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Thread: To new collectors from an old collector... Don't do this.

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    Key (Level 9) fishsandwich's Avatar
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    Default To new collectors from an old collector... Don't do this.

    I'm 37 years old have been collecting games since I was in my early twenties. I've spent countless thousands of dollars on stuff I hardly played. I would buy anything in years past... and I mean anything! My "collecting" bordered on "sickness" for many years.

    Things have changed as I have gotten older and what was so vitally important to me is no longer so important.

    My father died this year and my mother has decided to move to a smaller home. This means that the handy storage unit I had (the attic) is about to close so I had to go home for Christmas and sort it all out.

    I found four loose intellivisons. A couple of 2600 clones. Two 5200's. Two new steering wheels for PS1 and Saturn. An original Odyssey. An Odyssey 2. An Astrocade. Piles and piles of stuff. And hundreds upon hundreds of magazines. I really hated to let those go but I had no place to store them and they are HEAVY. I sold the whole mess to another DP member and I hope he loves those magazines as much as I did.

    This was not the first time I went home to clean. My last trip I brought back home five nes consoles, four Genesis, two Sega CD, two Jags, another 5200, an Intellivision with no power cord, two master systems, an Atari XE, a 7800, a CV with all the attachments, and only God knows how many games and controllers and LOOSE WIRES oh my God.

    I have several thousand games sitting in a friends basement. Lots of boxed Saturn, N64, Master System, SNES, Genesis, PSX, and who knows what else. I tried (and failed) to complete the entire Saturn and N64 domestic libraries and came quite close before I just lost interest. God bless my friend for storing them for me. What on earth will I do with them? I HATE selling on Ebay and I'll never get what I paid for them but I hate to see them just sit there until a bomb blows us all up. I have tons of games at home, too... lots of handheld games (why on earth did I feel the need to complete the libraries for the the N-Gage, Zodiac, Gizmondo, and NGPC?)

    I have loads of stuff that I never play and am too busy to sell. They have become a great big monkey on my back. Why have 5 Intellivisions? 6 NES? God knows how many Genesis consoles? Why do I have 3 32x's AND a Megadrive 32x AND a Japanese 32x? THIS WAS INSANITY.

    My current gaming habits consist of GBA, DC, and emulation on PC. That's it.

    Part of my problem lies in the fact that I have no storage space. I live in a small loft in Midtown. Things would be very different if I had a large house with a BASEMENT... or would they?

    Do I really want to be a 60 year old man with a basement full of old videogames and tons of duplicate consoles? What will I do with them? Stay in the house until I die and then leaqve my poor relatives to dig through the piles of junk?

    Bottom line... this hobby can drive you crazy if you let it. Don't let it own you! It's far too easy to spend lots of money and acquire lots of things that take up lots of physical space. I really wish I'd kept control of myself and tried to see where I would be in 20 years. Don't buy for the sake of buying! Make sure you have space to store your crap! That stuff you buy today will NOT be an investment tomorrow!

    Embrace emulation. It's so much neater.
    Thanks for indulging my gaming habit when I was young, Dad. You were the best. I miss you. ~David Barnes 1926-2007~

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    ServBot (Level 11) tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishsandwich View Post
    Do I really want to be a 60 year old man with a basement full of old videogames and tons of duplicate consoles? What will I do with them? Stay in the house until I die and then leaqve my poor relatives to dig through the piles of junk?

    Yes, and wait til they argue over what is theirs. That's the best part.

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    I appreciate the advice, as I've already learned a couple of better ways to go about collecting on my own in the short time I've been a 'collector'. Fortunately I've avoided what it sounds to me were your two biggest pitfalls:

    1) don't buy new stuff if you aren't going to play it (and if you aren't one of those wacko sealed games collectors). Even if it is a great deal now, say, Mario Galaxy for 30 bucks, in just a few short years it won't cost squat. I've also done well on new stuff buying it, playing it, then selling it while it is still in its prime. You can then play a great game for ~$5 and the pick it up on the cheap when you come across it later.

    2. Don't let stuff pile up. Get rid of those extra consoles as you get them. If you are like me, you still can't pass on a working NES system for less than $15, but pick out the games you need and sell the rest. If you didn't pay too much to start with, you can sell it below market value (quickly) and still break even or make a buck.

    I'd say if you need to get rid of a bunch of stuff quickly and don't want to get totally boned on the deal, Craigslist is going to be your best option as long as you have at least a bit of a CL scene. Put it up for a good price and it will sell quick, likely to an eBay re-seller, but maybe to someone like me, who'll keep some and sell some.

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    I have found myself in the same situation, buying stuff because I thought it looked neat or wanted it for some reason. Most of this stuff just sits there once I get it. I then usually wind up selling stuff at a loss to get rid of it so that I can buy more stuff. I am hopefully on the way to recovery, though since I got rid of most of my Genesis and SNES stuff. There will probably be a lot more of my stuff going up for sale in the future.

    JY

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    The way I look at it, anything that I aquire and don't sell in the future are for my kids whenever I have them. I may not be into the oldschool vids in 5-10 or maybe as long as 15+ years, but I'm going to keep them just for the fact that I don't buy many duplicates, nor do I lack the space for them. Whatever lasts until my children are at a certain age, is going to them some day. Whether they decide to sell them, keep them, play them is up to them. Whatever they can gain from it will make me happy that I collected in the first place. Its a part of my history, as well as a part of the world's history.

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    Sounds like your video game pack rat urge got the best of you, there.

    As long as you can A) Afford your games and B) have a healthy life outside of games, I don't see the problem. Friends and relatives are going to be picking through your crap when you've gone 'post-corpus' anyway... They may as well be picking through good stuff.

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    Default story of my life

    Hey Fish....this is almost the story of my life as well....I did not buy as many duplicate systems as you did but I had some...You can also try listing it here and sell it off piece by piece like I am doing, but it takes alot of time and patience...

    The key early on would have been filling that emptiness with establishing better and stronger personal relationships, doing more physical activity, even religion (!)...Today, in retrospect, I can see that amassing huge amounts of "stuff" (not just video games) is at it's core a spiritual issue...now, unfortunately, at age 47, I could really use all that money spent foolishly over the past 27 years, and now I also have alot of "catching up" to do on life-issues and "important" things from all those years spent obsessing over playing and collecting games....

    Sound advice to the "next generation" from those of us who have been there......
    or just keep playing video games 24/7 and see what happens....
    47 years young ---
    Favorite game genres: 2D games, classic/puzzle, golfing games. No longer collecting games...

    My Feedback:
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81369

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishsandwich View Post
    Don't let it own you!
    I'm not keen on emulation but this quote right here... LIVE IT!

    Dont let it own you!

    I've collected many things over the years and all to often I've become almost obsessed with whatever it happened to be at the time. I'm keeping things down to 3 systems and that's it. My demo collecting has slowed considerably and will carry on but in moderation.

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    I hear you man. I'm too much of a pack rat also, can't throw anything out. Collected sports and non-sports cards for many years, which take up about a third of my closet. Honestly, I doubt the value will go up at all, and if I had the time and patience, I would get rid of almost everything other than the non-sports sets, because they're cool to read and look at. Then it was mini-electric race cars (Tyco, AFX, etc.) which didn't go far because the tracks were a pain to set up. Then it was micro machines Star Wars and Star Trek vehicle models, although luckily Galoob only released 4 or 5 full boxed sets of them, so that's all I have. Tried my hand at Star Wars Kenner figures, which I still have a few unopened I can't even give away for free. When the web opened up, I bought some cheap comic books (mostly adaptains of scifi movies or tv shows), never read them.

    Last but not least video games. I saved some of my games and systems over the years, but had traded or given most of them away. So over the last 2 years, I have been quickly reacquiring them. When I say them, I mean games I had, or perhaps borrowed from someone for a while, or rented several times, or even enjoyed on an EMU. I only get games I like. Often I may not even bother with sequels, and only get one of the games. Exceptions would be Mario (still have all my originals) or Sonic. I have also purchased several of those cheasy Sega or Nintendo official game trays, that hold two dozen games or whatever. My personal limit is that I will not get more games that fit in those. I just want to have a good and fair representation of the game systems and the games I like to play. Now my personal preference precludes RPGs, puzzle, and fighting games for the most part, because I don't play them. Plus I simply cannot play any stick and ball sports game produced after the 16-bit era ended. They're just too complicated for me.
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    Where you went wrong is you should have collected games to play them. That's what I do. Games are like anything else, you don't collect them to make money. So don't bitch that you can't get your money back. These damn things aren't stocks for Gods sake. Plus, like anything else, the older it gets the more it will be worth. If video games continue to be a multi billion dollar a year industry the prices on the older stuff will always rise in price. So when your about 60 and ready to retire, you won't be bitchin then when have to sell them. So just play em and quit your bitchin. I'm sick of all the whiney bastards, I'll never get my money back, well boo freakin hoo. Anyone who collects crap just to collect has a disorder anyway and needs to seek out therapy. I'll give ten fish sandwiches for your collection.
    Last edited by guitargary75; 12-31-2007 at 01:17 PM.

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    You could do a drawing to people on this website where you give out the items as prizes. Remember it is only object and soon I too need an aprentice to pass down my stuff. That is what a family is about. All items attach and merge with each other. IN the begining everything starts out as a idea.

    poor relatives
    You need to sell off your collection and invest the money into something that
    will gain in value that you like and will get you a place for your family.
    I have many stuff I want to get rid of also and I will but for the most part it is all worth it in the end and even after the end and new begining.


    That stuff you buy today will NOT be an investment tomorrow!
    You have to know how to invest your stuff that you have brought over the years. Save and invest is allways the key to fourtune.

    Personally I have stopped playing newer systems since I beleive there is barely any creativity in them. The games I admire and that inspired me is on the Saturn and SNES.

    I know my limit, I know my likes, and more importantly I know what I am about. Videogames along with other things is like a serpant that is strangling my exsistance and constantly bitting me that prevents me from persuing other activities in life.

    However I learned to live with the serpant while shining brighter every day.
    You must learn to live with your demon that controls no but demands you to aquire these items.

    Life you must live with no vain and go into the future perfecting your abilities. Everybodys life is perfect and you being 30 should know yourself and wants along with needs so well. Rise and live life free with no doubts or fears. You know the junk you consume will be the end of you so you have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    I am able to point out things that I could not see before and with that power I am greater then I could ever be. You have all this stuff and call it a mere hobby. There must be something that relates to you that you can do that will allow you to make use of this material.

    Be free of your wants and live with your needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ROTS MKII View Post
    I know my limit, I know my likes, and more importantly I know what I am about. Videogames along with other things is like a serpant that is strangling my exsistance and constantly bitting me that prevents me from persuing other activities in life.

    However I learned to live with the serpant while shining brighter every day.
    You must learn to live with your demon that controls no but demands you to aquire these items.

    Life you must live with no vain and go into the future perfecting your abilities. Everybodys life is perfect and you being 30 should know yourself and wants along with needs so well. Rise and live life free with no doubts or fears. You know the junk you consume will be the end of you so you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
    Man... I don't know what the hell you just said, Little Kid, but you're special man, you reached out, and you touch a brother's heart.
    "What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk... Have at you!"

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    I can still fit my entire collection along one wall in my small office.

    And a few boxes in the closet.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    I'm 15 and I find myself doing similar things. I never buy new games (unless it's just an amazing game, or one of a series I like) but I have found countless duplicate systems. My collections is miniscule in comparison to many DP members, but any time I have a friend over we always go through the "OMG how long have you been collecting this crap?" I've been in the process of weeding out extra games and consoles, and so far so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveD View Post
    Hey Fish....this is almost the story of my life as well....I did not buy as many duplicate systems as you did but I had some...You can also try listing it here and sell it off piece by piece like I am doing, but it takes alot of time and patience...

    The key early on would have been filling that emptiness with establishing better and stronger personal relationships, doing more physical activity, even religion (!)...Today, in retrospect, I can see that amassing huge amounts of "stuff" (not just video games) is at it's core a spiritual issue...now, unfortunately, at age 47, I could really use all that money spent foolishly over the past 27 years, and now I also have alot of "catching up" to do on life-issues and "important" things from all those years spent obsessing over playing and collecting games....

    Sound advice to the "next generation" from those of us who have been there......
    or just keep playing video games 24/7 and see what happens....
    I totally understand. I grew up in the videogame apple atari and commodore era. and it holds a special place with me. around the psx era I was looking around and thinking man I am a official collector and then the hunt started.

    Sometimes I start feeling overwhelmed but I would put the total value of money spent on my collection at 25,000. people have a fleet of cars that cost way more. Leno has what 80 cars. Some people are our age and have nothing to show for there money. Some people saved and have millions.

    If you don't want to do it slow like darth vader maybe we should this summer have the mother of all NAVA's a fewday event to unload stockpiled stock
    neo geo system

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    I hear you fish. I'm having a crisis of conscious about my collection now. 4500 games some 50 or so consoles. I haven't even actively buying classic games for some time. Frankly, I've got about 90% of the domestic games I'd ever want to own. There are still quite a few imports that I'd like to pick up at some point, but the hurry is gone. So now it comes down to keeping all these games I'll more than likely never play just for their historical value.

    My other big problem was/is arcades. I got the bug bad and ended up with 19 machines at my high point. I've cut back some by selling a few off, but I've got a long way to go. How in the hell would I move across the country with 19 arcades?

    A big turning point for me was listening to a story on NPR about a guy in Chicago who made a resolution to live simply. He added up every "thing" he owned and came up with 7500 things. He first strived to cut it in half, then in half again. His current goal is to get down to 500 things in his life. To me, this is an admirable goal.

    What I'm strongly leaning towards is boiling the collection down to around 1000 essentials and 5 of my arcades. Games that I'll definitely want to play/replay at some point or games that are particularly interesting or important to me. I'll probably use the money I make from the sale off to take a whirlwind tour of Europe with my wife for 2 weeks.

    But where I'll deviate with you is on new games. There are many amazing games coming out now that are well worth the full cost to play immediately.

    Sure, you can wait to buy games like Super Mario Galaxy and Mass Effect when they hit $5.00 new but why? Say what you want, but all games lose some degree of magic after their time has passed. I guess if you can live in a gamer bubble and not keep up with anything new and live 5 years behind the curb it can work, but who could do that and truly call themselves a gamer? Rabid sharks riding bears would have to tear me away from buying Fallout 3, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and No More Heroes on day one.

    Besides, most new games drop in price so quickly you can easily jump in at the $20 - $40 mark within weeks (or in the first one if you stay on top of sales) and not have to necessarily break the bank.
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    Definitely not me.. I hardly have duplicates of anything. And the majorify of what I have of anything are the exact same ones I bought in their time.

    I'm a old videogame packrat, not a retro-collector... and that's the big difference

    For me to have duplicates of something I'd have to go out now and buy a couple of 360's and 3-4 copies of Call of Duty 4 for example for me to have multiple copies of it 20 years from now

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    I've got about 400 games and 17 consoles and no duplicates. I've also played every game I own at least once. I think when you start buying games merely to own them and stop buying them to play them, things begin to go wrong.

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    I used to have a similar problem. Up until several years ago, I had:

    Coleco Telstar
    Atari 2600 - around 45 games
    Atari 2600 Jr.
    NES - around 60 games
    Sega Master System - around 10 games
    Nintendo Game Boy - around 5 games
    Atari Lynx - around 5 games
    NEC Turbo Express - around 10 games
    SNES - around 30 games
    Sega Game Gear - around 5 games
    Virtual Boy - around 5 games
    Sega Saturn - around 5 games
    Nintendo 64 - around 65 games
    Nintendo Game Boy Color - around 10 games
    Sega Dreamcast - around 10 games
    Nintendo Game Boy Advance - around 10 games
    Nintendo GameCube - around 10 games
    Nintendo DS - around 5 games
    various portable LCD games (Donkey Kong Jr. Game and Watch, Tiger Double Dragon, etc.)

    I started going overboard when I worked at a video game store for several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Customers would come to the store with old game consoles to trade in and if I didn't already own them, I'd buy them myself with cash directly from the customers. That's how I ended up with a Turbo Express, a Sega Game Gear, a Sega Saturn, etc.

    I'd also receive free promotional items at the store and had built up a big collection of T-shirts (Oddworld, Falcon 4.0, Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, Donkey Kong 64, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, etc.), little stuffed animals (Super Mario 64, Pokemon, Donkey Kong, etc.), figurines (Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), pens, pads, stickers, cards, keychains, breath mints (Rayman 2: The Great Escape and Microsoft Windows ME), hats, and toys (a Pocket Pikachu virtual pet, a Pikachu watch, a Super Mario 64 watch, Donkey Kong 64 plastic barrels, etc.).

    I also took home a life-size Joanna Dark standee, a Perfect Dark promotional kit, a Conker's Bad Fur Day promotional fake first-aid kit, a Super Smash Bros. standee, some over-sized Kirby 64 boxes, game soundtrack CDs, and free magazines every month (Next Generation, Gamers' Republic, EGM, GamePro, Game Fan, Q64, Tips and Tricks, etc.).

    I wrote about my magazine collection in another thread:

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...81#post1275481

    I also started buying tons of garbage on eBay: more video game T-shirts (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, etc.), The Legend of Zelda wristbands (why?), more video game soundtrack CDs (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, F-Zero X, 1080 Snowboarding, Perfect Dark, Super Castlevania IV, etc.), unopened boxes of Nintendo trading cards and Donkey Kong trading cards, a Star Fox video game watch, and so on and so forth.

    Everything amounted to two bedrooms and two closets full of video game garbage.

    When I moved from NJ to NYC, I couldn't take many things with me. My parents threw out the Coleco Telstar and the Atari 2600. I gave the Sega Master System, Game Gear, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Turbo Express away to friends and relatives. I sold the Atari Lynx. I don't remember what happened to the Game Boy and Virtual Boy, but they were probably thrown out. I lost the Donkey Kong Jr. Game and Watch. My brother kept the Game Boy Color and some of the stuffed animals and toys. I sold a few of the shirts and toys and threw the rest in the garbage. I sold the GameCube, the DS, and my 150 lbs. magazine collection.

    My problem was I was buying games and taking home free shirts, toys, and magazines just because I was surrounded by them at work 40 hours a week. I didn't need or use 95% of the things I'd bring home, but I'd do it out of habit. It was pointless.

    Right now, I have a few game consoles, a Game Boy Advance, and one small bag of collectibles. Everything fits into one box. Much better!
    Last edited by Rob2600; 01-04-2008 at 10:16 PM.

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    I've said this before here elsewhere (huh?) but here's another good chance to tell my story- hopefully short enough to maintain reading interest!

    I've been gaming for 30 yrs, starting w/ the 2600. I've had several systems over time (still do), & did quite a bit of unnecessary(?) buying in the last few yrs, & most recently I've had all my stuff in a bedrm my wife & I call the game room. I tried to give it a recreational feel but basically it's just a place for all my gaming stuff. I realized awhile back I have several games I dont even touch & that bugs me.

    We're expecting twin boys in a few months & I know 99% of my gametime wiil be gone- hell, I dont play too often NOW. I want to get them into gaming, but I'm letting stuff go slowly but surely- selling, trading, giving away, etc. Right now I have most of my collections where I want them (~12 games/system). I dont do current-gen (360/Wii/PS3/PSP etc), they dont interest me IN THE LEAST. I feel gaming took a bad turn (not to mention high $$$) in the past few yrs & now I do classic/retro stuff. It sickens me that the latest Time Crisis is almost $100 when Duck Hunt or Hogans Alley are still fun.

    Anyhoo, I think in the past yr I realized I should probably stop or at least slow down. I still like game playing/hunting, & still buy the occasional item but I like to think I caught myself before it was too late. I still prob. have too many mags, but there's always recycling or used bookstores if/when the time comes.
    Last edited by RJ; 12-31-2007 at 03:53 PM.
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