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Collecting ADHD.


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Hey all.

Yeah, I know, another oddball thread. Lol. Posting it in classic general, because it concerns I suppose what are considered classic systems (ok, mostly classic at least).

 

So, with my hobbies, I tend to rotate them. Keeps me from getting overly burned on any one thing. I'll go through patterns of acquisition. Just something I've noticed over the years.

 

Occasionally though, it leaves me a little stuck, and feeling like I lack focus, despite the fact that I often chime in with advice on how to take a critical eye to one's stuff.

 

I collect games for a handful of systems. They are as follows:

Atari 2600/7800

Atari 8 bit computer

Recently reacquired an ST, though that is a work in progress to put a system together on it (got a Goetek floppy emulator)

NES/Famicom

SNES/SFC

Playstation/PS2

Recently got an XBox (was free from a friend, repaired it).

 

Now, I feel like I have a lot of Atari, and with the exception of Dungeon Hunt, and the Ultimate Cart (and my subsequent desire for more flashcarts on other systems), it has been a while since I have purchased, and actively acquired titles for any of the Atari systems.

 

NES and Famicom both have gotten recent, and numerous additions to the collection. I really do enjoy this system, and spent a lot of time with it as a kid. The Atari got ignored for a few years after we got the NES.

 

SNES/SFC... some great RPGs, action games, platformers, shmups on this system. hard to overlook. Not the largest of my libraries though.

 

PSX/PS2. Makes all my other libraries look minuscule. I run swap discs on case modded systems... so no region is off limits. North American, European, Japanese... I play it all. Fan translations... yup... have them too. These systems were sort of a gaming renaissance for me. Got into it in my late teens, bought my own at around 18 when the price went down to $99. Horror... horror, horror horror. Love it. Lol. Even recently, I am still coming across fresh content. These systems, more than any of the others recently have gotten the lion's share of the additions to the collection. Primarily PAL, and Japanese exclusives, although I have picked up some North American PS2 titles, as well as grabbed one PAL PS2 title because it was drastically cheaper than the NTSC version (and runs PAL60...though it is in the mail right now).

 

I suppose what I am getting at here, is that I often get easily pulled in different directions. One week I'll be grabbing up PSX/PS2 stuff. The next month I'll be all upons for getting some "new" NES/FC stuff. Next month, I'll probably expand my XBox library (smallest of the bunch, but I never ditched my games... though the ex got the 360). I get ADHD when it comes to building my libraries up. Easily distracted, and not enough money to fund them all at once. Lol. I'm sure I am not the only one on these forums to go "Oooooh! Yup! Need that one!"

 

What do you guys do to determine, or maintain a focus...either in terms of which system to work on at a given time, or in some instances genres to collect within. For PSX/PS2 that is a little easier, as I am a big fan of the horror/survival horror genre. If any of you have read my thread asking for recommendations...there's not a lot left within that genre to recommend. Lol. But beat 'em ups, and space shooters also crop up, along with RPGs, and FPS games.

 

Just fishing for thoughts, feedback, or ideas if anyone has some to share. Not so much a "how to reduce systems collected for," as much as a "how to manage, or steer what I collect for."

Edited by madhatter667
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Yeah... I don't really try to focus in on any one system, normally. It seems counter-intuitive for bargain hunting. I suppose, if anything, I do the same stuff I do for other things: lists and budgeting. All the implusive 'that sound cool & I want it' games I read about online, just go to an Amazon wishlist for future reference. I have 4 main lists for games on Amazon: Pre-orders, new titles, retro, and expensive retro. The difference between new & retro is 'will Gamestop sell it?' Anything that regularly sells for over $30 in the condition I want is expensive retro.I also have a collection list over at VGcollect.com. (Plus separate non-public amazon lists for systems I don't own yet, but that's besides the point.)

 

At the end of each week, any extra money goes into a separate 'game' fund. If I find I've amassed a decent chunk without a specific title in mind, I pop over to VG collect & see where my collection is lacking (my game boy color collection, for example, is woefully sparse). Then I check the amazon lists for anything that'll fill the gaps.

 

More often than not, though, if I can't find a focus I just don't buy anything. Space is a big concern, and the Amazon lists are a great reminder that there's always something else to get- why waste a bunch of money rushing around for a never-ending stream of games? Sometimes, you gotta stop and just play, y'know? Enjoy what you already have, remember why you bother with it. Plus, the way I do it, that focus on play lets money build up, so when I do go shop next, I can get a pricer title or a new system.

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I think I went through a very similar situation over the last year, which was pretty well documented start to finish in my How To Narrow Down The Number Of Systems You Collect For? thread. I know you're not looking to reduce the number of systems you collect for, but sometimes changing how exactly you collect games for the systems that interest you can make all the difference when it comes to staying focused and enjoying the hobby within your budget.

 

What I mean by that long convoluted sentence is that for me (and a good number of other people it seems) the solution to the problem of how to get continual enjoyment out of collecting and not get burnt out on it or lose interest in the systems you collect for is to take the systems that interest you and divide them into two categories. Category 1 will contain just the systems that have a deep personal significance to you, such as the systems you grew up with or systems that you have really fond memories of playing during particularly happy times in your life. These are the systems that you love and appreciate for more than just the games you can play on them, because they're special to you for personal reasons that go beyond their game selection, aesthetics, rarity, or any other reason that anybody else who isn't you and hasn't lived your own unique life might find appealing about them. Try to keep the number of systems in this category to 4 or less if you can.

 

Now for Category 2. This is the category for all the systems that you like to play and find enjoyable to collect for that don't have a deep personal significance to you, and goodness knows most of us have quite a few systems that fall into this category. :lol: Once you've got all the systems you own or want to own divided up, then comes the tricky part.

 

For the systems that found their way into Category 1, just doing what you have been doing. Collect, play, and enjoy as usual. No changes required. For Category 2 though there are some changes in store, and my suggestion for what to do with all the systems in this category is to shift your focus from collecting physical discs or cartridges to collecting all the games you want for these systems in digital form to play using either a flash cart, backup discs, or with an emulator. I know that can be a tough pill to swallow, but it doesn't mean that you have to stop collecting for those Category 2 systems; it's just finding a new way to collect for those systems that you might really enjoy playing but don't have the kind of personal significance that would make you happy spending a small fortune building up a large library of physical games for them.

 

Spend a lot (and I mean a lot) of time reading up online to find out what all the good games for your Category 2 systems are, make long lists of everything you might want to play on those systems, then find reputable sources to download all the games on your lists from. From there you can rename the files to clean them up in a way that will suit your personal organization system, curate the files into neatly organized folders, and work on getting your digital collections just the way you want them. It's still collecting, just a different (and much more affordable) way to go about doing it for the systems that don't have the same level of deep personal importance to you as your Category 1 systems.

 

 

 

While this method may not be for everyone it certainly has worked for me, and vastly increased my enjoyment of both playing and collecting games. In fact, it worked so well that after trying it out for a few months I ended up selling off all but a handful of games for all my Category 2 systems and putting the money from all those sales into my Category 1 libraries; and I couldn't be happier about it. I went from feeling like I could never really decide what systems to collect for any given month and never feeling truly satisfied with my collection to genuinely loving and appreciating every game in my collection of physical games and no longer feeling torn about what systems to collect for, because I now have every game I could ever want to play for all of those Category 2 systems. And in the process I also ended up discovering and finding a great deal of enjoyment in several new Category 2 systems, which I probably would have never even considered trying due to their cost if I was only collecting physical games.

 

It was a big change in the way I think about playing and collecting games, and it didn't happen overnight (it actually took about 8 months to sort it all out), but it definitely made an enormous difference in my enjoyment of both collecting and playing games. It might not be the right solution for everyone, but it's certainly an option to consider if you're not happy with how your current collecting efforts are going. :)

 

 

P.S.: If you'd like to try this method out without committing large sums of money to flash carts or emulating games on a computer then a Nintendo Wii soft modded with the Homebrew Channel coupled with a Classic Controller makes an excellent budget friendly way to try out collecting and playing digital libraries for nearly every 8 and 16-bit system.

Edited by Jin
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Wow, so much thought. When I was collecting old stuff, I would grab what I could, based on opportunity. This was when old games were cheap and plentiful at thrift stores, bargain bins, and yard sales. Now that those sources "in the wild" have dried up, I only get what I really want from retail or auction. As a result, I've lost my main motivation for collecting.

 

I guess my point is that if you want to let the environment drive it, you can snag what's out there, but it's not like there's a "right and wrong" way to do this. You can grab stuff from publishers you like, you can try to complete a collection of box styles, you can only get good games that you like to play.

 

Why worry? If it's bugging you, get rid of some of it. That's fun, too! A large part of curation is throwing things out.

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Emulation....check. There are systems I emulate, because I either cannot find, or cannot afford them when I find them. Also a good way to play some fan translations. Also a good stop gap. If i find myself playing something a lot on emu, I will go find the game, or a repro (depending) if I can for play on real hardware. PSX emulation is good for the handful of PAL games that I just can't get to display right on my system (so far, not many have come up as too letterboxed to be playable).

 

Separated systems... check. That's almost all of them on my list. Especially the Atari 2600, NES, and Playstation/PS2.

 

Back up discs. Yeah, can do that. I know I am not the only one on here to run burns (some of the Turbo Duo guys do it too). If I burn a game, and I like it a lot, I'll also hunt it down legit. I've recently replaced some burns with legit copies this way. Unless you can't get it in English, like Clock Tower: First Fear (fan translation), or Policenauts. The other exception is stoopid levels of rarity, or price. Hellnight, or The Note being examples on the PSX, games like Little Samson, or Mighty Final Fight on NES. I have purchased the foreign version of games to save money, several times. Game is the same. Even better when it either doesn't require you to read much Japanese, or it runs in 60Hz. Though I have a swap disc that can force NTSC, sometimes the screen needs some adjustment. Some games have this feature, some don't. Some games are just hard to find, even as images....so if they interest me, I hunt them down. It's all fun though.

 

Both the NES, and the Playstation/PS2 are what Jin referred to as "Category 1 systems" for me. They are also the ones with the largest want lists. Lol. It's a case of "too much good stuff." Lol.

Edited by madhatter667
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That is my focus. Keep only played games.

 

Well you say that, but I have a crap-load of games that I keep thinking to myself "You know what? I need to sit down and play this someday. I've always wanted too..." I take it off my shelf, open up the case, maybe fiddle with the manual a bit... Then I look back at the empty space on my shelf.

 

This lonely, one space that isn't occupied. It's almost sad... So then I put it back on the shelf and everything looks great again... Maybe I just enjoy looking at video games more than I enjoy playing them.

Edited by SwampFox56
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I collect for one system, and emulate the rest. For many reasons. And it works out extremely well. Especially if the one physical system is versatile and varied - like one day I can do modeming, next week, RPG, next month flight simulators, somewhere in between do some study of DOS and vintage programming, and play the occasional action game.

 

Emulation will let one segue between all the others in a convenient and pleasant manner. That's cool!

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I also don't have any specific itinerary. Whatever happens happens. Some months I may not buy anything. The next month will see me getting 2 manuals and 2 expansion cards. But it happens at a leisurely pace and there is no gotta get 'em all race to completion.

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I definitely have it. Well, sort of. There are several specific things I'm always hunting for that I grab when I can or when they turn up, which is sort of random.

"Oooh, a VIC-20 cart I've been looking for!" to "YES, an Apple II+!" to "A *color* pong system with a light gun that turns into a rifle, for $20? Why not?" to "HERO for Atari 5200, score!" to "OOH SHINY!"

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I don't get a lot of the "gotta get 'em all" really. Mostly with horror titles.

The reality is that both my want list, and my backlog outpace my ability to play the titles (I can get them faster than I can beat them), and my wallet (only afford so much on any given pay period). Luckily, I collect cheap for the most part (Sub $40 per). Lol.

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I don't have to "get 'em all;" there's just a lot of stuff I collect. :) The Atari VCS is really the only system I will buy pretty much anything for, and even then there are limits (the whole label microvariant thing is for the birds). I have mostly-complete collections for Odyssey 2, Intellivision, Atari 5200, Studio II, and Channel F, and while I enjoy each of them, I know I'm about as far as I can get with them. The titles I'm still missing for those systems, even loose, usually turn up in the $100+ range. A couple of months ago, I got a steal of a deal on a loose Body Slam for Intellivision--one of the last Intellivision carts I *really* wanted--and that was a minor miracle.

I collect for plenty of other systems as well, namely the TRS-80, CoCo, VIC-20, Atari 400/800, TI-99/4a, Coleco, NES, PlayStation, and others, but only selectively. And I have a soft spot for pongs and dedicated systems, but there's got to be something special about them if I'm going to buy them anymore, such as non-pong-type games, color graphics, or not being based on the AY-3-8500.

Now, I used to be a get-everything-I-can type of collector. I ended up with hundreds of NES and Genesis and other games I don't give a shit about. In retrospect it made no sense; I was the guy buying Sega sports games at Goodwill simply because I didn't have them--why? Now that I'm older and marginally wiser, it feels good to let go of stuff like that.

EDIT: It's interesting how at one time it used to cool to try to build a megacollection, and now efficient, tight, focused collections are the thing around here. I'm sure collectors growing up, having kids, etc. has something to do with that.

Edited by BassGuitari
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Now, I used to be a get-everything-I-can type of collector. I ended up with hundreds of NES and Genesis and other games I don't give a shit about. In retrospect it made no sense; I was the guy buying Sega sports games at Goodwill simply because I didn't have them--why? Now that I'm older and marginally wiser, it feels good to let go of stuff like that.

Same story for me and the ColecoVision. I once had a nice and nearly complete CIB collection, and today I realize I wanted to collect all the games for that system (both legacy and homebrew) simply because it felt nice to acquire all these games with my own money, something I couldn't fathom doing as a kid. I did have a good collection of CV games back then, but it was still only a tiny fraction of all the games available, and my parents bought most of those games for me. My "adult" CIB collection became quite large, but I didn't actually play with these games most of the time, I just collected them for the fun of collecting, kinda like collecting trading cards. After selling off my CV collection, I can honestly say I don't miss it, and I will likely never try to build up my CV collection again.

 

 

EDIT: It's interesting how at one time it used to cool to try to build a megacollection, and now efficient, tight, focused collections are the thing around here. I'm sure collectors growing up, having kids, etc. has something to do with that.

There comes a time when you stop letting nostalgia own your wallet, but never completely. If I were to collect for other systems, it would probably be the NES and/or Game Boy, and I would buy only the carts that I consider "above average" in terms of quality: Super Mario, Zelda, Metroid, lots of Konami and Capcom titles (like Mega Man, of course)... but I would seriously steer clear of the crap games for those Nintendo systems.

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I believe that after flash carts and the first wave of ODEs which allow to collect in digital form (there's still quite some work in the ODEs camp but they're getting there) the next big thing will be the "FPGA"-box or if EMU becomes ever that good (in cheap HW a la RPi) , the ultimate-EMU-Box where all those digital collections can be played.

 

The flash carts/OBEs allow one to repossess the space dedicated to the games, a FPGA/EMU box would make it so we can also get back the space the HW eats up.

And it must be something as easy and plug and play as possible, literally browse a list of games and fire them up, the platform is implied.

Min reqs at that point would be very high fidelity (if possible cycle accurate) and support of virtual "peripherals/special chips" where needed, obviously HDMI hi res with support for simulating artifacting for those games that rely on it. Also support for either orig controllers or reasonable up-to-date takes on them (I'm looking at all the consoles with keypads in their controllers or on the unit themselves [or special buttons where applicable]).

 

Basically "one box to emulate them all, one box to find them, one box to bring them all and in the darkness play them" kind of a deal.

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I used to be a hoarder. But over the last 10 years lost most (but not all) of those tendencies. I now hoard in the digital domain. No one would ever know it!

 

EDIT: It's interesting how at one time it used to cool to try to build a megacollection, and now efficient, tight, focused collections are the thing around here. I'm sure collectors growing up, having kids, etc. has something to do with that.

 

I believe those are factors, but I also think it is more. What? I do not know exactly. But for me, for a long while, videogames have become somehow "smaller" and less important and more about the good times and the technological evolution and achievements demonstrated through the art.

 

Naturally, however, I would never ever give up playing casually or for short periods of time through emulation. That's a given. I guess I'm going on an extended "complex simulation" kick now. Because, like, I have little desire to go for the world record in Missile Command despite being able to roll its score again and again. Those sorts of stunts and 30+ hour marathon sessions remind me of those hot-dog eating contests. Just dumb.

 

I lost interest in mega-collecting once the sheer number of titles became overwhelming. And that was a long long time ago, think dotcom era! Today and perhaps of a different topic is the inability to properly preserve smartphone and "internet connection required" games. Those kind of games are of no interest to me. And I see them as vehicles to make money and that's it. A tool and method for a developer to reach into your wallet. Totally different than for art's sake like exploring a new medium in its golden age - say like the 1980's.

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....Totally different than for art's sake like exploring a new medium in its golden age - say like the 1980's.

The Video Game Crash was in '83 .... they were exploring your wallet with shovel-ware like there was no tomorrow in sight .... the more things change the more they stay the same, modern technology make it easier, more convenient but imho the intent was always there.

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I believe that after flash carts and the first wave of ODEs which allow to collect in digital form (there's still quite some work in the ODEs camp but they're getting there) the next big thing will be the "FPGA"-box or if EMU becomes ever that good (in cheap HW a la RPi) , the ultimate-EMU-Box where all those digital collections can be played.

 

The flash carts/OBEs allow one to repossess the space dedicated to the games, a FPGA/EMU box would make it so we can also get back the space the HW eats up.

 

And it must be something as easy and plug and play as possible, literally browse a list of games and fire them up, the platform is implied.

Min reqs at that point would be very high fidelity (if possible cycle accurate) and support of virtual "peripherals/special chips" where needed, obviously HDMI hi res with support for simulating artifacting for those games that rely on it. Also support for either orig controllers or reasonable up-to-date takes on them (I'm looking at all the consoles with keypads in their controllers or on the unit themselves [or special buttons where applicable]).

 

Basically "one box to emulate them all, one box to find them, one box to bring them all and in the darkness play them" kind of a deal.

 

For a lot of the systems of the 70's and 80's it's already here! It might not be entirely plug'n'play yet, but continual progress is being made. Accuracy may not be 100% and controllers may be a little fiddly, but like I say we're getting there. And it's amazing it's all done for free!

 

A large corporation that would have the resources to whip something together and proceed at a much faster pace and produce something more accurate will NEVER ever do something like that. They aren't forward thinking enough. They may make a good emu for their own IP. But not anyone else's. No universal box 4 U.

 

If I would have to wait for something like MAME to be made by a corporation - the cows would come home, have babies, grow up, mutate into an intelligent species and overtake all of mankind!

 

In thinking about controllers, its still a DIY wild-west landscape, though we have IPAC and BlissBox to get us going for now.

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The Video Game Crash was in '83 .... they were exploring your wallet with shovel-ware like there was no tomorrow in sight .... the more things change the more they stay the same, modern technology make it easier, more convenient but imho the intent was always there.

 

When I think of "exploring the artform" I think of the VCS, the 400/800, the Apple II, and the Amiga. These are machines which I believe have exceeded their developers' wildest expectations. Especially the VCS.

 

They were like blank canvases with no preconceived notions of what would be possible or how they'd end up being used. Especially the Apple II and Amiga. Apple gave you the computer, and pack of documents sized at 800 pages. You're on your own! All the cool shit was 3rd party!

 

I included the 400/800 because (to me) it was the closest thing to arcade hardware I owned at the time. Bringing the arcade home was a special treat. And a lot of porting was done for the machine. And there was the novelty of having "Atari", known as a gaming company, to be putting out a computer with real I/O capabilities like a keyboard, disk drive, and printer. A gaming system melded with a computing system, that's art in and of itself.

 

--

 

Yes. When the shovelware starting coming out it was the first kink in my armored bedroom of videogame bliss. I was too young to fully understand what was happening and why. I did buy a fair portion of crap games and me-too's. And they would eventually become a detractor. A force I disliked. And I saw two stacks of cartridges eventually form. The ones I liked, the genuine Atari, Imagic, Activision trio. And a literal pile scrap plastic. Yeh.

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When I think of "exploring the artform" I think of the VCS, the 400/800, the Apple II, and the Amiga. These are machines which I believe have exceeded their developers' wildest expectations. Especially the VCS.

 

They were like blank canvases with no preconceived notions of what would be possible or how they'd end up being used. Especially the Apple II and Amiga. Apple gave you the computer, and pack of documents sized at 800 pages. You're on your own! All the cool shit was 3rd party!

 

I included the 400/800 because (to me) it was the closest thing to arcade hardware I owned at the time. Bringing the arcade home was a special treat. And a lot of porting was done for the machine. And there was the novelty of having "Atari", known as a gaming company, to be putting out a computer with real I/O capabilities like a keyboard, disk drive, and printer. A gaming system melded with a computing system, that's art in and of itself.

 

--

 

Yes. When the shovelware starting coming out it was the first kink in my armored bedroom of videogame bliss. I was too young to fully understand what was happening and why. I did buy a fair portion of crap games and me-too's. And they would eventually become a detractor. A force I disliked. And I saw two stacks of cartridges eventually form. The ones I liked, the genuine Atari, Imagic, Activision trio. And a literal pile scrap plastic. Yeh.

I believe you've been too romantic.

Truth be told they were pioneer in their respective markets at the time, but art-form I disagree.

People managed to use the devices for art too, no question about it, but the companies behind were in on it for the money and so where many SW houses .... sure a few had an artistic flare (Psygnosis comes to mind) no question about it but Rembrandt were not.

I may have a more cynical view of the whole matter but I can see some of your points. For me any media that requires audio-visual artifacts will require some form of "artistry", I would call it more like professional craftsmanship but sometimes that does border into actual art.

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Today and perhaps of a different topic is the inability to properly preserve smartphone and "internet connection required" games. Those kind of games are of no interest to me. And I see them as vehicles to make money and that's it. A tool and method for a developer to reach into your wallet. Totally different than for art's sake like exploring a new medium in its golden age - say like the 1980's.

It's funny you mention game designers exploring a new medium as part of what draws you to the VCS and some of the 80's computers, because I think I could say the same about why I'm so fond of the Game Boy and collecting for it. When the Game Boy came out game designers already had a good idea of what made arcade and home console games interesting and compelling to play, but no one really knew what a portable game that could be taken with you anywhere and played on the go was supposed to be like.

 

It was the wild west for handheld gaming back in '89 and the early 90's, and game designers tried all sorts of odd and unusual ideas for what could be done to provide entertainment on the go via an 8-bit monochrome system with just a few buttons and a D-Pad. It was completely new territory, and I think that alone resulted in some wonderfully artistic explorations of the medium that you wouldn't see today. Many of which are still just as enjoyable to fill travel time with now as they were back in '89.

 

But these days it is a very different world for handheld gaming, and one that's sadly flooded with knockoff after knockoff game that require you to be connected to the internet and a company's server to play them. There are still occasional works of artistic brilliance that pop up now and then on Nintendo and Sony's current handhelds, but that sense of limitless possibility in the exploration of a new entertainment medium is definitely something that just isn't there anymore. I'm not really complaining though, since there are still literally hundreds of quality Game Boy games out there that I can hunt down and enjoy for a few dollars each. :)

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Just want to add my 2 cents in on the collecting/gaming thing. I go through phases sometimes where I almost exclusively play a certain system for a while. Right now I'm on the tail end of a Turbografx binge. I have a feeling now that I've attained most of the greats for PCe/Turbo, at leat of the Hucard variety, I'll move on to another system, possibly NES as the RetroUSB AVS is right around the corner. I was full tilt obsessed with Wii for a while before I bought a PowerPak in 2009. It wws my first flash cart. I hadn't touched my NES in like over a year at the time, then it all came back. My fiance had made the comment I hadn't touched it in ages so why didn't I just sell it? Well I did have that retro revival, as I still tend to yoyo between various retro and modern systems. I wanted to see what all the fuss was with Atari so I got one in 2012. So I was obsessed with Atari for a while.

 

For the record, I have full blown ADHD, and have more backloggery than I have time for, and am constantly adding to it. So the fact you have games sit on the shelf for a while does not mean you won't revisit them. For me, I play a game first and if it doesn't draw my interest, I sell it. But don't get rid of shit just because you haven't played it yet. Otherwise you sell it back to the store for pennies on the dollar, then find yourself paying out the ass for it years later.

 

And if space is an issue, flash carts for every system can eliminate the clutter. Try it on the flash cart first. If you love it, then track down a physical copy. Otherwise, pass on it. Hope this helps.

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