Do we collect videogames and their assorted memorabilia objects for authenticity or for convenience? Is it more enjoyable to sit down in a dedicated area, with original or fully-optimized hardware, and play a game like we might have in our youth? Does digitization ruin any artificial abstraction of us pretending to be back in our carefree youth? Or can we reach for a file, legally acquired, of course, and enjoy that game the same way?
“Yeah, you could be spending that time writing or editing.” Cleaning and general maintenance are necessary elements of any physical collection, and while sorting through my NES collection, I decided that now is the best time to do this right! It’s not that I have the downtime for this. My thinking was if I don’t find value in maintaining this collection now, I should sell while the market’s good. Fortunately, I found a meditative value.
The statement ‘keep what you love, sell or donate the rest’ would be easy, were it not for this overwhelming sense of attachment we have toward unnecessary things in life. We cherish bad memories arguably more than our good memories. When it comes to videogames, the natural inclination is to keep everything. How often do we hold onto mediocre videogames, bad memories, and other things out of convenience versus actually wanting them to occasionally enjoy?
It’s easy to own a big collection of videogames. Just buy as many as you can for as cheap as you can afford. This mentality resulted in an unwieldy NES collection. Games were so cheap when I started collecting in 2009! Now that some have skyrocketed in price, I wondered, as I cataloged my collection: is it more valuable to own as many objects as the collection contains? Or just my favorites? Or none at all?
The sign from the road caught my eye. I hadn’t seen any garage or yard sales on craigslist in the area, I wasn’t on a strict timeline, and I needed to check my map app for directions. Two other signs guided me through a friendly neighborhood to a quiet upper-middle-class cul-de-sac. I won’t always stop at a garage sale. I’ll usually glance over the sale and park if there’s anything that catches my eye such as cool or interesting items, toys, tools, or in this case, thin rectangles holding videogames and movies.