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.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself. In terms of new purchases September and October weren’t so bad, and November was OK, but December amounted to nothing short of an avalanche by my standards. All told, between a stay in Birmingham with its copious videogame retailers and an online import haul, December totaled a whopping 31 games across 6 different platforms, a G-Con lightgun, and 2 consoles (both replacements). Slice that up like a cake and that’s one unique slice of gaming for each and every single day in December. And that’s on top of an already swollen backlog of games. It’s nothing short of madness, is what I’m saying.