Thinking Through My Approach to Retro Game Collecting Going Forward


Save for a brief moment in time when video game collecting was a coping mechanism for the harsh realities of adulthood, video game collecting has been more of a side-effect of being a gaming enthusiast. I bought what I wanted and didn’t really let stuff go. After moving into a house and getting a bunch of my brother and I’s Nintendo 64 and Gamecube stuff, I’m currently sitting on a pretty decent collection that looks really cool in my display units.

Now that I have all of this stuff back in my possession and a gaming setup that can capture and stream these old games, it has the gears in my head turning. What if I could build on this even further? What if I could make this the gaming collection of my dreams? Before I potentially veer deep into the game collecting rabbit hole, here are some of my thoughts before making the jump.

Have a focus

For some, having every game for a specific platform is what keeps them going. I can say with confidence that this isn’t important to me. Even if I had all of the money (which I certainly don’t), I wouldn’t get much out of having hundreds of crappy games solely for the sake of saying I have a complete collection. I also would have a hard time justifying spending hundreds of dollars for a handful of unicorn titles that I don’t have any sort of attachment to other than having them for completion’s sake.

Right now, my criteria looks something like this:

  • Games that I loved in my past
  • Games I never got around to that I always wanted to try
  • Games that are so legendarily good/bad that I want to try them out
  • Games that I cannot play on a modern platform (ie. remasters, digital re-releases, NES/SNES Classic)
  • Games that I think would work well for video content
  • Games I will actually play and not keep as an artifact on the shelf

Have a budget

In a time where the vast majority of my income goes towards keeping a roof over my head and food in my belly, my fun budget is slim-to-none. My gaming spending has dropped off considerably in the last few years as my costs of living have risen. When it comes to gaming, my priorities will usually lie towards the present, as I want to stay in the zeitgeist. If it’s a dry month for current games, then I’ll look into moving some of my fun budget into a retro title or two.

Don’t rush

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Why should I have a complete retro library as soon as possible? Having received a lump sum of retro games that I haven’t played in years should keep me occupied for quite some time. As I come across cool titles or consoles, I’ll pick them up. However, I don’t need to make an active effort to secure everything quickly. We’ll take this journey as it comes and enjoy each step along the way.

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One thought on “Thinking Through My Approach to Retro Game Collecting Going Forward

  1. jsicktheslick May 11, 2018 / 2:13 PM

    This post is speaking my language! Your main topics are spot on: if you don’t have focus or limits, you’ll either burn out or run out of money quickly. I think actually playing the games you get is a wonderful feature of the hobby, and something not all collectors do!

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