Guest Blog by Ken Ashton
Having formulated the idea to begin a gaming collection some time ago I spent a little time floundering in the wilderness looking for some sense of direction or inspiration of how to proceed. What becomes obvious very quickly is that there is no right or wrong way to proceed but having listened to ideas from much more experienced gamers/collectors here are some ideas which have worked for me and may prove of use to others.
The first thing which is not surprisingly obvious to many including myself is that it is impossible to collect everything. Much as that would be great the majority of us are constrained by time, money and space. Therefore a good starting point would seem to be childhood connections to particular systems or games, this is a hobby where emotional ties to events surrounding gaming can be very strong, what games do you remember from years gone by? For the younger amongst us who started with systems like the Playstation 2 this is a good starting point as it is still possible to pick up quality titles from charity shops or other high street outlets for a couple of quid. For the older amongst us who fondly remember the cartridge based systems then things are not so easy. The truth is that popularity pushes up prices as anyone who especially follows the Nintendo cartridge based consoles will testify. For this reason I personally would avoid going for complete collections of games for most systems as the reality is that after some time you will have spent a fortune acquiring titles that will sit on a shelf or in a box and never see the light of day. For this reason a good piece of advice I have heard on more than one occasion is to buy systems and games that you actually want to play, YouTube gameplays and emulators can save you a fortune here as it is a sad fact that paying a fortune for sought after titles does not necessarily mean a memorable gaming experience. Once you have formulated an idea of what games you would like in your collection I would recommend trying to pick up the most expensive options first otherwise chances are you will get all the cheap easy titles and be left with all the expensive stuff later.
Ebay can be a great source of games and hardware for the collector and with a little research and some patience there are deals to be had. One thing I try to do if bidding on a item is to also list a couple of “buy it now” options. The bidding frenzy can be fierce and I’ve seen items go for three times the “buy it now” price despite poorer condition. Many people say why do people passionate about the hobby not list items cheaper than those who are sales oriented? Truth is, items listed way below market value will be snapped up by resellers who will instantly add their inflated price tag and pass them on to us so unfortunately we’re stuck with it.
Above all, have fun. This is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable hobby not a stressful chore. Enjoy the collecting, enjoy the gaming and respect those around you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments & don't forget to share the blog.
All the charity shops I go to, seem to throw up the same crap games. A range of football or other badly received yearly iterations that are superceded. Even when you find the odd game, chances are the disc is in bad condition or the brochure is missing. To this day I have never found a bargain in a single one of 60 charity shops I have looked at. Finding anything like a console bust be a rare and joyous moment.
Juicy Game Reviews
The charity have changed a lot in the last 12 months. They've gotten worse. Some shops have ZERO game titles and others are full of sports titles.
The thing with charity shops and come to that car boots is that you need to put in the time. I always go expecting to find nothing and after ignoring the FIFA titles probably find something worthwile every 30 visits. Just recently I found a NES Max controller for 10p in a local shop that rarely has any games. If you don't check that will be the one occasion when someone has just handed in a dozen games they found at the back of a cupboard.
Wish I had kept my old stuff instead of selling it whenever something new came out. My early stuff was Spectrum/s, Commadore/s, Amstrads, Sam Coupe, MSX and so on.
Juicy Game Reviews
Me too. Fortunately I got everything back but I wished I had my original stuff :(
How long did that take?
Juicy Game Reviews
Approximately one and a half years to re-accumulate it all :) I'm not stopping here lol
Just got two Dreamcast games 50p each. Who says charity shops are dead.
What a brilliant article! The golden rule is collect for you, not to impress others . In the long run you'll be much prouder of a collection of it increases in value as you took your time to get bargains, not lost cash when (if) this nostalgia bubble bursts.
Thank you so much Julian for your comments. I've never written anything before for the consumption of others and was worried it might be a bit waffly. Glad you enjoyed it :-)
Juicy Game Reviews
I told you it'd be cool Master Ken :D
oh and it certainly wasn't waffly bro. If anyone thinks it is, they really don't get it that's for sure. Gaming is a memory, whether it be today or yesterday. If you love a console a game or a moment, it's certainly worth explaining. I bought Binary Domain the other day for £1 for 360 and it's one of the best games I ever played 3yrs later than released. If we didn't go backwards we would never experience such awesomeness when it actually arrives on our doorstep. 2 words 'No Fear' that shall continue.
I DO want to collect everything at once. It just makes waiting that much more frustrating. I totally get that side of it. Then again, I bought another NES SNES and Gamecube last night and it's only gonna step up soon!
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