva on the Lake had a strip with 4 big arcades. All my money went there. But my father collected Atari, Intv, Nes, Snes, and Saturn. When he passed I continued the collecting. He even did the receipt thing you described. So I carried it on several years myself. But with most of it gone now, I play what I have. And feel that disgust when I look at getting DragonForce again or even just an Earthbound cart let alone boxed.

Yeah something similar here to a point arcades at various places on top of showbiz pizzatime theatre which morphed into chuck e cheese, the family fun center, etc.  I started the gaming bit, the only thing anyone had before was my mom somehow had this fairchild channel f2 with most the games complete, but after I moved away some years after my father decided despite being told enough, being a dick threw it all out including the CDi I had too.  As far as Earthbound goes, 100% agree, yet I have it...mostly.  I got that one back in 2012 when it was already tipping $100 which is a joke, and the only reason I found it sitting on a table with a bunch of tossed maybe clean(hah) clothes, a few EA game boxes, and at first at a distance thinking it was BOB, a few steps closer had me do a fast power walk n' snatch.  Asked the lady, mexican woman had no grasp of verbally, but when I asked how much calmly she put up 2 fingers...couldn't pay fast enough.  Once moving back here within about 2 years time of that find, a local here had the guide in immaculate shape minus the scratch n sniff for the airfreshener $60 for the guide, which I did, not happily other than the fact it was already higher than that.  I rationalized I was $62 into what was already $300+...yet how much wankers want for that carboard box and generic tray I couldn't stomach another 200-300 then (and far more now) for it so I wrote it off.  Aerofighters in perspective was $200 when I was like hell no, and you can see where that is now too... laughable.  Makes me happy I have its only 2 sequels on MVS.

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This "evolution of a collector" thing is interesting. It's also apparently being revealed again in a younger generation of collectors (look back and you can find numerous threads of this nature). I made the decision to only keep games I actually play about 12 years ago, and am still divesting. It's part of the fun, I think.

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15 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

Regarding ps1/2 rpgs, they will be the last to go but you can keep hoping XD

Its ok I just won an auction lot that has one I need in it.

7 hours ago, fiddlepaddle said:

apparently being revealed again in a younger generatio

Yes with no flea markets or shows near here for at least 10 years, ebay has been one the few options. The other being thrift and pawn shops that gouge worse than ebay much of the time. So patience and perseverance in collecting has been instilled in the younger gen. My kids have grown up learning to look for deals and what an ebay auction looks like that is good. With what I do keep I will pass on to the kids like my father did to me. But they will have that nostalgia of it from playing those games with me. They can pay down student loans or keep my collecting going themselves.

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12 hours ago, fiddlepaddle said:

This "evolution of a collector" thing is interesting. It's also apparently being revealed again in a younger generation of collectors (look back and you can find numerous threads of this nature). I made the decision to only keep games I actually play about 12 years ago, and am still divesting. It's part of the fun, I think.

I think it's part of the human life cycle. Acquire, amass, divest, die. 

 

 

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I was forced to part with my collection in 2010. Was a bit bummed at first, until I saw how much some of the stuff was worth. Got back into collecting in 2013 and was having fun with it for about 6 years or so. However, I reached a point near the end of 2019 where I was sick of all the games and consoles taking up so much space, so I sold most of it again. I also realized that it's the games themselves that I love, not the plastic they are housed in. Now I just own a small collection of about 50 or so PS3, PS4, and 360 games. Everything else gets emulated.

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It's been a many year process for me, figuring out what to let go of and what to hold onto and what really matters to me. I first did a really big collection purge about 3 years ago when I was feeling severely depressed and just burnt out on collecting. The first bit of wisdom I can give you is to never sell stuff when you're depressed, because that's pretty much a guaranteed path to regret and it'll come back to bite you later when life gets better and you're not feeling depressed anymore.

 

In any case, I sold my big collections of around 120 Atari 2600 games, 100 or so Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, my Atari 7800, NES, and GameCube systems and game libraries, and probably a few others I can't quite remember now. I quickly regretted it a few months later when I started feeling less miserable; especially the Game Boy stuff since that was the first system I ever had that I could call my own growing up and the Atari 2600 games since that was the first system I ever played at all as a kid.

 

Over the next year I noticed some of my original PlayStation games starting to succumb to bit rot and with the massively rising prices of PS1 games I decided it was time to cash out on that collection as well as my Wii collection, since disc based games seemed doomed to rot away into unplayability over the coming years and a sizable chunk of cash in my bank account seemed preferable to a bookshelf full of unplayable games. So, off to new homes another couple hundred games went.

 

I took the money from those sales and ended up buying EverDrives and similar flash based devices (like the XStation disc drive replacement for my PlayStation) so I could still play games on the systems I had left, and feeling the itch to collect again I put the rest of the money into building a rather  nice Sega Genesis collection... and then the pandemic happened. Since the pandemic started I haven't been to a single used game store or done any collecting at all (aside from buying one Atari 2600 game lot from a fellow AtariAger), partly because collecting didn't seem worth risking getting COVID and partly because over the last couple years game prices have skyrocketed so high for almost every system that I simply cannot afford to collect anymore. More than anything the rising prices and lack of availability of games killed my enthusiasm for collecting, because it's just not fun anymore when you have to search high and low to maybe find a game you'd like and if you do find it then the seller usually wants an arm and a leg for it. These days the game collecting scene feels less like a hobby for nostalgic 80's and 90's kids and more like an investors market for speculators hoping to make a happy buck.

 

That said, you know what's happened to all those Sega Genesis games I spent thousands of dollars collecting a couple years back? They've sat in a drawer out of sight and never played even once over the past year, while my EverDrives have seen frequent use whenever I get the itch to play an old favorite game or try something new. I don't miss my old Game Boy collection either now that a few years have passed and I've been really happy just playing everything off an EverDrive, though I do still regret selling my Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer since those were really neat to play around with and not an experience you can have with a flash cart.

 

As far as my collection of Sega Genesis (and Sega CD & 32X) games goes, I think I'm ready to let it go. I haven't played any of them in over a year and I know I'm not going to collect for the Genesis anymore simply because game prices have gotten too rich for my blood, and I could really use both the space and money for my other hobby of tarantula keeping. I think if I sold all my Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and 32X games and hardware (keeping my Genesis Model 1, 32X, and EverDrive) as discounted lots I could probably get around $1,600 for everything; which is definitely nothing to sneeze at and I could still play all my Sega games off the EverDrive same as I have been doing contentedly for the past year. 

 

I do still get the itch to collect sometimes though, and for that I've started casually rebuilding my old Atari 2600 game collection. The 2600 is one of the very few systems that hasn't succumbed to massive price spikes for loose cartridges, probably because it's too old of a system for most collectors outside of this forum to care about, so it's still possible to find loose 2600 carts with nice labels for $5 or less, and since most 2600 games are short arcade style affairs I can actually make the time to enjoy playing the games I collect. There's a lot of variety to 2600 cartridge styles too so it's just an all around fun system to play and collect for that doesn't require much in the way of money to enjoy... unless you want H.E.R.O., Pitfall II, or Montezuma's Revenge; all of which I still want for my collection :lol:

 

 

So, that's where I'm at with collecting these days. I've sold almost all my collections and regretted it at first but later found myself happy playing my games off EverDrives instead, and within the next couple days I'm going to be letting go of my rather enormous Sega collection to free up space and bring in funds for other hobbies. The only system I still collect for now is the Atari 2600 because it's still affordable and fun to collect for, and while it's gonna take a long time for my new Atari 2600 collection to grow to the size of my original collection I think it's coming along nicely and I'm looking forward to the journey. :)

 

 

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Edited by Skippy B. Coyote
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I sold all my rare stuff years and years ago. 3D0, Jaguar, Nomad, Virtual Boy, stuff like that.

 

My only regret is that I didn't get to sell them when prices are ridonkulously high like now. I don't miss any of it, btw.

My idea was that I always wanted to have the systems, so when I was older, I could play them. Now that I'm older, I find that I don't want to play them. I keep a few games that I play competitively and that's all. The rest is emulation, which is just fine to me.

TBH, it was fun to collect systems and games before it was popular. Nowadays I have more fun collecting roms and box art images. I used to care about owning games, not so much anymore.

Bottom line, I'm weird and always have been. I move the beat of my own drum. I collected rare consoles when they were going for 20 bucks or less in the mid to late 90s. Now that everyone thinks mario 64 is worth a million bucks, I'm out. It's stupid. I don't want to do what everyone else is doing. Kind of like now, people shit on emulation, IDGAF, I'll check it out!

Edited by Draxxon
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I'm wanting to start selling some of my things. About the only games/systems I won't touch would be ones that me and my siblings both had. I don't feel those are just mine to sell.

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21 hours ago, TheGameCollector said:

Can people just stop collecting but be happy with what they already have and keep that? I think it's possible. You don't have to have an all or nothing attitude toward collecting.

I'd say a 179min speedrun for 96 exits is a similar mentality though.

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I gave my entire collection to Goodwill 20 years ago.  I had lots of stuff and it took multiple pickup loads to get it to them.

 

This purge was due to life changes including children, needing the space, job changes, etc.  I've since re-collected many things and my current collection far surpasses my original collection although I still don't have some things that I once had.

 

My take on this?  If you don't want the stuff and you are SURE you don't want it then go ahead and purge it.  But...  If it makes you happy then don't purge it.  I am very frustrated about many of the items I dumped.  I miss them very much and some of them are now almost unattainable.  I say this as a person that spends a LOT of time on collecting.  I DO indeed regret dumping my collection.  And, in the long run, I gained nothing from doing so as I did not need the space after all and there would have been no negative impact to my family that I am aware of.  In the end I simply lost my beloved toys.

 

Materialistic?  I suppose so.  Did it physically hurt me to be without them?  Nope.  Would they have mostly sat on a shelf or in a box unplayed and with no one enjoying them?  Yep.  But collecting, playing and sharing videogames has been a passion of mine since childhood and I really miss those now difficult to obtain, nostalgic items.

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Flash carts made it easy to stop collecting games. Every once in a while I'll get a new release but I have no desire to blow hundreds on a classic anymore.

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Flash carts were def a game changer for me. I sold off all carts and just used those.  Thinking about doing the ode route for GameCube and selling my GameCube games.  I only play racing games and I'm thinking about unloading all but my racing games and shmups. I have a lot but still able to keep it all in the room I rent without it being too much of an issue.  I also don't want to be embarrassed when I die and watch from above as people toss it all in a dumpster. Might as well cash out before then.  

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