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?
For larger projects, I’ll tackle the “next important task” first. If sequentiality is ambiguous, I’ll tackle any easy task. Moving everything out of a hoarding abode is tricky because things will accumulate randomly without curation. Rather than just moving clutter from one area to the next, I’m focusing on critiquing each object and collection, starting with the easiest stuff: recycle the near garbage once collected for potential art/troubleshooting projects and sell or store videogame collections.
Nintendo announced last week the discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition, a plug-and-play device that emulated 30 ROMs from their NES library, which is a slap in the face to potential customers. The cool device you could bring over for family gatherings was never reasonably available in stores since November 2016. Now scalpers are reaping in the profits, reselling the device for over $300! Why let this happen? I called their hotline, 1-800-255-3700, and asked.
I became distracted shortly after writing my concert and lecture reviews of videogame expo PAX in September. While eventually writing a preview for 2064: Read Only Memories, which may drop later on this month, the rest still lingers in my “get around to it” backlog. With animation expo Sakura-Con coming up in April, if I conclude any thoughts and templates now, I can be more timely with these features. Why not start with the highlight?