I'm selling most of my video games.
For most people, that might not mean much. A game is a game,
after all, and while a lot of people in this world get quite
a bit of enjoyment out of video games--as an industry, it has
surpassed movies in terms of sales--they, as a whole, undoubtedly
see them as simply another form of entertainment.
I've been playing videogames since before I was going to school. My
father bought me one of those all-in-one Pong boxes back in 1984 or
thereabouts. It hooked up by those old UHF/VHF hooks to the back of
our little 19" TV in the living room. It didn't last long--a cheap
model, to be sure--but it entertained my four-year-old self.
When my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, an Atari or a
Nintendo, I adamantly answered: Atari. Why? I wanted to start at
the bottom, I think. Even then I had something of the collector spirit.
Christmas '87, I had a brand-new shiny Atari 7800 under the tree.
I can remember walking down the aisles of games in Toys 'R Us and picking out
one. They were expensive, and they didn't actually have the games out there.
You'd get a little paper thing, and bring it to the front of the store, and
there was an entire little area where some person sat around and fetched the
high-cost items. I remember the excitement of waiting for them to fetch the
item for me.
As the years went on, I got more systems. The NES, with my first exposure
to RPGs. I remember getting the SNES the Christmas that it came out and playing
Super Mario World in my room all day. [By this point I had a TV in my room,
with the NES hooked up to it. The Atari had to stay in the other room, since
my new TV only had a coaxial hookup and not the old hooks.] The last system my
parents bought me was the Playstation. I've received a Genesis, a Saturn, and
a Dreamcast as presents, and I bought a Playstation2, an Xbox, and a Gamecube
during my tenure as a game reviewer.
Throughout all of this, I played games avidly. Well, no, that's not true--by the
time that I bought the Xbox and Gamecube, I was down to playing games fairly rarely.
But until I turned twenty-one, I found games to be the most fascinating form of entertainment
Then . . . something happened. Perhaps it was the burnout from reviewing games.
Perhaps it was the general oversaturation of the market with The Same Damn Game
over and over. The diamonds grew harder and harder to find--Ico
and later Jet Set Radio Future
--and the rest started to look like overcooked
I think it only really hit me that I was tiring of games-for-games-sake when I realized
that, despite the gorgeous graphics and intriguing systems, Final Fantasy X
wasn't doing it for me. By this time I had already decided to stop reviewing games, as
it was taking up too much of my time. FFX
ended up being the last game I reviewed
So, I'm selling most of my video games.
I generally don't mark stuff as unsellable until after someone asks for it. I promised a
dear friend of mine that I would beat Vagrant Story sometime during my life, so I'm keeping
it. After getting a number of offers for Mario Golf 64
, I decided not to sell that either,
or any of the other golf games I have--they're strangely addictive, and great party games.
So they stay. After I was trying to convince someone to buy Vanguard Bandits
, I think
I've decided that I want to keep all of my strategy RPGs. I have every one released for every
modern system barring the Saturn. There's something about the genre that appeals to me, and
I think I'll keep them around.
But what of the rest? I'm willing to sell my Final Fantasies
. I've already sold the two
, to someone who I know will enjoy them as much as I did. Some games,
like these, are fun. But I think they'd do more good in other people's hands instead of mine.
I'll keep the art--Rez
will have to be pried out of my cold dead hands--but the rest,
for the most part, can go.
I never thought I'd say that about my games. I think it's a stronger sign that I've advanced
in my life than the writing I've been doing recently. I remember, a few months ago, blowing
USD 300 on video games that I knew, deep down, I'd probably never play. But I wanted them. I
was buying for the collection's sake instead of my own.
There aren't many gaps in the collection yet--I have so many games that even the non-trivial sales
I've done so far have barely put a dent in it. But I'd like to sell more, to people who will give
them a good home. It's not about the money, although the money doesn't hurt. It's about realizing
that an addiction that I had, to the idea of "having a game," was just that--an addiction. Not a
real need, not a life goal, but an addiction. One that feels good to break.
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