What is your goal with physical collections? With digital stuff, you can have limitless games, music, or movies, perhaps only limited by your wallet [, ethics,] and hard drive space. With everything else, the question might be guided along with the context of your interactions, memories, and willingness to troubleshoot objects. What is the value of an object in your collection you’ll never play, never really played, and could be easily sold for a decent profit?
I’m exploring these thoughts with my NES collection.
I know of a few avenues that will buy my spares and unwanted cartridges, but how about my core collection? When I originally packed everything up, I kept everything except what I knew to be absolute fluff. Now that I’ve had some time to realize that when I boot up the NES, it won’t be for much less than my favorites or what I consider essential to the console’s experience, does that mean I could sell everything else?
Let’s imagine near future possibilities.
In our first scenario, I’ve sold all but the aforementioned sorts of NES titles, have cleared out enough space in the apartment-mansion or the next place to have a dedicated videogaming area, or enough of one to comfortably invite over guests. We spin the controller around multiple games. It’s a fun time.
Such a scenario would be rare.
I’d much rather be participant than host to such a gathering and parties like that I’ve been to usually revolve around newer multiplayer games. For smaller gatherings, it’s a fine console, and one for which I’d rather have those essentials on hand than just any game. The NES library is huge, diverse, and wild – an emulator would do best for such an experience.
This thought experiment was for a specific game.
A friend of mine brought up that he was interested in buying a game. I said I had an extra. He was interested in buying it. I looked through my spare cartridges this morning and, alas, I did not have a spare. I could sell off my copy. I could probably make $10 and it’d still be cheaper than he could buy it elsewhere, but then that feeling of doubt started to loom in the background. What if I ever wanted to play that game? What if I had a big party and everyone wanted to play it?
I’ve never played it since I’ve owned it.
The games I play now are mainly digital games, and when I would play any NES game, it would be those 50-some games representing the best and weirdest aspects of the console. Everything else was a vision of a huge collection from the days in which I was directionless in life and was curious about everything but dedicated to nothing.
I feel OK selling “my copy” now.
I could always buy another, even at a massive sacrifice, because really, how valuable is the cartridge to me right now?
Currently, that game’s just collecting dust, unused, unplayed, and going to waste…
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I enjoy writing most when I start with a question and arrive at an answer. Here, my question was “why do I care so much about these objects?” and although I didn’t state the answer as some kind of a-ha! moment at the end, I realized throughout the essay that my attachment to these objects was more external, and therefore less worthwhile, than if they had been an internal attachment worth holding onto, outside of their external market value.|
|Related: Other Selling Zeal essays.|
|Photo: The essay wasn’t about these extra Zelda carts I own, but it just as well could have been.|
|Written On: July 12th [24 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: July 14th [Minor edits to the introduction and conclusion; otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.]|