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.
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