It was kind of by chance that I found myself in the position I’m in right now; with hundreds of games panning multiple consoles clogging up my games room. Even just having a games room to begin with. At least, it began as an accident. I wouldn’t say that each purchase was made on an accidental basis. I’d always had a great interest in gaming, ever since I was young and Mario hadn’t yet discovered his love for indulging in go karting races against his arch nemesis and his girlfriend. It was a time when the concept of that same moustache wielding plumber ever meeting Sonic the Hedgehog was a pipe dream for school boys who never could have predicted that you’d someday be able to choose each of these of these mascots and have them knock the living shit out of each other Smash titles.
Looking back now, it seemed that things escalated pretty quickly from there on in. What started as a little fun on a four inch screen filled with different shades of grey soon expanded to the Super Nintendo, exploding with a vast array of different colours, bigger sprites and deeper gaming all in all. My world instantly changed from black and white to colour. Over the years I then transitioned from SNES to Playstation and watched as the world transform once again, this time into jaw dropping 3D. I didn’t take great care of my games then, but I played a hell of a lot of them. Everything from Crime Killer to Resident Evil. If it came out on console, I wanted to play it. As each new machine came out, my older devices seemed to just disappear; lost and forgotten somewhere above me as I descended further into the rabbit hole.
By this time, I was in my teens. Somewhere between listening to aggressive music about how much I should hate my parents, even if they happened to be very nice people, and discovering the fabled creatures known only as girls, the Playstation took a back seat in my life. Sure, I’d still play a little Riot or Wild 9 while spinning some Black Sabbath records but I had my mind on other things. So, it came as a natural progression as my Exhumed and Bruce Willis’ Apocalypse discs lay gathering dust alongside my PS1 controller to just sell it all and be done with it. I’ll admit that I’ve made a few stupid mistakes in my life with varying levels of consequences. Some of these make me chuckle, some make me cringe and others make me angry in retrospective. However, thinking back at selling off my Playstation along with all its games for a measly 10 or 20 quid simply saddens me. I don’t even recall what I did with the money I made, so I’m guessing that I didn’t spend it on anything of interest. It cost me a few games that I’ve never seen since. Gems like Bio F.R.E.A.K.S and the original Twisted Metal game, complete with its fat-ass double disc sized case that was popular for single disc titles at the time, went from being go-to choices for me to becoming ghosts of my past, constantly chasing me and reminding me of their absence from my current life like a bad round of Pac Man.
The more I got, the more I played and ultimately the more I loved video games once again. Tony Hawk and Max Payne lead the charge as I huddled behind a self made fortress, comprised entirely of hard plastic gaming cases. The thing is, it wasn’t my intention to collect games. I just loved playing them. I remember moving my PS2 games around one day to tidy up. I stacked them on top of one another, forming a number of small towers, each one up to my knees. I think that was the moment that I realised that I was, in fact, a video game collector. These piles of games stared back at me and I realised that they were just the tip of the iceberg. I knew full well I wasn’t going to sell them on to make room for more. I also knew that I wasn’t just going to stop playing or acquiring these games. Why? Well, put quite simply, I absolutely loved it! And so, I assumed my title as video game collector, strapped on my Collector Cape and rushed out into the world at large... Only to cower back behind my fortress to avoid another barrage of game based missiles.
Of course, this works both ways. It’s not all sunshine and Hello Kitty Island. There are often crushing defeats involved in my searches too. There have been so many times that I’ve missed rare games by the skin of my teeth due do buses not running on schedule, being just sort of cash or other buyers swooping in before me. There have also been countless times that I made the mistake of thinking I could just come back the following day to make the purchase. Luckily the latter doesn’t happen too often due to my Girlfriendo not allowing it. To say she’s amazing would be an understatement. When it comes to collecting not only has she never had an issue with my having an entire room in our apartment just to facilitate my video games, but she also pushes me towards purchases that I would otherwise walk away from. She knows I’d regret my decision at a later that and refuses to let this come to pass. She acts as both the angel on my right shoulder and the devil on my left, depending on whether or not the game in question is actually good. Either way, the game usually winds up with its own spot on my shelf that evening.
It’s an interesting hobby, and one that I love indulging in. I’ve discovered so many unusual games through simply collecting up ones that I was unfamiliar with. Combine this with the fact that I have friends who collect in a similar manner I’ve suddenly such gems as Urban Chaos: Riot Response, Def Jam: Fight for NY and Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch transcend from games I’d never have even considered otherwise to favourites of mine. It can be a little unusual, as each game purchased never really brings me closer to a full collection. I enjoy so many different styles, genres and franchises that my quest will never truly end. There will always be more to buy, more to play, and more to enjoy. I don’t think there’ll ever come a day when I stand back, look at the collection that I’ve acquired through years and years of gaming and think that I’m finished. No, instead, I’ll probably realise that Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam got a Playstation 2 release, making my Tony Hawk collection incomplete, and dive head first back into that rabbit hole like a grey bunny who hangs out with a certain watermelon wielding piglet.
Rev up your chainsaw and join Spud as he takes a trip down a demon infested memory lane by diving into his personal history with the long running Doom franchise.
Spud discusses the joys and horrors of losing your way as you play through your favourite video games.
Spud discusses just how quickly gaming transformed from being child-friendly to ultra-violent between the 16-Bit and PS1 eras.