Hi there. My name is Kevin and I have a problem.

Well, actually I have a few problems. But let's stay on track here.

I have a fairly large video game collection. A couple years ago I took an inventory to see just how many games I owned. Now, I haven't really kept up with it, but glancing over it and factoring in how much I've picked up over the last few years, we're looking at something around the mid-to-high 300s. Which sounds like a ton to a regular person, but is a mere pittance to an actual collector.

According to my inventory, I've beaten over 150 of them, which is actually a lot when you consider that 1) a lot of the old games (i.e. Pac-Man, Space Invaders) have no real end and 2) I own a lot of older games, and most of the ones you can beat (theoretically) are incredibly difficult. But there's another statistic, one I don't even have outdated numbers to reference, that I want to examine.

I'm talking about games I've bought and never played.

Think this over for a second. You have some hard earned cash. You go and buy something with it. You bring it home. Take it out of the bag. And never use it. Ever. Why did you even buy it in the first place? I'm not some sort of rich socialite; I don't have money to throw around on stuff I'm not gonna use. Hell I'm the kind of guy who flips out when some cheese goes bad. That's hardly even worth a dollar, yet I've spent 50 bucks on a game and never thrown it in a console.

Why on earth do I do this?

There's no simple answer. In the end it just comes down to what drives me to normally buy a game. I hear about something that sounds cool, so I mark it in my head as a game I want. Eventually I come to a position where I can buy it, so I do. And then for some reason the process breaks down.

There's two main causes for this, I think. The first is time. Let's say I've been watching a couple games for awhile and thanks to a little bad luck they come out on the same day. Well, I can't start them both (I mean I could, but I've never enjoyed it. Same way I can't read multiple books at one time). So I start one of them.

Now, hopefully I pick up the other one right after I finish. But what if I purchase a new game before that happens? What am I going to do, shelve it? No way. It's a lot easier just to jump into that. Plus, what if I bought two RPGs? Do I really feel up for another RPG after just getting through one? Probably not, so to the shelf it goes, and after awhile it becomes little more then a dust collector.

It's not that I don't want to play it. I always think about getting back to it (for awhile), but it's hard to find time to do so when other games I want to play are coming out left and right. In the end, I have to work a job and support a marriage. There's only x hours to play games, even if what I really need is y.

The other cause is money. Sometimes I see a fantastic deal on a game that I considered trying out, so I pick it up. The problem with these games is that usually I'm already playing something else. I have a tendency to always prioritize new games (mainly to justify having spent more money on them), so used games that I got a good deal on (or even gifts sometimes, to be honest) also tend to fall through the cracks.

On the bright side, there is hope. In an effort to save money, I've really tried to tighten my belt on which games I buy and which ones I don't. Maybe I'd like to have Street Fighter IV, but is it really worth 60 bucks when I know a year from now it'll sell for less than half? Better for me to only buy games that I really want new, and take the extra time as an opportunity to play through games I've never gotten around to. So far this has worked out great, finally giving me a chance to play through games like Trauma Center: New Blood (nerve-wracking), Super Mario Galaxy (incredible), and Dead Rising (tons of fun once you power-level) that have been gathering dust on my shelves for far too long.

Honestly though? What's helped out even more is that there hasn't been a whole lot of great games coming out this year. Looking at the line-up, I don't see that changing. '07 and '08 brought some amazing titles, so I suppose we're about due for a lackluster year.

Personally? I'm fine with that. Right now I can do with a little less temptation. In the meantime, I'll try to dust off some of these lost games and see what I've been missing out on.

Posted by Kevin on 2:03 PM


Colure said...

Yeah, for awhile there up until recently, you've really had a bit of a game collecting problem - as in, you buy them, and never play them. I can think of TONS of games on our shelves that I'm not sure if they've ever been in the console!

I'm really glad you've been so good this year about only buying games you REALLY want - I think it's a great plan, not only cause it saves us money, but because it is forcing you to pick up games you already own but have never played.

I love that we have a huge library of media (games, movies, etc) to choose from whenever we get bored, so I'm not condemning the concept of picking something up if it's a good deal, but I do think it's good that you're re-evaluating your impulses ;)

Love you!

Unknown said...

For some reason when I read this, your copy of Devil Summoner came to mind immediately.

I too have this problem with a few games I own, but most of the offenders were gifts I received the same time as another game I really wanted to play at the time.

Lauren said...

I'm like that with books. If I see a book I may want to read one day that's really cheap, of course I'll get it. Or, when I worked at Walden, of course I picked up all the ARCS I could. I have so many books on my bookcase that I have yet to read...but, all the same, i'm happy they're there.

Kevin said...

I don't know about TONS of games... but I'll concede that it's a lot. I'm working on it though and I appreciate the encouragement ;)

Yeah, Devil Summoner is probably the epitome of the problem. That's a game I went to the store the day it came out, bought brand new, and never ever played. I'm not even sure the case has even been opened, quite frankly. To make it even worse, this month they're releasing a sequel, which I debated picking up solely because it came with a preorder plush, even though I have yet to ever play the first one. My personal goal this year is to actually get to it.

I am glad to have them though. I'm pretty proud of my little collection. I just wish I had time to really give it the attention it deserves.

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