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So many games, So little time: The Road to 2500 Video Games - Destructoid

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My name is Eric and I am a 31 year old video game collector. I have been playing games since I was 4 years old starting with Atari and have gotten all of the main stream systems from then until now throughout the years. I currently have over 2600+ games in my collection spanning over 20+ systems from Atari to Wii U. I am a big collector of video game related things in general such as t-shirts, some figures, posters and other such stuff.

I was a former Game Crazy (former video game store; attached to Hollywood video) employee for 5 years before the company went bankrupt in June of 2010.

I enjoy video game music, be it original scores, symphony, chiptune, remixes, or whatever else. I also listen to metal/hard rock. I am currently listening to bands like Poets of the Fall, Skillet, and Mudvayne. My all time favorite band is Soundgarden, and my all time favorite artist is Chris Cornell.

I am also a wicked sci-fi nerd, primarily Star Trek. I also love Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Sliders, etc..etc..
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Have you ever had a huge backlog of games that you've been meaning to play? You go to work and day dream about just what game you will play and how far you'll get, only to realize time is not on your side? Take right now for instance. I sit here, after working 9+ hours, full of free time to play games, but what am I doing? Writing this very blog. Now while some may say this is counterproductive on the game playing front, I like to think of this blog as the beginning. Here is my lovely tale of gaming from the beginning to current events, as well as a rundown of my gaming collection by the numbers (not an actual list of my games, just how many on what system).


Me and my gaming setup/shelves


The Road to 2500 games has been a long and arduous journey. It started with my 4 year old self being given his father's Atari and immediately getting hooked on games like Dig Dug and Kaboom. The first video game I ever played, however, was a little game called Kangaroo. Then I received the first console that was ever officially purchased for me and me alone... The Nintendo Entertainment System. I would play Mario and Duck Hunt all day long. My dad even played and showed off shooting all the ducks with his back to the TV while only using the NES Zapper and a small mirror. My dad used to rent me tons of games as a kid since they didn't have money to buy me tons of games but renting was the best! I would get 1-2 games a week and burn through them like crazy. Sometimes I picked them and other times he would pick them on his way home from work.

So many memories with my NES. I can remember the game my friend and I were playing when his first cat died and it was Kickle Cubicle. My friend and I used to watch his dad play Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda II and Faxanadu all while learning how to figure out our first endeavor into any kind of games with RPG elements. In my friends case, he always got the new Nintendo systems all because his dad wanted to play Zelda games. haha But one would assume I've had tons of games all my life, which isn't the case. I actually only owned about 16 NES games during their actual years of production, the bulk of my games came much later since I rented a lot more as a kid than actually bought/received games. I also didn't get a Sega Master System until mid 2012 so no fond memories of that system, but at least I do own one now! Somewhere amongst this madness I got a Gameboy and loved it. I also once left my gameboy in my pool bag in the trunk of my moms car (we used to goto a pool club when I was a kid for fun summer swimming times) and the screen got all black and burned out. Luckily, my mom had bought me another Gameboy the following Christmas but hid it because she forget she bought me one, and so then I was all set!

Then came the 16 bit generation! Sega Genesis and SNES battled it out for supremacy of the gaming world! I initially rented consoles at this point as a kid and within the first year of its existence I rented the Sega Genesis about 2-3 times and I got one for Christmas the following year in 1991. Then Christmas of 1992 I was blessed with an SNES along with the packed in Super Mario world and Spiderman/X-men in Arcade's Revenge. I can remember waking up early, opening it up, and hooking up the console myself just to play them on christmas morning. I had also rented the SNES numerous times before getting it and i still remember my first SNES game due to renting the consoles/games, Joe and Mac. I even played in the Blockbuster Video Game championships for 2 years in a row, and was in the lead during the year they had Donkey Kong Country in the tournament. But the 3rd and final day I lost by 100 bananas and was mad cuz my dad told me it was cumulative from all 3 days (which i wouldve won) but it was just by the top score and I lost. The other year was some random games, i forget which ones, but didn't do well there. Somewhere in this gen I got a Sega Game Gear. it was fun but ate through 6 AA batteries every 3 hours. But they made a charger pack and all was good. I also got a Sega CD, only for Night Trap and Willy Beamish... and Night Trap got pulled from shelves 2 months before I got a Sega CD. Sure I got one years later, but it crushed me as a kid and the only real game I played, and still play, is Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side.


One of my dirty old Atari's and some of my handhelds


Next is the amazing PS1 and N64 era! I leave out Sega Saturn namely because I didn't get one of those until maybe 3 or 4 years ago. PS1 and N64 were both amazing consoles, which I am sure you all know. This was the generation where my parents said they wouldn't buy me any more video game consoles unless I saved my money, little did I know this was a trick to see if I could save money, and I sure did. Think of it, what 13 year old kid can save any money? Well I showed them and I saved any money I received. So the N64 came out and I was still saving and running to Blockbuster Video to play their stand up unit that Reset every 15 minutes or so but I didn't care. Then it was November and I was ready to go buy it after school with my mom. I had enough money for the system and a game. Then my dad comes home...and what does he bring me, an N64! Remember that infamous video of N64 kid? No that wasn't me but I was pretty excited nonetheless. They were proud that I had saved my money and could tell I really wanted it so I was able to spend my money on another controller and some more games, what a great memory that is and always will be.

PS1 wasn't as exciting of a story, it was more of a "ask for it for Christmas, get it, love it" kind of thing. By this point my parents knew I would always love games and so decided to lift the "no more consoles" embargo. However, my parents fooled me big time that year. Resident Evil had been out for a while and my friends had it, so of course I needed it. So I wake up christmas morning 1997, got some stuff, but no PS1. They told me maybe another time I could get one. So we went to my Aunt's for Christmas and BAM PS1 city! They even got me my first 2 PS1 games, Twisted Metal 2 and Resident Evil! I couldn't play Resident Evil because my younger cousins were around, but I could play Twisted Metal oddly enough, probably because the gore isnt as real, and I didnt play it long there anyway so it wasn't a big deal.

Then by this point I am older. Dreamcast came out, I wanted one, got it for Xmas in 1999, loved it. My friend bought one too (not the same friend from earlier) namely because it could play burned games and he was all about that, so he went from having an NES and never getting another system until Dreamcast and then getting and eventually modding his Xbox after the warranty ran out. lol But my first 2 Dreamcast games were NFL 2k and NBA 2k because they came with the system in a bundle. I never liked sports games, (i still don't and don't really like sports altogether) but NFL 2k was fun as hell and I loved the series until its demise with NFL 2k5 and I suck at Madden and just hate how it plays so I never got into sports games anymore.


Spliced image of my 2 major game shelves and my strategy guide rack in the middle


Then the infamous PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation. I, unlike most people, got a PS2 last. I got Xbox first because I was sure it was the best one after reading magazine and checking online sites and I was hooked. To this day I still say Xbox and Xbox 360 are my favorite consoles of the last 2 generations. Then I bought a Gamecube ONLY because Resident Evil had to go and be remade on it and I also wanted Super Smash Bros Melee. I also only bought a PS2 later in its life (last big model PS2 but right before the slims were made) and that was only because I am a huge WWE fan and I wanted the Smackdown series. Flash forward to today and I own more PS2 games than any other console in my collection. Sure that's because PS2 games dropped to dirt cheap at the game store I worked at, but still I love it nonetheless.

Here we are, Current gen. Even though it's now almost over, My time with the Xbox 360/PS3/Wii has still been fun. Sure not as many fond memories, but still great games. As always I started with Xbox 360, not just because it was out first, but I loved the Xbox and so this made sense. I got a Wii at launch just because we had an extra console at my work and I got it cuz I new it'd be hard to find later. PS3 I didn't get until the Slim models came out and even then I only got it because God of War 3 was coming out. I literally haven't played my PS3 in over a year, it's my blu-ray player/Netflix/Hulu Plus machine. I only have it for those reasons and for system exclusives, of which I am not really into many of them apparently. If its multi-platform I always go Xbox 360. The Wii is always a fun system and it got my girlfriend more into gaming so that's always a plus.


Gaming area with most of my consoles. Replace Wii with Wii U, add in a Turbo Grafx 16 and you get the idea.


Many of my systems I received during my days at Game Crazy. Some I got for $10-15 at the store from customers (since after a while we couldnt take more old games in so we could then make offers). Systems like Saturn, virtual boy and 32x. While I had rented them, I never bought them til 4-7 years ago. But it was those 5 years (2005-2010) that I ludicrously blew up my collection by 2000+ of my now 2500+ games. During the all of the consoles actual life spans (not including current gen) I probably only owned 10-15 games. Fun fact: The first system I owned over 30 games for while they still produced games for the console: Gameboy.

So what's in store for this generation? The Wii U is cool, I have one, but I'm not quite in love with it yet. The 3DS is fun but still JUST as fun as the DS was as I am not all "Wowzers 3D sure is nifty wifty!" So we'll see what's to come for the next 10 years of gaming.


Just playin' me some Wario Land on the old Virtual Boy!


So here's what people come to see: The Collection. My collection just this week has hit an astonishing 2504 games... Ponder on that one for a minute... 2504 games... yowza.

Here's a rundown of the sickness:

GAMES
NES - 250
SNES - 166
N64 - 150
Gamecube - 89
Wii - 74
Wii U - 2
Gameboy/Gameboy Color - 172
Gameboy Advance - 101
Virtual Boy - 5
Nintendo DS - 125
Nintendo 3DS - 14

Sega Master System - 9
Sega Genesis - 179
Sega CD - 52
Sega 32x - 7
Sega Saturn - 16
Sega Dreamcast - 71
Sega Game Gear - 23

PS1 - 202
PS2 - 280 (highest amount in my collection)
PS3 - 30
PSP - 102

Xbox - 171
Xbox 360 - 187

Atari 2600 - 16
Atari Jaguar - 5
Turbo Grafx 16 - 4
N-Gage - 2 (I have 2 games but no actual N-Gage system...yet)

= 2504 games...yipes

Consoles
NES - 3 (1 top loader, 2 front loader)
SNES (original)
N64 (original)
Gamecube (Indigo)
Wii (launch)
Wii U
Gameboy - 2 (1 classic, 1 pocket; oddly enough I don't own an actual Gameboy Color...yet)
Gameboy Advance SP (NES Classic design; I don't own an original GBA or a GBA Micro...yet)
Virtual Boy
Nintendo DS - 3 (Mario Kart original DS, Black DS Lite, Legend of Zelda DS lite)
Nintendo 3DS

Sega Master System
Sega Genesis (ver.1)
Sega CD (ver. 2)
Sega 32x
Sega Saturn
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Game Gear

PS1 - 2 (original PSX and the smaller PSone w/ attachable monitor)
PS2 (original)
PS3 (slim)
PSP (silver slim model)

Xbox
Xbox 360 - 2 (one old white pre-HDMI slot model and one Halo 3 special edition model)

Atari - 3 (2 Atari 2600s, 1 Atari 2600 jr.)
Atari Jaguar
Turbo Grafx 16

So that's a nice little rundown of what my collection consists of these days. I also have 250 Strategy guides and about 20 or so Art Books. I also have posters, pre-order gifts, many special editions of games, and other such video game related items. I even own a 2-3 ft Master Chief statue that we had at Game Crazy and I was allowed to take it! On top of all this I also own over 60+ Star Trek Original Series novels, tons of comics/graphic novels as well as a nice collection of video game based novels.


Some of my Video game Novels, handful more bought afterwards


But what is to become of my beloved hobby in the future? Mom and pop stores have caught on to the internet and now sell their games for the outlandish online prices, Gamestop is still overpriced for most of their games and have almost eliminated any games from the PS2/GC/Xbox era and earlier, and as i get older my money becomes more and more needed and less usable for things such as this hobby/addiction. But above all else, as I get older, time moves faster and I am more conscious of it.

I love the thought of being able to never run out of games to play, or to just be able to play whatever I want whenever I want. Yes I am aware of virtual consoles and digital downloads (and believe me I dread the console generation after this coming one because the rumors are it will all be digital). I just can't do digital downloads and the only ones I own are those that are ONLY digital such as Super Meat Boy or older but now have online play like Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.

I also own about 10-15 PC games, but I am not a PC gamer and havent really ever been. Sure I played DOOM and Worms World Party when I was younger but PC gaming never stuck. I always preferred console gaming, initially because PC controllers were terrible back in the day and I hate using a keyboard and mouse for gaming. I'm way better at FPS games with a controller than a mouse and keyboard. But because I am a console game collector and not a PC game player or collector, they simply do not count to me as part of my collection. But if other people count PC games and digital download games in their collections, well then I hit 2500 games months ago.

As you can see from my cover photo, thats my collection. That is, back when it was only at 2300 about 1 or 2 years ago. The shelves have slightly changed but the insanity still remains. Thanks to Destructoid I have talked to others who have huge game collections and it's cool to know I am not alone in this at all. So I hope you all enjoyed this (those of you who bothered to read before or after my list of games/consoles lol) and feel free to ask me questions and/or comment! I leave you with this:


Kangaroo, Baby!
Photo Photo Photo



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