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Thread: Gaming and Materialism: What are your thoughts?

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    Peach (Level 3) greedostick's Avatar
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    Default Gaming and Materialism: What are your thoughts?

    First let's get one thing straight, I love video games! I was born in 1980 and in elementary school Nintendo was the biggest thing ever... that and Garbage Pail Kids! I was practically born a gamer, and most likely unless there is a freak accident and I lose my hands and feet, I will die a gamer. Some of my fondest memories are playing Kid Icarus with my cousin in elementary school, trading NES games at school, playing Final Fantasy I for the first time and being amazed because I never played anything like it, finally beating Metroid, when my best friend at the time Jerry beat Secret of Mana without me after we played the whole game together (I still give him hell about that 18 years later), and even staying up all night because Cloud went on one of his psychotic breaks for an hour and I couldn't save my damn game! So clearly gaming is a big part of my life I will never forget. So this is merely a thread for gathering of opinions, and is no way meant to single anyone out or bring judgement upon anyone.

    I'll go ahead and sum up this post in two quotes...

    "It's only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything"

    and

    "The things you own end up owning you"

    2 examples from one of my favorite movies/books Fight Club, and about a million other quotes from classes taken at The Ohio State University really make me think about being a gamer and collecting games, and even other things that "define" people in our society. Nice clothes, cars, smart phones, televisions, your iPod, even stuff like furniture, and stupid stuff you buy to decorate your home. Being a member on the neo-geo.com digitpress.com forums for nearly 10 years now I have come to understand what these quotes mean finally. As i'm sure nearly all our long standing members have seen here, or are living it at this very moment. We see people here disappear over the years because they have been consumed by the collecting and realize they are in way over there heads. They fail out of school, lose their jobs, friends, and famiy, go into debt because they have to get that copy of that rare PC Engine game on ebay that might never show up again. I don't think theres a week that goes by on the Neo forums there isn't a post similar to "car broke down need cash fast!, or spent too much on homecarts paypal me"! You meet some of these people in real life and they have stupid amounts of stuff to show off that they never played. I too am guilty. At one point I had a complete english Turbo Grafx/CD collection, and over 2000 games for other consoles. My house was overrun with crap I never used. So I sold most of it. I still have maybe 200 games, games I consider to be only the best, and my neo cabinet with around 50 games that I will never sell. But it makes me wonder at times....

    At what point does gaming consume you? At what point have you went too far?

    Sure you could say I have a ton of games but gaming makes me happy so it's not a problem. I'm not broke, and I find time for family and a social life, I maintain a solid 3.5 gpa. I don't have a problem. But ask yourself this. What if for one month you left your cell phone at home and used it only for emergencies, left the iPod in the dresser drawer and met some people (I personally never approach people on a MP3 player), unplugged the television, the computer, and un-hooked all the gaming consoles? What would happen? Most likely you would be bored as hell for a few days, BUT you would find stuff to do eventually. Maybe, just maybe you would discover yourself and pick up that guitar that's collecting dust in the corner for 5 years, and actually learn to play it, or write a novel, or hit the weight room or go running like you always put off so you could manage your WOW character. Or maybe you would even visit your grandmother in the nursing home or meet some friends and take a spontaneous road trip out of state.

    The point i'm trying to get across is HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE REALLY HAPPY UNTIL YOU GET OUT THERE AND LIVE YOUR LIFE A DIFFERENT WAY AND POTENTIALLY DISCOVER THINGS THAT HAVE MORE MEANING, THAT YOU MAY NEVER HAVE EVEN KNOWN WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN GAMING, OR COLLECTING ANYTHING IN GENERAL?

    Also I wonder how you all feel as gaming as an art form? The critics all say video games will never be art, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, or The Last Blade will never be the Mona Lisa. But to some of us it feels that way. I know it does to me. I get way more satisfaction from playing Ikaruga than looking at a 500 year old painting. But if I painted the painting maybe that would be a different matter all together. Video games consist of art, music, story telling, and photography. So how can something that includes everything said to be "art" in one interactive package not be art?

    I'm curious as to all your opinions, and to whether you all think if you put down the joystick you could potentially find more time in life to do things. Let everyone know what you think, and if it applies what in life you have never done you always wanted to do. I plan on taking a full month away from "stuff" after this quarter of school, just to see if I die without it. I'm curious if anyone else is willing to give it a try.

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    Get Ready! SpaceHarrier's Avatar
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    I've actually spent alot of time thinking about alot of the stuff you brought up (and I too love Fight Club).. My collection is much smaller than the average DP game collection, but I still think I probably have too many for me. At the same time, I have around 70 games on my immediate 'want-list' and more always replace any I cross off.

    At the same time, I can't imagine selling any of my games off, even the ones I enjoy the least. I get pretty darn attached to my things, and especially my games. I've had alot of them over 20 years now, and trying to imagine myself without them is actually kind of alarming. At the same time I think about all the people all over the world who can't afford anything basically, and I feel incredibly lucky, blessed, yet embarrassed that I hoard more and more games.

    Still, you can find me at the swapmeet on Saturday, digging through boxes for gems to add to my ever-growing pile.. This is likely due to the fact that I'm not very social, and video games (and video game culture, be it youtube videos, forums, etc) fill in that time I'd spend actually interacting in reality, or traveling, whatever..

    I guess in the end, it feels good to get things. It's exciting, it fulfills some innate desire. Having things does too, however sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all my personal belongings. Moving somewhere new stresses me out, because I fear everything will get stolen, or burnt up in a fire. I leave alot of stuff at my parent's house and basically swap percentages of it out with stuff I have wherever I'm living.



    If I didn't have it, I wouldn't have to worry about it. But now that I've got it, I can't let it go. I feel I need it, because otherwise I'll lose my chance, but once I get it, I worry about it.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    It's definitely consuming and increasingly I've wanted to store my games away -- I don't have nearly as many as some people do, but I do have a good number of Genesis, Playstation and NES games and while cleaning them recently I've realized how few of them I've beaten or played much of (even ones I grew up with). It can be depressing seeing so many at once. It's one thing to see them on websites, in people's photo albums and web videos where they show off their collections because it's really just a little portal on your screen and you're tapping into someone else's collection, but when you find them everywhere in your room or house it -- to me -- becomes disgusting, or unpleasant anyway, and as much I don't want to let them go, I tend to do want to store them away somewhere, like in under-the-bed plastic bins (just the carts) or back in the closet. But then if I get into a gaming mood I often want to play one after another, kind of randomly, so it becomes frustrating if they are not neatly organized in a way I can rapidly find what I want.

    Then there is another part of me -- probably an offensive opinion, but I'll lay it out anyway -- that of course all these games are just toys for kids. Yes they are kind of serious at times, yes they are very well designed or required a lot of work & sometimes money to make, but still usually, especially in the classic era, games for kids. So you feel too old after a certain point. And it's like comic books in a lot of ways, or returning to other childhood stuff.

    There are other factors: there's only so many kinds of games, so even if you play them a lot, you experience the same kind of experiences over and over again and you end up thinking about which is the best and making "top 10" lists in your head, which grows old after a while.

    I'm not sure the desire to collect is different from the desire to collect anything else. Other people have problem with collecting music or movies, stamps, dolls, all sort of things. It's fun to do, but only fellow collectors who happen to share your precise interests ever really understand and anyone with a casual interest or just someone in the family or a friend who doesn't know about the subject is simply wowed by the number you have and seeing them all at once, and there's a disconnect when you realize they only recognize maybe 3 or 4% of the characters they see on the labels, namely licensed ones like Tiny Toon Adventures or Disney.

    And even if you WANT to play all the games, there simply isn't enough time. But why would you? What compels a person to play so many games, especially into adulthood? I think it may be tied to the collecting mentality. Each game you beat, or explore (and learn about), is like another level in a game. For it has sometimes been I will compulsively open a new tab, type in "gamef" to get gamefaqs.com, hit TAB and then search for a certain game, then click on the Release Data and click on the developer's name to see what games of theirs I've missed or hadn't yet tried. Each of those are meaningless until I've tried them, often just romanized text that's hard to remember. And I don't know why I do it, but I wish I'd stop, and I wish it was easier to sell them except through mail, one by one, which is a tedious process.

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    I personally find it easier to take the quality over quantity approach. For games I really enjoy, I can't see myself parting with them, but if I find myself really disappointed with a game, I try to find it a home.
    Example: Tales of the Abyss 3DS. Nice to look at, interesting storyline. However, I feel developers can't just cram a console RPG on a portable without making a few tweaks. The nonsensical battle system and a particular boss being able to destroy my team in nothing flat, regardless of how much I would grind (and you had to win this one) was a turnoff for me, so I traded it.
    There are certain genres I flat just don't like as well- even the ads for stuff like Modern Warfare make me roll my eyes.
    But when a new Zelda or Ace Attorney game hits shelves, I turn into a fangirl. (Maybe if Ace Attorney sold a million copies in a weekend like the Short Attention Span Theatre games do, we wouldn't have the AAI2 kerfluffle, but that's neither here nor there).

    Short version: if I like it, it stays. If I don't, it goes. And as for rarities, I pass on them most of the time because paying $300 for a game is dumb.
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    Collecting video games is the same thing as collecting anything else. If you buy within your means, after taking care of your real life business, then great! Buy whatever you want. If it's getting in the way of paying bills, eating, keeping your car on the road, or relationships with family and friends, then you have yourself a problem.

    I don't see the issue. People have collected stamps, rare coins, sports cards, cars, works of art, etc., forever, and the same rules apply. Just don't be an idiot.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

    - Jesus Christ

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    Peach (Level 3) greedostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailorneorune View Post
    I personally find it easier to take the quality over quantity approach. For games I really enjoy, I can't see myself parting with them, but if I find myself really disappointed with a game, I try to find it a home.
    Example: Tales of the Abyss 3DS. Nice to look at, interesting storyline. However, I feel developers can't just cram a console RPG on a portable without making a few tweaks. The nonsensical battle system and a particular boss being able to destroy my team in nothing flat, regardless of how much I would grind (and you had to win this one) was a turnoff for me, so I traded it.
    There are certain genres I flat just don't like as well- even the ads for stuff like Modern Warfare make me roll my eyes.
    But when a new Zelda or Ace Attorney game hits shelves, I turn into a fangirl. (Maybe if Ace Attorney sold a million copies in a weekend like the Short Attention Span Theatre games do, we wouldn't have the AAI2 kerfluffle, but that's neither here nor there).

    Short version: if I like it, it stays. If I don't, it goes. And as for rarities, I pass on them most of the time because paying $300 for a game is dumb.
    Exactly, people are always telling me to play stuff like Borderlands, or buy Modern Warfare III. I've played a thousand games like Modern Warfare and Borderlands. There are so many games, books, movies, out there etc... that it becomes pointless to play a game that is a 9 out of 10, when there are a hundred games out there that to me are 10's. The same goes for keeping them in your collection. If they're not hte best of the best, then they go on ebay, or here.

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    ServBot (Level 11) kedawa's Avatar
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    I'm not really a collector of physical games, and I haven't been for many years. All I need is a good input device and a hard drive full of games.
    I also don't own an HDTV, a surround sound system, a smart phone, or any sort of bling, and that will never change.
    While I do appreciate the collections of others, I would feel stifled and overwhelmed if they were my own.

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    I collect everything in the world of gaming and don't have any regrets. A hobby can be a very rewarding thing. I disagree with the point of view that life would be better without technology. I can't imagine how boring things were before video games. Yeah, I agree with OP that we eventually would find something to do if there were no devices, but I would rather play Robotron than Kick the Can.

    If I'm playing video games while missing some important things in life, then it's me that's the problem, not the video games. It's all about moderation. The OP says that he is in college; I definitely would NOT try to be a large-scale collector while in college. For me, that would have disrupted an important period in my life. I waited till after college, and after getting my career established, then I went knee-deep into gaming.

    There seems to be a separate problem discussed here, and that is that some people are accumulating games that they'll never play. The remedy for that is to only collect those games that you are interested in playing, or perhaps ones you are curious about.

    There's also a storage problem people are mentioning. That kind of falls under the "collect everything" problem. If the pile of games is higher than the enjoyment level you are getting out of it, then sell some of it down. It's natural to feel guilty if we have a large amount of anything (games, cars, stamps, Pez dispensers), but getting rid of ALL of it is probably something that a person would regret later.

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    One of my first posts here on DP was in response to a guy posting his collection pictures. It was one of those insane "everything stacked to the ceiling" collections. After browsing through the pictures, I had to ask, "Do you live in fear of a house fire...or do you wish for one?". I was only partially joking.

    I buy games to play. Over 30 years, they start to accumulate. That's the type of collection I can live with. That and I'm fortunate enough to have an entire room in my house dedicated to gaming. Zero time to play any games of course...but that's life as an adult.
    "One of the ways I gauge a DS game is by recharges. "...Tycho (Penny Arcade)

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    I only have one thing to say.

    MY PRECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
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    Quote Originally Posted by greedostick View Post
    At what point does gaming consume you? At what point have you went too far?
    When you feel like it's consumed you; when you feel like you've taken it too far.

    There's another quote from Fight Club that seems relevant here: "You decide your own level of involvement!"

    While some may feel like they've become trapped or caught up in something like collecting, I'm sure there are plenty of others who are perfectly happy having lots and lots of stuff. Lately I'm trending towards keeping as much of the immaterial things I enjoy about gaming and minimizing the material, but that's my own prerogative, and others with things like full sets are no less valid.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) ncman071's Avatar
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    i can honestly say that gaming was most certainly starting to consume my life....not necessarily playing games but collecting them...i found myself scouring ebay at midnight looking for certain games or gaming magazines, etc... i also found that even when i was with my friends i couldn't wait to go home and get on xbl or psn...or whatever...or just stare at my stacks of snes games....

    but then a strange thing happened...my children were born and my priorities changed DRASTICALLY...i love video games but they are not even on my top 10 list of things that make me happy.....my children, my family, my friends, church, etc...are what drives me...not to mention my career...

    do i still play games....hells yea...but not so much of a "collector" any more.....in fact i'm trying to sell off a lot of my collection now via digitpress and craigslist so i can afford to pay my bills....just recently earned a masters degree but student loans are so damn expensive...

    but anyway, to each his own

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    Cherry (Level 1) Kim Possible's Avatar
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    Berserker's quote is spot on. You decide if it consumes you or not. All things in moderation. I love video games, but I also love going outside and throwing frisbees at my dog (you read that right) and going out to eat and playing sports, and going to baseball games and seeing plays and movies, and....

    You get the point. Collecting and playing video games is ONE of the things I enjoy, not THE thing I enjoy. I go weeks sometimes without playing a game, and then I'll blow 200+ hours on Skyrim. It all balances.

    But for the most part, you have the illusion of control, so you have to embrace it.
    SO not the Drama.

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    Well your comment seems like asking me more about addictions, but I want to share my idea of Gaming associated with Materialism.

    The issue is simply connected to your desires. You're right to see your old games as art for the reasons you have said. You're not trying to impress anyone with how big your collection is, but in many ways the collection you have is a way you have chosen to relate to others.

    The older games have a real physical quality to them, big & boxy. It is not just nostalgic like old computers, but there was a real lore to them. There was a sub-genre of publishing & magazines dedicated to video games then, and modern games will not be able to produce story-lines quite as compelling as the dark mystiques of "Gannon". So they will be borrowing on old themes.

    Is it more materialistic than downloadable programs that do not add any mass to your modern computers?
    Not really, I don't think so. The fact that we have decreased the size of the data-disk necessary to store games is a convenience. It changes things a lot, wanting just one thing (a cell-phone computer) that can do every functional and store every type of file. What I mean is that the new things are a minimization but they are still material objects, that's where that one object could threaten to take over a person's life. There is a greater risk with materialism and the newer computers. The person uses it also to organize his affairs and without it he is lost.

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    i donno, i've alrady accomplished my game collecting goal and that was all megaman games in the regular series (regular and X)
    i was 95% done by the time i turned 14 only had to get megaman 5 and that took me about 10 years just getting stuff along the way

    i think any more its just the child hood dream of having a video game rental store at home to play what ever you want

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    I started collecting, when the 16-bit era was cheap, and that was my childhood. Basically for the nostalgia factor. I'm incredibly cheap and have plenty of other hobbies to keep me busy (cars, firearms, hunting/fishing, eBay flipping) so collecting doesn't get too out of hand, simply because there are other priorities (family, keeping a standard of living, ect), that are significantly more important.

    I love collecting though, finding an OUTSTANDING FIND (CIB Tomba for $3) and it's sort of a side project to do while hunting for eBay flips. My wife supports me in it, she has just as much fun as I do. People ask us why we need that may video games. Do we need that many? Simple answer, no. We do it, sort of as a family activity, every now and then break out something retro and play together and I'm slowly getting my daughter into gaming, with games she can "help me play" (Elebits) or at least comment on.

    PC Gaming was my first love, but growing into a family man, and needing a constantly running and reliable computer, to make some money on eBay, I converted to Mac and have never looked back. I do miss FPS and Strategy with keyboard and mouse, but I'm mostly able to make due.

    Why collect, then? Because I want to go back and revisit my childhood with games I enjoyed then and are so timeless, I'm able to enjoy them now as an adult. My dad grew up playing "Kick the Can". I grew up playing Super Mario World. Guess who can still play their childhood game and actually enjoy it. I hope one day to be able to share these games with my daughter (or other potential offspring says my wife), and when I decide it's time to let them go, they go to a good home, using them to finance my child's college or other related.

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    Peach (Level 3) greedostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ownerizer View Post
    I started collecting, when the 16-bit era was cheap, and that was my childhood. Basically for the nostalgia factor. I'm incredibly cheap and have plenty of other hobbies to keep me busy (cars, firearms, hunting/fishing, eBay flipping) so collecting doesn't get too out of hand, simply because there are other priorities (family, keeping a standard of living, ect), that are significantly more important.

    I love collecting though, finding an OUTSTANDING FIND (CIB Tomba for $3) and it's sort of a side project to do while hunting for eBay flips. My wife supports me in it, she has just as much fun as I do. People ask us why we need that may video games. Do we need that many? Simple answer, no. We do it, sort of as a family activity, every now and then break out something retro and play together and I'm slowly getting my daughter into gaming, with games she can "help me play" (Elebits) or at least comment on.

    PC Gaming was my first love, but growing into a family man, and needing a constantly running and reliable computer, to make some money on eBay, I converted to Mac and have never looked back. I do miss FPS and Strategy with keyboard and mouse, but I'm mostly able to make due.

    Why collect, then? Because I want to go back and revisit my childhood with games I enjoyed then and are so timeless, I'm able to enjoy them now as an adult. My dad grew up playing "Kick the Can". I grew up playing Super Mario World. Guess who can still play their childhood game and actually enjoy it. I hope one day to be able to share these games with my daughter (or other potential offspring says my wife), and when I decide it's time to let them go, they go to a good home, using them to finance my child's college or other related.
    WOW, this is a surprise. This was a old thread I forgot about. I was doing this for a English project in my awful Arabic English class. I do about the same as you. I have cut my collection to basically nothing except the games I always feel an urge to play. If I don't have trouble deciding what game to play for a particular console then that game gets sold because it is not good enough. I have 4 ps3 games. Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Ni No Kuni, and Ico/Shadow of the Colossus. And all my other consoles combined it is uncommon to have more that 20 games per console. Except my Neo Geo MVS games because I think it's pointless owning a arcade cabinet and having 10 games. So I still have around 40 of those. I buy in bulk on ebay and resell getting my games for cheap or even free or a small profit. If I want Secret of Mana I will by a huge lot with a system for $500.00 bucks with a paypal credit card and flip the rest of the games. I clean them, solder in new batteries and get them looking nice and make a profit. I enjoy it and it beats picking up overtime in the Emergency Room cleaning up vomit and doing CPR. If I want something rare that i'm not likely to find in a lot I will just buy a huge lot again and sell it all for profit until I make enough to warrant buying a game that is expensive. I really need to get into the yard sale scouting like many of our members here. Although this is consuming buying and reselling I think of ti as a second job, and my girlfriend is much more accepting of me not spending money on games.

    I still feel the same way when I originally posted this. If your like me gaming is part of your childhood and having a good childhood and re-living it I feel is a healthy experience for anyone whether gaming or reading, or even going out and cutting loose every once in awhile, and just getting a little too crazy for your age. Continue to game and collect, but do it smart and don't let is consume you. No one needs a complete SNES collection or Crystal's Pony Tale on Sega Genesis. Collect like a gamer. Boxes... who cares, manuals... sometime they're nice... and games... just get a decent playable copy that doesn't look like it was ran over by a truck because sometimes it's nice to have the legible label with the art. Because art is awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by yanclae View Post
    Well your comment seems like asking me more about addictions, but I want to share my idea of Gaming associated with Materialism.

    Is it more materialistic than downloadable programs that do not add any mass to your modern computers?
    Not really, I don't think so. The fact that we have decreased the size of the data-disk necessary to store games is a convenience. It changes things a lot, wanting just one thing (a cell-phone computer) that can do every functional and store every type of file. What I mean is that the new things are a minimization but they are still material objects, that's where that one object could threaten to take over a person's life. There is a greater risk with materialism and the newer computers. The person uses it also to organize his affairs and without it he is lost.
    I agree. Just look at Steam. People have huge Steam collections because a game is on sale. Oh crap! Dishonored for $5 bucks! I heard it sucks but I can't pass that deal up. That $5.00 could be put toward a game you want that you know is good, that you know you will enjoy. And the bad thing about online collecting of digital objects is the DRM. You're stuck with it for life so you just wasted $5.00 on the equivalent of a bucket of turds. But it's hard spending money on a game you know next to nothing about that you may play for 1 hour and never touch again. Sometimes you have to take a chance.

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    I don't feel I'm overly materialistic or have let collecting get out of hand it was no worse than some of my other vices (cars anime and drinking take money and all that) anyway I collected and when done collecting sold and moved on and I never let it get in the way of family and life outside the hobby

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    hmmm interesting. According to Wikipidia

    Materialism as a personality trait

    Belk's conceptualization of materialism includes three original personality traits.[3]

    Nongenerosity - an unwillingness to give or share possession with others.
    Envy - desire for other people's possessions.
    Possessiveness- concern about loss of possessions and a desire for the greater control of ownership.
    I've never thought myself a very materialistic person and am often described as a cheep bastard and communist, but all three of those traits definitely describe me when dealing with video games. But maybe it has to do with the culture "hunting" of video game deals. Ill sometimes buy something off Craigslist just because its a good deal so that others cant get it. Funny Huh? And Ill lend out my car to who ever but you want Super Mario/Duck Hunt? Hell no, Ill never get it back. I think my cheep attribute is probably what saves me from having an issue where I need a complete set for a system or everything sealed or something like that.

    And i'm pretty well read, and a big time movie buff, and like violence, but Fight Club does nothing for me. 12 Monkeys is the shit though, just not enough cool quotes I guess.

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