Downsizing my game library

I recently decided to trim my game collection. I’ve said it before, but I don’t consider myself a collector. And yet despite this, over the years I’ve accumulated what amounts to a collection. At my last proper count, back in 2016, I owned 250 physical games. And that number has only gone up since 2016. So it was a pleasant relief to offload around 100 games recently, with plans to get rid of more soon.

Why now? Well, as someone who gets pleasure from playing games rather than simply owning them the numbers just weren’t making sense. I’ll try and break it down mathematically. Let’s say that I play on average one unique game per week. Extrapolating from that I would play something like 52 games in a year. That’s a fifth of my game collection, circa 2016. Not a great figure! Especially when a large portion of the games I play are newly acquired and not from my enormous backlog.

Given that it would take an estimated 5 years to play through every game I own… it’s just not worth it. I have a new philosophy about possessions: owning an item – storing it, holding onto it – has a cost. Usually it’s not financial (although it could be), but there is something we might call a mental cost or burden. The question then is what is worth more – the mental cost of owning an item or the financial cost of replacing it at a later date?

This reasoning has helped me to ditch a lot of stuff that, frankly, is so cheap and easy to replace that I wonder why I never pulled the plug sooner.

And so, the grand finale. Highlights from the hall of shame.

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2 comments

  1. moresleepneeded

    I do not own as many games as 250, but I have considered if I do actually own more games than I can actually play. I have also wondered if the reason I no longer complete games to 100% was because I have so many alternative games to play when I get bored of trying to find every collectible or accomplishing every achievement in a game, unlike when I was younger and could focus more on a single game. I have actually gone through my own backlog and attempt to complete many of the games I had not played previously as it seemed to waste to own a game that I had not even tried to play. This philosophy led me to complete games like the 2 Ecco the Dolphin games (which were stranger and more difficult than I remembered), Soldier of Fortune Platinum Edition (which I felt was one of the most haunting games I have played), Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut (which was an interesting look at how the Sonic games used a range of ideas to seem more modern) and a Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring game (which boasted of being “Based on the Works of J. R. R. Tolkein” and not the film).
    I noticed some interesting entries into the list. Why did you not like Tomb Raider 3? What was Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future? Was it a 3D Ecco game? I have noticed that I own a very unequal amount of games on different consoles (such as having many PlayStation 2 games, but few Sega Saturn games), have you noticed anything similar with your games? What is your philosophy on possessions?

  2. Aether

    I have to admit that just the thought of downsizing my collection gives me shivers. I may have problems.

    Sounds like you’re being very strategic with it. And I’d imagine the process of just whittling it down helps you re-explore the games that mean the most to you. Best of luck!

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