Hey all, I hope everyone had a good time leading into the new year last night and is not too hung over this morning. 2013 is behind us now and 2014 is a fresh slate for us all. Like many people, I’ve written up a few resolutions for myself to make this year better than the last. In addition to the standard goals, (eat healthier, drink less, yadda yadda,) I have decided that one of my major goals is to make 2014 a better year for gaming. To better define what I mean by this I broke things down into two main objectives: Completing more games and expanding my collection. The tips and guidelines I worked out for myself seem pretty helpful so I thought that I would share my thoughts today for anyone who might have similar goals.
The biggest obstacles for expanding my collection are budgets and transportation. I live in a big city so I don’t have a car and my monthly budget isn’t enormous or very flexible so I work my rules and tips around this. My first tip is to organize the collection you already have. Make a list or a Google docs spreadsheet of the games you have and maybe keep some notes on titles you really like or dislike. This well help next time you go looking so you can have a greater idea of what you have, what you like, and what you are looking for. The next tip is research, research, research. If you have a specific game you are looking for or a special type of game like an import title, look around a bit before buying. Check out various sites and reviews to see who has the games you want for the best price in the best condition. Also, be sure to try and get a really good idea of what the game is like before you buy. Look up gameplay footage, read reviews, and check out gaming forums.
If you prefer buying games in person instead of online but find that there aren’t many stores that fit what you are looking for in your area, consider attending a few conventions this year. That’s one of my biggest goals. From January 2nd-5th I’ll be attending MAGfest with a lot of the Retroware crew and I’ve been saving money since August so I can stock up on games at the dealers room. Places like that are a great way to pick up long sought after games and explore new possibilities of what you might want to add to your collection. One tip I’ve been told that might be the most important one to expanding a video game collection on a budget is to keep a list of games you want ready of various prices. This can help you decide whether you want to spend money on a cheaper game now or measure a more expensive game with your budget for later. Planning like this helped me acquire some decent games near the end of the year while still allowing me a bit left over to save for MAGfest.
2013 was a very busy year for me. I moved, I got a cat, took several really challenging classes, and I found myself playing less and less games. My backlog had really piled up and I got really frustrated with the amount of games I had left half finished. This is why working in some regular gaming time is important to me for 2014. The first thing to do is to make up a time commitment and try to stick with it. Work it into your schedule if you think you have to. When you get that regular gaming time slot going, the next thing to do is to limit the games you are playing to a few at a time. I often find myself biting off more than I can chew and leaving a few games to finish later. (Which I rarely do.) Keeping a narrow focus is important for me and I bet it is important for many of you. The last tip I have to try and keep up with your games is to stay social. Keep chatting about it with friends who are interested. I know it keeps me excited about the game and it also adds a feeling of obligation. Sometimes a little chat can wield big results.
I hope some of you found these little tips and musings helpful, or at the least bit interesting. I hope you all have a happy new year and if you are planning to go to MAGfest, stop by the Retroware TV booth and say hi, we might bump into each other and say hi.
Happy New Year!