Many years ago, I had a fairly regular routine of selling the games I was finished with in order to fund the purchase of the new games I wanted. It was a pretty efficient process. I could usually sell my games for about half of what I paid for them, which then funded half of the next game, and the cycle continued. But then I met Travis, and witnessed his glorious game collection, and everything changed.
eeing all of Travis's games awoke the nostalgia in me, and I suddenly regretted having sold away all the great games and consoles I had once owned. Like Resident Evil and Tombraider on PS1, Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil Remake, and Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube, Def Jam: Fight for New York on Xbox, and more recent stuff like Condemned and Burnout Revenge on Xbox 360. I imagined how I too, would have a pretty decent collection of great games if only I had held onto them.
Travis's collecting habits started to infect me. I found myself regularly visiting thrift stores, and yard sales looking to reclaim some of my gaming past. Maybe find a gem that the owner didn't know the true value of. I managed to get several consoles and games, but found most of the games I had loved were now really expensive (relatively speaking), which made me regret getting rid of them even more.
After a while I had managed to get my hands on a SNES, Genesis, N64, PS1, Gamecube, Xbox, PS2, and a handful of games for each (except the N64). I even managed to get my hands on a pretty rare game that Travis didn't even own for dirt cheap. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist for Genesis which goes for about $50 loose. The pleasure of the occasional good find is very addictive. It motivates you to keep searching, even when 99% of the stuff you find are NASCAR games for the PS2. Admittedly, I don't often play these old consoles, but there's something satisfying about having the original Resident Evil on my shelf.
Fast forward to my birthday last year. Travis built me my own Retro Pie, which, if you're not familiar, is a Raspberry Pie computer with tons of emulated games from the Atari 2600, NES, SNES, 3 types of Gameboys, Genesis, Sega CD.. pretty much everything pre-PS1 era. Suddenly I had access to a huge library of retro games from a tiny little box that uses wireless Xbox 360 controllers. This is way more convenient than hooking up 8 different consoles, and stacking a shelf full of cartridges and wired controllers. My collector fever was taken down a notch. Perhaps this was Travis's plan all along. To remove me as competition?
In any case, let's now jump forward to January 2016. Oculus opens pre-orders for the consumer Rift, and HTC announces that pre-orders for the Vive will open in February. I've been geeking out about VR since the first developer version of the Rift. I even managed to get my hands on a Rift DK2 for several months thanks to my generous friend Tim who loaned it to me. I played just about anything that my computer could handle, and I loved it. While I didn't have the money to spend on a development kit, I always knew I'd be first in line when the consumer version launched.
Had I been smart, I would have saved up a little money here and there over the years it has taken VR to come to market, but saving money takes will power, and going out for lunch is my weakness. So here I am in need of $1500 to buy a headset and a new computer that can properly run it. I plan to use my tax refund money to pay for the computer, but I still need roughly $600 for the headset itself. So I've been looking around my house for what I can sell, and I have been reluctantly eyeing my game collection.
There's been an internal battle going on in my head for several weeks. Right now, the VR side is winning. I tell myself that I don't really need many of these old consoles since I have the Retro Pie, and besides, I'll never have a collection as impressive as Travis's. I just don't have the time or money to devote to it. But it's still hard to let go. So far, the only system I've decided to sell is my Genesis, but several others are on the chopping block. With the Xbox One now supporting backwards compatibility for many games, I've even considered selling my 360.
However, parting with even my small collection is proving difficult. On one hand, it's not something I really use every day, or even every week. On the other hand, there's an emotional attachment to these little hunks of plastic that brought me joy years ago, and just owning it feels right. Alas, I think my utter excitement about VR and how it's going to change gaming forever is going to win the battle. I'm thinking it's time to let go of those things that brought me joy as a kid, and embrace the thing that will make me feel like a kid again...
...But maybe I'll hang onto my copy of Resident Evil... and maybe these Super Star Wars games... and maybe...
You can find me online @HokieBriz