My house looks like the place where video games go after they die. I suppose any house would look that way if its owner had accumulated 20 years worth of them and only gotten rid of a few.
I didn't realize how many video games I had until my brother and I cleaned our house last week. As we purged the innards of the drawers and cabinets of our entertainment centers, we came across hundreds of games spanning multiple systems, from the Super Nintendo to the Sega Dreamcast.
I told my girlfriend — who doesn't game — about my findings, thinking it would impress her. But her reaction was less "Oh, wow!" and more "Oh…wow." She couldn't understand why I still had all of these old video games.
I tried to explain to her why I have all this stuff that I haven’t touched in 10 years, but I found the reasons hard to convey. Maybe it’s because I don’t know why I still have them.
I understand why I can't part with games like Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online, and Mario Kart 64 — those are some of my favorite video games. They are keepsakes. But why are games like Mafia, TimeSplitters, and WWF Smackdown still taking up space on my shelves? They don't even crack my Top 100 list.
Don't judge me. You know you liked wrestling when you were a kid.
One reason is because I find it hard to get rid of anything that I own. My girlfriend calls me a pack rat, but I like to think that I’m practical. You never know when a Viewtiful Joe bobble head or a Lite-Brite may come in handy. I could say the same for my video games: Sure, I haven’t played Far Cry Instincts since 2005, but it's good to have around in case I ever feel like playing a generic first-person shooter from last generation.
And even if I chose to prune my video-game collection, what would I do with the games that I didn’t want? I don't think forgettable PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Xbox games fetch a high price, and I wouldn’t be surprised if WWF Smackdown’s going rate at GameStop was in the negatives.
For the amount that I might get on eBay for 20 N64 games that include Quest 64 and Duke Nukem 64, I might as well keep them. No matter how average the title, it seems better to hold on to it and call it a collector’s item.
Maybe I'm just coming up with lame justification, but I've put a lot of time and money into my collection, so it's hard to part with any of my games — no matter what their quality.
They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so here goes: Hi, my name is Nick, and I hoard video games.
Now where's my reality show, A&E?
Is anyone else out there a video game hoarder like me? Do you think I should keep 'em or be done with it? Are there any good charities that I can donate some of this stuff to?
Check out page two to see some pictures of my video game stash.
Here are some pictures of the games, systems, and peripherals I've collected over the years. This isn't even a quarter of what's in my house. I didn't take pictures of my Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Genesis, Dreamcast, or GameCube collections. (Also, please excuse the mess. We're doing some major renovating.)
Here are some Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS games.
Assorted Dreamcast stuff. And look! Alien Front Online!
Yes, I have a Game Boy Printer in there. No, no one should still own one of those.
A towering stack of original PlayStation games. This is a bad picture, but if you squint hard enough, you can see Cool Boarders 3.
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