Author Topic: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life  (Read 3966 times)

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Offline lolmonade

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Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« on: February 28, 2018, 08:48:11 AM »
Anyone here listen to Player One Podcast?  One of the co-hosts talked through selling-off and getting rid of a massive physical game collection he acquired through the process of working at EGM as well as just general hobbyist collecting through the years, and it's an interesting take of someone who had such an attachment to a pile of games that he admits were mostly in a storage unit and never touched that he panicked when he realized he accidentally sent his GBA collection to the re-seller when he meant to keep them, and how he forced himself to let it go along with the other games he got rid of.


If any of you have moved from home to home, it pretty quickly puts into perspective how much stuff you accumulate stuff and how long it takes to go through all of it, unpack, and sort through things.  We moved from North Carolina to Illinois in 2016, and we STILL have a good two dozen boxes and bins to go through in our basement.   A good half of it is a collection of decorations for various holidays, there's maybe 2-3 boxes of clothes we haven't unpacked that we're just as well off to toss or donate, maybe another 2-3 boxes of old toys our kids wouldn't miss if we gave them away since they outgrew them. 


And then there's my collection of video games.  It isn't a massive collection that's completely unwieldy, but it's sizable enough given how many systems I own (Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Switch, 3DS, Vita, NES, SNES), 2+ controllers for each of those platforms, and anywhere between 3-15 games between each platform.  That also doesn't take into consideration the Skylanders craze my wife went through, the Amiibo gluttony for year one, NES and SNES classic, and other accessories related to those systems.


It's not hard to passively collect games/accessories/collectibles to a point where walking through a used game store BECOMES the game rather than play the game itself.  I found myself buying games not because I planned on playing them right at that time, but because it was a good find at a right price and thought to myself "I'll find time for this later".  This mindset feeds into the growing backlog of games I have that quickly outpace a well-rounded person's ability to make time for.  You start getting into weird math equations breaking down your spare hours and thinking "ok, if I have 3 1/2 hrs available each night after the kids go to bed, and I don't want to completely neglect my wife, I probably have about 18-20 hours a week for dedicated me-time gaming."  I've found compartmentalizing my spare time like that brings more stress about a hobby that should be about nothing but enjoying my spare time when we have no plans, but it's something my mind starts wandering towards given my propensity towards maximizing the output for the time I have.

I've had in mind the ethos of the "Marie Kondo" method of organizing lately.  For those unfamiliar, the abridged version is "Ask yourself if an item gives you joy.  If it doesn't, get rid of it.  Once all you have left are the things that bring you joy, find an organized space for those things and display them prominently".


With that in mind, last night I started the process of organizing all my game stuff and going through each game, and sorting them by 3 different measures:


1) Games I have an attachment to either due to quality or a fondness for.
2) Games I earnestly want to try or play through before deciding what to do with.
3) Games I bought on a whim and didn't ever actually think about playing, beaten and will never play again, or have tried and don't really care for it.


And you know what I found out?  I own a lot less physical games in category 1 than I would have thought.  So my plan is to excise the games from category 2 and 3, sell them off, and then only buy a game moving forward when I know I will play that game. 


Maybe I'll end up regretting it in the long run, but I suspect it'll bring more relief to simplify my hobby and show constraint up front rather than turn it into an obligation to sample everything I have. 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 12:03:21 PM by lolmonade »
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 08:49:20 AM »
In addition to this, anything y'all can suggest on how to efficiently organize controllers and cords would be appreciated.  That stuff takes up space, and I'd like to figure out how best to organize that stuff in a non-cluttered way.
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Offline Steefosaurus

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 08:20:07 AM »
Great thread right here!

With gaming being such a time-demanding hobby it's pretty nonsensical to maintain a large collection; even if you get to everything within your lifetime there's still a lot of discs sitting idle for years taking up space. So yeah, if you don't get great satisfaction out of displaying them nicely, organising and cataloguing a personal collection or even saving them for some sort of historical preservation goals... I'd say trimming the fat down to just stuff you like and will return to or actively want to play is probably a good move.

Will you regret it? Possibly. I still kick myself every now and then for ditching my pile of gaming magazines. But I think if you really fall into the trap of seeing the backlog as a mountain that must be scaled, it's probably worth it for the peace of mind alone.

The calculations we make in our head ("one hour of gaming a day will make it possible to clear the backlog in 2 years time!") will utterly fall short in reality. It's a hobby, so will you really want to game daily? What if something more pressing comes up, or you're in the mood for something passive, or going outside? It also completely fails in factoring in new purchases, since if you think of games as a daily obligation, buying a new one will not just be exciting but also guilt-tripping yourself ("that's another month of daily grinding").

Financially, even if you end wanting to rebuy a few you sold off, it's pretty likely that this will only be a fraction of the ones you end up selling right? So it wouldn't be too great of a loss I don't think. Rarity could be a factor with older stuff perhaps, so maybe hold on to those for a while longer and beat them first if you want to. Idk how often you return to beaten games, I rarely do, but personal tastes apply here.

Some people try to avoid the clutter issue entirely by transitioning to a digital collection only, but for me that doesn't work. I still wanna beat every game I buy and digital has been my downfall in some ways; by effectively letting a store with frequent sales move into my room I wind up making more impulse purchases that still feel like "I need to finish these to reclaim the already lost value."
Textbook sunk cost fallacy of course, but yeah. Just saying your mileage may vary I guess if it's just about getting rid of clutter. Digital clutter can still feel suffocating in the same way, at least for me it does.

For cables and controllers and the like... You mentioned Marie Kondo, so you're likely already aware that it's pretty dumb to first invest in a bunch of storage solutions first (tupperware's sole purpose in life is to sit unused half the time somewhere). That said, maybe just dedicated one box or drawer to it and see if it's possible to make some compartments in it maybe? I'm thinking of 3 shoeboxes in a drawer and dividing them up per console perhaps.

Last thing I wanna mention about the KonMari method thing... It's perhaps a bit unfeasible financially. If part of your reasoning to hold on to games has been "some of these will net a decent price if I can find the right buyer", I think it's worthwhile to pursue that sale.
Selling everything off in bulk is more expedient when it comes to reducing clutter, but you're bound to lose a lot of potential dollars there. Depending on your personal finances, maybe consider a slower, more methodical way of clearing them out? Of course this presumes you don't need to imminently get rid of them. It'd be ideal I think if you could just have a bunch of listings online and wait for people to buy them, maybe trade everything that hasn't moved in at a store every 6 or 12 months?

I'd be curious to hear how you end up going about it regardless though, if you're willing to share here every now and then.





Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 12:09:40 PM »

Thanks.  Just trying to spark some new discussion.

Fortunately I think I already got the impulse to say "I'll just make my collection an all-digital collection" beat.  I went through a few years when I first got a decent gaming PC scooping up any humble bundle or steam sale items just because they were cheap.  You describe perfectly that looking at that entire list of games I technically own is both exhausting and becomes a whole different "list" to manage that you don't even have the value of returning or selling-off if you decide you no longer have use for them.  I got to a point with my steam list that I only show visible a few folders - Multiplayer games I consistently come back to, 1-2 indie titles I want to play in the near term and already own, and 1-2 bigger single player games I think I want to play.  It's the only way I can manage such a queue.  I've similarly had to bucket digital games on the consoles into folders and only show a few icons at a time, otherwise it just feels overwhelming and I end up being indecisive over my exhaustive options, even if a lot of them are games through PS+ or one-off things that don't interest me.


I'm sure there'll be pangs of regret here or there.  There are times I regret selling-off my old Sega Genesis and 40+ games about 10 years ago, but then again, I look and realize I have half those games back digitally in some form, and the other ones aren't likely to be games i'd revisit anyway.  I suspect if I take a hard look at most of the games I own, at best a lot of them i'd never be likely to revisit once I beat it, and some I've played for 3-5 hours and realistically me jumping off the game after that should have been what made my decision in the first place.


Regarding the selling of the items - I've informed my friends i'd be doing this and have basically offered to let them take one or two things I'm sitting on if it's something they're interested in taking.  I'll probably make an itemized list of the games/accessories I have and try to price-out them individually.  Then it'd be a matter of determining if the additional time and transaction fees for posting in individual spots would be worth the extra money from an eBay/Amazon sale vs trade-in.  You know how it goes - a decent number of games that aren't some form of limited release or console exclusive basically sell for $1-3 each online, and I imagine there'll be a small list of games I'm better off just trading in for scraps at my local used game store than trying to resell. 


When I get through making that list, I can share that here.  As well as update on what I sell, how much I get back from doing so.  I doubt it'll be anything remarkable, but I've mulled-over whether I'll end up with enough to cover for a PS4 Pro.  If not that, then I at least expect it'll be enough to hold onto until I find that game I KNOW I want to pick-up and play next.


The cords/controllers/accessories bit - I do have a few tupperware style drawer sets that I'm currently using in my kids' bedrooms, but they aren't really being used.  I should probably start by maybe putting one of those in a closet on the main floor and centralize all my wires/plastic there as a start.  Could at least be an interim solution until we figure out what we want long-term.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 12:49:26 PM by lolmonade »
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 09:41:32 PM »
I regret selling my NES.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 04:22:51 AM »
The biggest thing that helped (for me) to declutter was to reduce the number of systems. That's tough, but greatly reduced the number of accessories which were bulky to store, and made it easier to keep my current system(s) attached to TVs and active.  It also allowed me to consolidate my collection of games - between backwards compatibility of Wii/Wii U and Virtual Console, much of the Nintendo gaming I care about can be done using a single console.


The problem with this approach is that you get "locked in" - at some point, there simply aren't new games coming out for old consoles. Since I've bought more games than I could play earlier, being behind the curve on latest releases doesn't bother me.


Going all digital seems like a trap to me. You lose the ability to trade/loan/sell any of your games - all things that matter to me. While some games are cheap enough that the value works out, many simply aren't. More importantly, I don't appreciate or enjoy a list of digital games as much as I do my shelf of "real" games. That shelf doesn't take much room and is something I enjoy seeing.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 01:59:57 PM »

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 04:58:16 PM »
The biggest thing that helped (for me) to declutter was to reduce the number of systems. That's tough, but greatly reduced the number of accessories which were bulky to store, and made it easier to keep my current system(s) attached to TVs and active.  It also allowed me to consolidate my collection of games - between backwards compatibility of Wii/Wii U and Virtual Console, much of the Nintendo gaming I care about can be done using a single console.

The problem with this approach is that you get "locked in" - at some point, there simply aren't new games coming out for old consoles. Since I've bought more games than I could play earlier, being behind the curve on latest releases doesn't bother me.
My approach is similar. I only have a backwards compatible PS3, the Wii U, and the Switch hooked up to my TV. It's actually less than what I had before I got the PS3 because that thing replaced my standalone blu ray player and my PS2 but the advantage of using a PS3 over the PS2 is that the PS3 can store PS2 save data on the hard drive instead of relying on memory cards.

Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 06:28:42 AM »
I've gone through a first-pass of my physical games/accessories and have made a first pass of things I think I'm not going to keep.  Granted, there are games I haven't played yet on this list that I've marked with an asterisk that my opinion might change once I play through.  But this is tentatively the list of games/accessories I will be letting go of this year sometime. 


PS1:
Spider-Man
Final Fantasy Tactics
Mortal Kombat 4

PS2:
Final Fantasy XII
Kingdom Hearts II

PS3:
Bioshock
Dead Space
Motorstorm
Dishonored

PS4:
The Last Guardian*
Uncharted Collection
Uncharted 4*
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Dark Souls III
A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Ratchet & Clank
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age*
Nier: Automata*

Vita:
Little Big Planet Vita
Tearaway
Persona 4 Golden*
Rayman Legends

Xbox One:

Just Cause 3

NES:

Startropics

N64:

Excitebike 64

Wii:
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Warioland Shake-It*
Rhythm Heaven Fever*
The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Returns

Wii U:
StarFox Zero
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
NES Remix Pack
Hyrule Warriors

3DS:
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
Kirby Planet Robobot*
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds*
Bravely Default*
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
Megaman Legacy Collection
Sega 3D Classics Collection
Codename S.T.E.A.M.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Accessories:

SNES controller
3rd party NES controller
White PS4 Controller
"Anniversary Grey" PS4 controller
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 06:31:28 AM by lolmonade »
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 06:41:53 AM »
The next step is going to be determining how to best unload this stuff.  OfferUp and letgo apps aren't going to cut it because in my area they're a kind of ghost town in my relatively rural area.  Craigslist in my area is a little sketchy and people notoriously want to offer next to nothing.  I've had a few friends take a pass saying they'll want to pick-up some of them off of me, but I'll still need to talk about pricing with them before firming that up. 


So it sounds like I might have to resort to eBay.  Not ideal since I know they're going to nickel-and-dime me on fees, but it'll still be better than what I"ll get in those other avenues.  May be a handful of the games below I opt to take to a local game shop and see if they'll give enough in-store credit to justify trading them in that way. 
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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 06:53:37 AM »
The next thing I need to figure out is how to manage my toys-to-life pile. 


My wife in no uncertain terms has informed me she wants to keep the skylanders, but so far they're basically sitting in a big box in a pile.  While I don't have any intention to display them, I am going to make an attempt to figure out how to organize them by game they go with.  I don't like the idea of dumping them in separate duffel bags as a pile, but I can't think of a more elegant solution that'd be practical.  We have much more of this than I'd like to admit, seeing that I think we've bought each game and several toys with each.


We've got a decent Amiibo pile as well, and similarly, not looking to just pile them.
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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 12:58:19 PM »
The eBay route isn't as bad as it once was. Listing is now free, you pay only if it sells. Some of the extras are free now as well, you can have up to 12 pictures at no cost. The three costs you'll incur from selling are 10% of the sale price goes to eBay, 2.9% goes to Paypal, and then you pay whatever it costs to ship. Also, fees now apply to any shipping price you enter, so you can no longer try to pay less fees by entering larger numbers for shipping. Because of this, it's better to just select the "free shipping" option and factor that into the base price.

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 11:34:26 AM »
As far as organizing cords: twist ties And Ziplock Bags

« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 11:38:34 AM by ThePerm »
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2018, 06:00:19 AM »
The eBay route isn't as bad as it once was. Listing is now free, you pay only if it sells. Some of the extras are free now as well, you can have up to 12 pictures at no cost. The three costs you'll incur from selling are 10% of the sale price goes to eBay, 2.9% goes to Paypal, and then you pay whatever it costs to ship. Also, fees now apply to any shipping price you enter, so you can no longer try to pay less fees by entering larger numbers for shipping. Because of this, it's better to just select the "free shipping" option and factor that into the base price.


That's good to know.  I've had some of these things sitting on offerup for about two weeks without a bite.  I think I'll be listing the majority of this stuff on ebay over the weekend so I can start clearing it out.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2018, 06:02:44 AM »
As far as organizing cords: twist ties And Ziplock Bags


I need to find a good source of twist ties.  I've been saving them from electronics I buy onesy twosy, but I'd prefer to have a nice bundle of those super long ones so my cord management can include trying to wrap up the length of some of these cords.


I recently got my Wii U back from letting my friend borrow it, and jeez, I forgot just how many cords there are for that thing and all the accessories.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2018, 10:53:18 AM »
The Wii U is a fucking mess of accessories and stuff. I keep both an external hard drive and the gamecube adapter hooked up at all times as well which makes it into a sprawling spider web of accessories.

Offline Steefosaurus

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2018, 09:14:22 AM »
Maybe go for those velcro straps over ziplocks? They're easier to undo since you don't need to cut them open with pliers.

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2018, 08:04:51 AM »
So, less of a decluttering and more of a swap, but I bought a PS4 Pro with a copy of Skyrim PS4 for $275 on offer-up a few weeks back, so I threw my PS4 regular on ebay with a charging dock and sold a separate controller.  I think I'll use this thread as a tally to see what I get out of all my stuff by selling it as I go along and see if I made-out ok between my purchases and that.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2018, 08:05:28 AM »
Maybe go for those velcro straps over ziplocks? They're easier to undo since you don't need to cut them open with pliers.


Yeah, that's definitely a good idea. 
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Offline Evan_B

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2018, 04:45:25 PM »
Is this topic just a pity party for lolmonade because he realized he doesn’t love video games?

I’m in a constant state of re-evaluating my collection. I take a hard look at games and determine not only if it is my favorite, but also if it is something I am going to enjoy sharing with someone I have a personal connection with. I had to do this not too long ago and the warm and fuzzy feeling of having something that meant a lot to me given to someone else was nice. So, I don’t have to do this haunting checklisting.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2018, 08:23:01 AM »
Is this topic just a pity party for lolmonade because he realized he doesn’t love video games?

I’m in a constant state of re-evaluating my collection. I take a hard look at games and determine not only if it is my favorite, but also if it is something I am going to enjoy sharing with someone I have a personal connection with. I had to do this not too long ago and the warm and fuzzy feeling of having something that meant a lot to me given to someone else was nice. So, I don’t have to do this haunting checklisting.


lol, basically.  Or more specifically, I realized I've spent an inordinate amount of time/money collecting games to play later, only to realize I have a lot of games I've either never touched and aren't that interested in, or I've tried and hasn't hooked me.  I am trying to pare down my collection to things I have a sentimental value for or have a real desire to play, as well as discuss tips for organizing the game clutter.


Also decided since I had the list of games/accessories up anyway, that i'd tally what I get for everything I sell. 


Re-evaluating my collection will probably need to happen, too.  But doing a big purge now will be a good first step to winnowing my collection to what I actually want to have.  Unsurprisingly, i'm finding my Nintendo games are the ones I'm struggling with most to part with.  I've packed-away my retro systems into separate plastic bins until I get my old CRT TV set-up somewhere. 


The biggest thing that's helped me not add much to my collection as of late is avoiding deal aggregate sites/subreddits, bypassing my local game shops, and skipping a walk through gaming sections of target.  Really reduces the fear-of-missing-out on a deal, and makes me focus on only getting a new game if it's something I know I'll play almost immediately. 






 
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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2019, 06:49:31 AM »
How did everyone do with this?

I’m moving back into the city in a couple months so I want to pare down not just my video games but things like clothes, DVDs, and various other knick knacks I don’t use yet continue lugging around from place to place. I’m on the fence over whether to toss my old college notebooks. I graduated nearly 12 years ago, likely have not looked at the notes for more than what-even-is-this since. At the same time, it represents a lot of hard work so I haven’t been able to bring myself to part with them.

A couple months ago, I sorted through a large bag full of video game stuffs. I was able to organize much of it into boxes and toss things like free video game calendar/posters from 2002 that came with EGM or something. Sometimes, the posters were of games I don’t remember/care about. It’s easy to part with things like that.

I’m having a more difficult time parting with actual games and peripherals, notably on Nintendo hardware. My SNES collection is untouchable. I have too much nostalgia for it even though I’ll probably just plug in the SNES Classic Edition if I ever get the itch to play any of those games.

Rarely do I revisit any handheld games beyond Castlevania yet it feels weird to just sell/donate them. Same with Wii. I had my fun with it, but it’s kind of just there now. For some reason, I have two Wii Wheels. Why?! Don’t get me started on Wii U. Almost all of its best games were ported and play better on Switch. If The Wind Waker HD gets ported, I might as well put Wii U in storage. If it doesn’t, am I really missing anything without Wii U under my TV?

Offline lolmonade

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2019, 10:56:35 AM »
If i'm honest, while I don't have a list of my library, it's probably been a wash regarding reducing my overall library.  I did end up just giving in and taking a box of games to the local shop rather than try to price them out, mostly because I valued getting it out of the house and my time more than trying to list each individual thing. 

I was doing some post-Christmas clean-up and reorganization, and while sorting the game collection realized that the games my kids want are likely to take up what space I freed up from selling the ones I did.

I'm going to be painting and converting a spare room in my house to basically a video game room in the next month or so, and the closet i'll likely add some shelving and try to route things in a way that'll allow a lot better storage solutions for this kind of stuff. 

But like you, I've got some vintage consoles that are in Tupperware that i'd probably be better off just getting rid of, if it weren't for the nostalgia factor of having the cartridges and a CRT that's unplugged in the basement.  But a part of me holds out home that I'll eventually have the budget to get my basement waterproofed, finished, and set-up as a hangout space that could include that set-up for my wife and I to relive our childhood there or give my kids a chance to see the garbage games I played at their age.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2019, 06:27:44 PM »
I've been seeing Disney VHS tapes at Goodwill for $0.49. I almost bought the whole collection this month. I'm this close to being a video store.
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Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: Minimizing the Gaming Physical Footprint of Your Home and Life
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2019, 07:28:10 PM »
I just built a full-size (technically 5" wider so it can fit a 32" LCD) arcade cabinet (original Mortal Kombat body)...am I doing it right?