Confessions of a Hoarder

Anyone who has read some of my posts on this glorious website might have noticed that in a couple posts of literary genius, I mention that I’m a video game collector/hoarder.A� This is actually not true.A� In reality I should have wrote that I’m a game collector/ reformed hoarder. A� Yes. I can admit it now. I was a hoarder.A� I’m so ashamed. I had to own every game/ console even if I had no actual interest in it.A� If it was on sale or cheap on eBay, I would buy it.A� At one point I owned 18 consoles and a few hundred games. A lot of these games were unplayed and more importantly,A� still sealed.A� My collection was so out of hand thatA� I had a whole room in my place dedicated to my collection (it seemed like such a great idea at the time), that my wife graciously let me claim.A� Once a week I would visit Gamestop and check out the bargain bins and buy a few games. This was on top of the games that I bought from eBay on a daily basis. Essentially there was a non-stop game conveyor belt leading right into my a�?nerd room.a�? Needless to say, in a span of about 2 years, my room was pretty full and I was proud. Until one day, a little over a year ago, I suddenly wasna��t proud anymore. It was like something in my brain clicked. There was no more happiness in buying a game. The joy was replaced by buyera��s remorse.A� It didna��t matter if the game was $5.00 or $25.00, I still questioned each and every purchase. a�?Do I really need this game? Is it something Ia��m going to play over and over again?a�? The answer was always a resounding a�?Noa�?. Yet, inexplicably, I still bought them.A� I had to have them.A� It became clear that I wasna��t collecting for quality, I was collecting for quantity, and soon I wasna��t even collecting for myself anymore. I was collecting to see peoplea��s faces when they walked into that room and saw everything.A� For some reason it was a source of pride for me.A� My family and friendsa�� awe-inspired faces were my motivation to keep buying, even though I had lost the desire to actually even play any games at all. They were all glorified dust catchers.A� Soon, even the compliments were not enough.A� So what changed?A� It boiled down to just one sentence…

My wifea��s cousin had decided to drive 2 hours from New Hampshire to come visit us on a warm Spring Saturday afternoon.A�A� It was his first time seeing our place so we gave him the tour.A� Of course the end of the tour was my nerd room, as I thought it was the highlight of the whole place.A� I brought him in and proudly showed him around. After a few moments of silence, he asked, a�?You have an Atari?a�?. I said yes. He nodded, taking it all in and then asked if I had actually played all of these games.A� I was at a loss. No one had ever asked me that question. Thata��s when it hit me. I hadna��t. Not even close. Not even a quarter of them. I was honest with him and said no. He nodded again and said, a�?Well, some people collect baseball cards and they just sit around on a shelf, ita��s just that your cards are video games.a�? There it is. That one sentence changed everything. You see, I grew up a sports card collector thanks to my dad. He got me started when I was only about 6 years old and I collected until I was about 14 or 15 (he still collects to this day). The reason I had stopped was because I couldn’t get past the fact that they serve no practical purpose other than existing on a shelf or in a shoebox.A�A� After that comparison of video games to sports cards the seed was planted; I had to sell most of my collection. If it was a source of happiness then I could justify owning it, but at this point, it was actually depressing when I thought of all the money I had spent on games that I hadna��t played, and in some cases, not even opened yet. In my mind, it had to go.

As with most decisions in my life, I sat down and talked to Caitlyn about it. She reminded me of the sellera��s remorse I had when I sold my entire comic book collection (I was in a comic rut). The collection was mostly all Silver Age books (Tales to Astonish, Hulk, Fantastic Four, etc..) and right before the buyer showed up, a part of me wanted to back out. I didna��t and to this day I regret selling them. In the case of my game collection though, I was positive.A� Soon after our conversation I started the long process of separating what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to sell. In the end I only had 4 consoles and maybe 40 games that I actually played and wanted to keep. I took pictures, made a huge list of everything and posted it on Craigslist. After the endless emails from lowballers, spammers, and people who just wanted a game or two, I found 2 serious buyers: A store owner out towards Boston, and the other a collector from Pennsylvania, who said that he was going to be in the area and wanted them badly. In the end, I went with the collector. After exchanging emails back and forth for a few days, it became clear that this wasna��t about a profit to him; he actually wanted to hold on to everything. I expected the a�?back-out buga�? to bite the day of the sale, but it never happened.A� As promised, he showed up on time with his girlfriend and we got to work loading the collectionA� into his truck.A�A� While we worked, his girlfriend told us about how his collection was taking over their whole apartment (apparently they had a wii store display in their bathroom), but she was okay with it because it made him happy.A� I miraculouslyA� stopped myself from blurting out “for now!”, like the cynical a*****e that I am. A� After the last box was loaded,A� he paid me, assured me that it was going to a good home and drove away. I slowly trudged up the stairs, walked back to my nerd room and looked around at all of the emptiness expecting a wave of remorse to hit me. It never did.

It took me awhile to buy a game again. I would stand in front of the display shelves at Gamestop for what seemed like forever questioning if I was going to open Pandoraa��s Box again by buying a game that I might not make time to play, therefore starting the cycle of wasting money again. I’m sure I must have weirded out a clerk or two.A� In the end I always walked out with nothing, and for awhile, took it a step further and avoided going into a game store altogether. After taking a hiatus for a few months from buying games,A� I started reading reviews and watching Youtube videos so I could make an informed decision when it came to a game purchase. I was finally able to identify what games that I had an actual honest to god interest in playing and the ones that I didna��t. Basically, I became a smart shopper again. Admittedly, today, I do have a decent collection, but ita��s exactly that; just a collection. The best part about it is that ita��s all games that I actually like and play on a regular basis. What?A� You thought those Currently Playing articles write themselves?!”.

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