When is it Time to Stop Collecting?

-by Dylan DiBona

I believe the year was 2012 when I first discovered TV and Lust on YouTube. I didn’t understand it at first, but people online with video game collections would post videos on their finds and favorites. I always had a lot of games as a kid and continuously traded them in so I could keep playing more. But after exploring the gaming side of YouTube I decided I would not simply buy a game and trade it away, I would start collecting.

collection

Starting around the age of thirteen I hunted online vendors for good deals, watched countless YouTube videos like “Top 10 Hidden Gems on PS2” and played games endlessly. It was a fun way to really experience my favorite hobby. So why am I bringing this up?

I think I’m done!

Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I’m never buying another video game again. I’m still going to wait in line for a SNES Classic and I’m still going to buy Danganronpa V3. 

When anybody starts collecting anything, there’s that initial phase of “where do I start?” You make careful decisions on where to begin, move on from there and sooner or later you know what you like. After knowing what you like and experiencing everything in that series or genre, you “branch out”. After branching out and catching up with everything you love, things will get boring.  At least that’s what happened to me!

Let’s use a train as a metaphor for collecting. Starting the engines and going forward may be slow at the beginning, but once you’re in the middle you are zooming. Finally, when you get to your destination it’s time to slow down again until you come to a full stop.

I’m not at a full stop quite yet, but I’m definitely slowing down.

I think it’s time to “stop collecting” when the excitement and sense of wonder for the thing you are pursuing fades away. I was never one for the obscure video game systems. I don’t care about the Sega Mega Drive, TurboGrafx- 16 or stuff like that. I found out early that I loved Nintendo and pursued that with as much passion as possible. I then expanded into Sony until my current point of feeling fulfilled.

When I look at my video game collection I don’t really see anything unnecessary or worth disliking. I’ve amassed probably 150-200 video games that I enjoy and to me that is quite the accomplishment. I’m moving bedrooms soon and when I rearrange all of my games onto their respective shelves, I will take a seat and look back on what I’ve collected over the past seven years of my life.

As collectors we put so much pressure on each other to grab anything we can, experience it for at least five minutes and share an opinion. I never played video games like that. Some people post videos on YouTube like “Games I Bought March 2017” and they showcase 20-30 games. With work or school and other real life responsibilities, how do you play 20 video games in one month? You don’t. I usually ended a month with 5 or less purchases, gave them whatever free time I had and spent even more time cooking up a real opinion on them.

I’m a bit of an entertainment glutton and I was once on a mission to “experience everything worth experiencing”. If a game had a 90 or above on Metacritic, that meant it was “worth experiencing” to me. But now I think my mission changed to “find out what I like and soak it all up”. It’s a much more personal and cozy objective, and honestly as a collector it is immensely satisfying to say “I’m done”.


As always, thanks for reading.

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7 thoughts on “When is it Time to Stop Collecting?

  1. My usual answer for that is when I run out of space but amazingly, I always find space for the things I really want. It is amazing how innovative you can get with stacking on shelves to fit that one extra thing on to it.

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  2. Nice write up! I’ve gotten big into collecting for a few years now, and I too question the purpose of buying 20-30 games per month if you can only reasonable play 4-5.

    I love watching MetalJesus on YouTube, although he’s definitely a big offender here. I really wonder how many of the thousands of games have actually been played at all! But hey, building a collection is a part of the fun.

    Personally, I will “stockpile” if the system itself is currently at a low and set to increase in price. Did it with the DS, 3DS, and Vita, and on a buy spree with the PSP currently. That way I get them at prime prices and then don’t have to buy any games for a few months. Aside from Switch titles, very little releases these days on the systems that I do play.

    Anyway, ramble over! 🙂 if you want to get back into collecting at some point, I recommend the Vita. Great system and lots of physical games available for mad cheap.

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  3. I hear ya about things slowing down over time. I’ve casually collected most of my life but it’s ramped up the past few years to the point where I now have a room in my house that’s dedicated to the storage and enjoyment of these games. I love collecting, but there’s not a ton left that I’m itching to get my hands on at this point. My other issue is the same as yours – I have no time to play as much as I’d like. My work-life balance is all out of whack when I’m in full swing with my job, so despite owning tons of games I’d love to play through and experience in a “timely way”, it’ll take me the rest of my life to play what I have and do it meaningfully. I think I finish about 10 games a year!

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  4. I have way more games than I’ll probably ever have time to finish! As far as my collection goes, though, I only buy what I think I will enjoy. I don’t buy something just to have it! I’ve been tempted by all those shiny Amiibos, but I’ve limited my collection to only the characters that I love 🙂

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