Two years ago, I packed up my NES collection during my move into the apartment-mansion. I played some of the NES games after I moved, but a majority of them remained in the boxes I moved them with and still reside in my second bedroom – the storage room. Some intrepid games made their way to the four bookshelves I use for my downsizing and selling. I forgot about all this until I received a gift.
I got the gift for watching livestreams.
The co-owner of one of my favorite stores, Pink Gorilla, livestreams near-nightly, and one of the rewards for watching for enough hours is getting a free random videogame. During the worst of my spine problems, it was nice watching, because I could barely move around so I felt like I couldn’t do anything. Watching someone else work was cathartic. Watching these livestreams also inspired some essays, so I don’t consider my time wasted too much.
After receiving the mystery gift, I tried guessing what it was on sight and feel.
The general package size felt like an Amaray-case-based game. I didn’t feel the notch of a NES game, so I didn’t think it was that. I guessed a boxed Game Boy game; Collector guessed a Genesis game. When I opened the package, I was pleased because I enjoyed playing King’s Knight two years ago. I can’t currently play this particular game, so I had to rely on an emulator to replicate the experience. It was fun to meander around the game a little, but I didn’t have the keyboard controls configured well enough to feel comfortable.
This gift reminded me of the essay I wrote featuring King’s Knight.
I wrote it early into my downsizing process. Most projects probably go this same way, where you can go at a leisurely pace to begin as you’re figuring out the basics and intricacies. For this moving project, I was trying to decide what to keep or downsize – mostly keep. The timeframe dawned on me a few months after this essay. I had to rush to this project’s conclusion… six-plus months later. It wasn’t a particularly easy time for me, but now that it’s over, I learned a fair amount about myself and my relationship to property.
Then, I had intended not to sell anything except the duplicates.
Now, I’m more inclined to sell almost everything in my collection. About a year ago, I posted my entire NES collection list on a local sales site as almost a curiosity to see if anyone would be interested. I received one inquiry asking for the price. I gave the price and never heard back. I had to postpone the project due to COVID-19 then my spine problems but now that I’m able to drive to the post office, pick up a package, and drive home without finding myself substantially pained, I can once again consider this question:
What games am I interested in selling?
There is a culture among the videogame community where one does not resell gifted items. Selling this game would not be proper etiquette. There are other NES games I do enjoy, and I’ve decided that I do like the console enough to keep for at least the next few years. Over the next few months, I’ll write more downsizing meandries to assess my other possessions. Two years ago, I didn’t think any of my other collections were unwieldy, but then I had to deal with the logistics of moving, storing, and now sitting on them without being able to do much of anything with them.
I now return to that two-year-old question: What to keep or downsize?
Two years ago, the answer was to keep almost everything. Now, the answer is to downsize almost everything. I couldn’t have made that choice two years ago, but now, it feels easy. I had roughly 200 NES games. What if I sold 80% of them? That still leaves a respectable collection of 40 NES games. I could keep the games with the most sentimental value or the games that play the best on the controller, and sell the high-dollar games or the games that I might honestly rather play emulated, like the long-form RPG FF1.
The downsizing logic behind that is fairly straightforward.
When I received this game, I had no logistical way to play it. The most I could do is emulate a simulacrum of it on an emulator. If I had received this game with a smaller collection, I might have had the room to connect my NES console and play this very game, rather than basically pretend by recreating the experience from two years ago, whenever I might have played it before, and when I played before writing this essay. I feel some guilt for not being able to thoroughly enjoy this game in its intended purpose, but I am enjoying it as an object, which is the primary reason why I haven’t been able to part ways with a majority of my possessions.
Downsizing sometimes requires select materialist purchases.
I wouldn’t say that would have been helpful for me in my moving process, but now, it’s been helpful to have a collection of objects underneath my laptop that I can think about frequently. Among the items, there are CDs, a book I’m reading, a Hot Wheels, and now this cartridge. The downsizing process will be difficult with COVID-19, so I think my focus will primarily be in no-contact donations to free up some space, then planning what videogames to sell. This game will be among the last to go from my NES collection because it has sentimentality and is fun to play with the controller. Comparatively, my first NES games to go are the ones I don’t care about owning, whether physically or generally, command a high-dollar value unjustifiable compared to the money I could acquire to reinvest elsewhere, and/or are duplicates that I could reasonably part with, without feeling bad.
I wonder how I’ll re-consider this topic in two years?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I didn’t want this essay to seem like it was looking a gift down, or even like an advertisement, but it would have been difficult to avoid talking about those parts of the topic, so consider it more of this gift was the inspiration to return to an attitude I had before and ask myself if I still felt that way. I don’t.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: One of the five photos I took revealing the answer about what was in the package. The others aren’t as interesting.|
|Written On: 2020 October 01 [11:11111111111pm to “The [downsizing] logic behind that is fairly straightforward.” at 11:58pm] 02 [12:10am [where I added [downsizing] as noted in brackets] to 12:24am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 October 01 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|