The world we live in is made of fast Internet connections, omnipresent DRM mechanisms and digital game distribution; and this is an undeniable truth. It is also virtually impossible to name an industry more impacted and re-shaped by the current state of things than the video game industry. Since publishers realized what a great solution digital delivery platforms are they have been exploiting the distribution channel for all its worth. It’s really no surprise when platforms like Steam and PSN have really helped gaming companies cut costs and shorten the production process, which quite often helps prevent a release from being late.
We – the players – also benefit from being part of the DD (Digital Delivery) universe. We can buy and download games without leaving our apartment. Not to mention that Steam sales kick major ass and offer nice discounts on pretty fresh titles that we wouldn’t get walking into a traditional video game store. But for players like myself, who grew up in the boxed game releases years, digital distribution has one gigantic flaw. I can no longer put a nice looking, big carton box on my game-dedicated shelf, step away from the bookcase, take a deep breath and say, “Welcome to your new home. Enjoy your stay.”
For me, buying games is not simply about expanding my collection on Steam, it’s all about having a boxed version of that special game on the shelf. I am pretty sentimental about games that turned out to be something special for me. That’s why I started buying older games on internet auctions and from my friends who were getting rid of their collections.
Back in the day, when – for example – Baldur’s Gate was released, I was at college. Most of the games I played at that time were borrowed from friends (we were swapping titles between 4-5 guys). When I turned 18 and got a real job, I was finally able to buy more games for myself. In 2007, I decided to complete my “teenage years” game collection. Games that were not only good, but that had taught me something new, sucked me in and gave me something to think, talk and dream about. So I started following Internet auctions, choosing the most attractive deals and was finally able to hunt down some of the premiere editions of titles I so desperately wanted to have on my shelf.
It’s the premiere and limited editions – after all – that are the real deal in the collector’s world. It doesn’t matter if it’s CDs, vinyl, comic books or video games. It’s even better if an edition was strictly limited to a really low number of copies, turning such titles into “holy grails” in the game collecting world (not to mention the prices those games often fetch!).
Collecting boxed editions of my favourite PC titles has been a hobby of mine for quite some time now. In over 3 three years, I’ve ended up with over 300 boxed titles (PC only), which has pretty much used up all my free shelf space. Throw having a small baby into the mix and you’ll begine to understand why I was gently pushed (by my baby daughter and her ever-multiplying toys) towards getting rid of most of the titles and making some really tough choices about which titles I wanted to keep. In the end, my classic games collection was reduced to a mere 80 boxes. But I have left myself some of the best games I have ever played on PC. Games that introduced me to new genres, allowed me to totally immerse myself in their brilliant universes and be part of epic stories. You can find them in the pictures.
If you share our passion for video games, give us a shout in the comments. Let us and other readers know about your game collection and post a picture of your game library. Spread the love for video games! After all, we are gamers. Not because we don’t have a life, but because we choose to have many.