[Moving Zeal] Authenticity Versus Convenience

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?

I’m more in favor of authenticity, but not by much.

During this packing process, I had a certain satisfaction in popping in my cheaply-acquired copy of Fire ‘n Ice and playing for a bit. That was, subconsciously, the game that was going to dictate where my collection would go. If it was terrible, I’d sell it and a majority of the collection for a decent profit. Since it wasn’t, I ended up only sorting out the duplicates in this round, which will still help me break even on my investments made 10+ years ago.

Seemingly insignificant, sifting out the dupes is important.

As a hoarder with a fierce hoarding mentality, at the height of my hoarding irresponsibility, I’d buy anything that caught my fancy, regardless of whether I needed it – in either the sense of the object adding value to my life or filling a gap within any of my collections. To painlessly fit my collection into four boxes, labeled “ZVNE1” through “ZVNE4” (Zeal, Videogames, NES, box 1), means that I’ve accepted the certain degree of weight that these games hold – physical weight and the mental weight of caring for these physical objects.

My eventual “Zeal” office should have a gaming space.

I do like the idea of having a dedicated space within Zeal where my retro and current videogame collections can evoke entertainment and relaxation. Perhaps something akin to a 90s aesthetic where you’d get home from school, having completed all your homework at school, enabling you an entire carefree afternoon and evening to play videogames? How that will be realized might depend partially on the amount of effort I apply toward that dream, which is a subsect of many dreams: become financially independent, write whenever/whatever I want, and write “The Story.”

I never took that “videogame space” dream seriously.

If I had cared about that dream to any serious degree, it wouldn’t have taken me three months to dedicate the 5 hours to alphabetically catalog this cartridge collection. It’s a nice dream, but the dream hogged space in my brain, just like the cartridges hogged up space on my workbench. Through these 5 sorting hours, however, I did realize why I had initially conceived that dream and why it’s still a dream I could see myself building:

I like these weird little pieces of plastic.

If I could spend more time cleaning, testing, and playing them, I would. They’re objects devoid of stress… mostly. These pieces of mainly gray plastic can evoke those weekday afternoons of freedom. That’s worth honoring.

Otherwise, yeah, having videogame convenience is nice.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My collecting experiences.
Inspirations: I used to have trouble coming up with content. It might be gratuitous to write extensively about insignificant things about my life to generate content, with ideas like “and now I’m done packing my collection, guys, no, seriously, I am, great, huh…?,” I feel that if I write about things I’ve learned, these essays can help others.
Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
— NES essays:
1. Curation Versus Clutter
2. Sell Versus Keep
3. Cleaning Versus Corroding
4. Authenticity Versus Convenience
Photo: The fourth box of cartridges.
Written On: October 27th [1 hour]
Last Edited: October 27th [15 minutes]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.