Recently I fell into a tight spot and was faced with something that I (and I assume many other game collectors,) dread: having to sell off a chunk of my collection for cash. I don’t like getting rid of anything to begin with and I’m pretty attached to my stuff. When it comes to my game collection, it’s a hard choice.
A short while ago I made plans on rather short notice to go to an anime convention. I had to decide how badly I wanted to go and what I would have to sacrifice to make this happen. In the end, I debated what I should sell, (and if I really needed to sell at all,) for about a week, but the reality is I am a full time college student with limited income and time to raise the money so I did what I had to do and sold about twenty to twenty-five games. It was difficult choosing what I’d be willing to part with, and seeing those games go past the counter at the store really bummed me out. But why is that exactly? It’s not as if there’s only one copy of anything in my collection, and I hadn’t played some of these games in ages, so why did it bug me so much?
I started thinking about my game collection and if I would have felt the same way about all of this two or three years ago and I honestly don’t think it would have been such an ordeal. I’ve really ramped up how serious I take collecting and how actively I search in the past couple years. It’s gone from the occasional browsing on eBay and GameStop to in depth searching and planning. It might sound weird, but the search and acquisition of some of my games has become as epic and exciting of a quest as some of the games themselves. So in a sense when I have to part with a game I’m selling much more. It feels like giving up an accomplishment, throwing away the effort, time, and the struggle I went through to get a game as well as the loss of a fun anecdote.
Not all games are equal. Everybody has games that they don’t care for, are too precious to them to sell, or were such epic scores that it would be impossible to obtain something like that again. Two of my biggest gaming treasures that fall into these categories are Panzer Dragoon Saga and Radiant Silvergun for the Sega Saturn. Saga is rare and has sentimental hooks in me far too deep to think about parting with it. I haggled the price of Radiant Silvergun from around $175 to $90-100 using some Game Chasing tips (bundling is good people). There is no way I’m ever going to get that game so low again. These two games could raise me more money than most others in my collection, but I’ll never sell them. The games and the chase to obtain them are special.
After I sold my lot of games, I tried to reason with myself and make myself think it was no big deal and I was a dummy for letting these games get to me. I fed myself several excuses: I’m moving in August and I could use more space, my shelves were crowded anyway, I didn’t really play these enough to begin with. I tried, but I couldn’t dilude myself. As soon as I would start thinking I was dumb for being annoyed I’d look over at that gap on my shelf and reflect on things further. Over the past few days I’ve gotten less annoyed but I am still curious.
In the end, I know that this sucky feeling is part of the deal with being a collector (and part of being on a strict budget but that’s a whole other discussion). You can get rare games at the strangest places and feel great, but when you have to give that game up or miss the sale by half a second, it’s really going to sting. They’re both sides of the same coin. If you have one without the other, the whole experience is meaningless.
I may be sulking now that I hocked a couple Shin Megami Tensei games and some others I was fond of, but there’s always something new around the corner. Collecting has taught me to look closer at things and appreciate the finds I would have taken for granted, and who knows, I may not have even realized this at all if I hadn’t hit this bump in the road. There are a lot of games out there, and there will be more to come.
What do you all think? How attached are you t your games? What does collecting and selling them mean to you? Let me know in the comments below.