We Can't Take Pride In Digital Video Game Collections
I've thought about this long and hard, and I'm well aware of the benefits of digital entertainment; of delivering our awesome video games via Internet, with no need for car, gas, traffic, crowds, and idiot register biscuits. And while I don't have anywhere near the game collection you see pictured here, the point I wish to make is simple.
Gamers have long since loved more than just the games themselves. Big fans of just about any entertainment venue will take pleasure in other appeals that come along with their immersion into the hobby. The bookworms treasure first editions and original author signatures, the sports fanatics also treasure original signatures, and they'll also keep old ticket stubs and any other memorabilia; the hardcore music fans have old-school LPs and continually try to build up their collections of records, etc. Gaming is no different. We love the box art of the games; we love how they look when they're all assembled just so in our entertainment space. Something physical; something tangible is necessary in order for us to be proud of a collection. Having it exist on the screen in the form of various folders essentially ruins the experience, as far as I'm concerned.
And we all have our own criteria for games that are allowed to stay in our collections. Personally, I only have one rule: if the game kicks ass, it's worthy of staying in my collection. And it won't matter if I don't ever intend to play it again; its quality will forever insure its position in my collection. But others will have different ideas. And in the end, how you organize your little digital files on a screen doesn't matter; it fails to look and even feel like a collection. And you know, when entertainment gets to the point where absolutely everything - music and movies included - gets downloaded digitally and there is no longer a need for any cases of any kind, you'll see other collectors begin to complain as well. There's just something about having a mint-condition copy of Suikoden II, or having the most obscure Colecovision titles on the planet.
And yes, I realize I'm only talking about a small minority of gamers. I know most are casual, and most just trade in games when they're done, and they couldn't give a rat's ass about a game case. Oh, and many are lazy and socially incompetent and can't deal with people, so sitting at home and downloading Grand Theft Auto VI is the perfect option for them. And I myself wouldn't mind dl-ing a few titles here and there, purely for convenience sake. But for collectors, the advent of this new digital world is the end of an era. But at least we're a ways from this new world...I think.
9/13/2009 9:43:06 PM Ben Dutka