Facebook Files: Gaming vs. Collecting



Welcome to Facebook Files #3! Here’s a rundown of how it works: Every week, we look through our Facebook group for interesting community discussions. The ones that stand out will be published on Siliconera as part of this feature every weekend. Oh, and if your topic isn’t chosen one week, don’t lose heart…it might get picked up the next.


Anton (Somato on the site) started up an interesting discussion on gaming vs. collecting early in the week, and it really caught on. There are a ton of collectors on Siliconera, and despite claiming to not have enough money for all the games we want, a lot of us are still guilty of buying stuff that never even gets taken out of the box.


Anton wrote:

For many years I have been buying games to play, but also to collect. There are games in my collection that I have not opened, and some games that I don’t plan on opening. For certain titles, I have even bought two copies: One to play, one to display.


Recently, it seems like most of the games I buy are specifically for collectors purposes. This may also be due to the fact that I don’t have as much time to dedicate to actually playing games.


Recently, friends of mine were looking at my collection and were commenting on all of the unopened games I owned. I explained that some of them I may open if I get around to playing them, but others would likely remain sealed as they were parts of my collection. Most of them didn’t understand my hobby and said that it was a "shame" that the games would never be played.


So, what do you think? Am I a disgraceful gamer buying only for collecting purposes? Do you also collect? Any items you’re proud to own?


The response — as expected of a community of proud, nerdy Siliconerites — was pretty strong, and there were opinions from both sides of the fence. A few readers pointed out that, especially with games, buying simply for the sake of collecting isn’t always intentional. Sometimes, there’s so much to play, you just don’t get around to ever opening the games lower on your priority list, even if you initially intended to.


Jeremy wrote:

I’ve noticed when I buy games for the sake of having them I don’t end up playing them or other ones either. Cool to have a collection, but I constantly have to remind myself the idea is to "play" them not just have them.


Mattias wrote:

This is currently a big issue for me. I’m a decent collector (not that sealed game business though) and at the moment I just have WAY too many games to get around to playing. This is sometimes so overwhelming that I end up not playing anything, making the piles of games in my shelf pile up even more since I continue to buy… I’m definitely in the same position as Jeremy.


I guess in my mind I hope I can retire early and just sit around playing all games I didn’t get around to playing now.


My collection: https://anosou.com/games/



Nice collection, Mattias! Naturally, there were also opinions from the crowd that felt value for money was far more important than maintaining a pristine collection. And for a lot of us who simply can’t afford to pay $60 for every new game we like, the used market — or even waiting for a price drop — is usually a lucrative option. After all, even buying something for cheaper counts toward your overall collection


Fabio wrote:

As for myself, I like accumulating games more than collecting them. A collector will want his new, sealed, untouched copy to have on display. Me, I’m fine enough with used games, sometimes even if their condition ain’t that good. You can only see their side when they are on the shelf anyway.


On the other hand, this allows me to have far more games, because rather than spending $60 on a new game, I can just spend $60 on four used ones. I filled about 5 shelves this way. But selling/exchanging them ain’t an option. Even if it’s not that good, it’s still my collection.


Also, since most are already used, I have no reason not to play them. Of my 400+ games, I have played almost everything, except maybe a couple – and even then, I still at least tried them to make sure they worked. At least I don’t have to buy two copies if i want to play them



Nowadays, if I buy a game, I am going to play it until I’m bored with it as with Logan mentioned, you never really know if $60 is going to be it’s value for long. And with the collectors editions of many current generation games, it’s almost a waste of money to get them and watch their values plummet over the next few weeks.

Of course, Anton wasn’t alone in his quest for being an obsessive collector. Far from it. Here are links to a few more of our readers’ collections:


Fabio’s collection


Adam’s collection (note the multiple N64s and four copies of Chrono Trigger)


So, what’s the verdict on the site side of things? What are your collections like? Do you play every game you buy? Do you buy multiple copies of stuff so you have a sealed version to show off and an unsealed one to play? Do you buy every limited edition you possibly can?


Also, for those interested, there are probably going to be collection pictures going up on the Facebook group from all of these guys, so feel free to show off your own if you like! The full discussion is viewable here.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.