QOTW: Ever been bitten by the bug?

The games collecting bug, I mean.

It’s something that I thought I never really understood. When I thought of collectors I imagined people buying up sealed copies of things to put on their shelves or — worse — place straight into storage, their only benefit from owning them the self-satisfying knowledge that they owned them.

Radiant Silvergun sealed

This individual is holding a copy of Radiant Silvergun, a game which "isn't even that rare". But this copy is sealed! Never wash that hand again!

I’m sure we’ve all of us, as individuals who are pretty into our videogames, seen the pictures of ‘the largest game collection ever’. If not you should go back and check out the featured image on the main page or just click here. That’s one photo of a few shelves. There is no way in hell, heaven, purgatory, any other plane of existence or liminal state that the owner of this collection has played all of these games. So what’s the point in owning them?

That’s what I thought, anyway. As happens to many of us as we age, at some point my disposable income increased beyond my free time. All of a sudden I could afford to dabble and buy things that I’d otherwise have passed on like a sensible person. Thanks to the sales Steam has been introducing over the past couple of years, I’ve probably acquired a few score games that I bought for a pound or two and have yet to play — some of them I’ve not even downloaded yet.

Shaun's Steam account

SteamCalculator.com doesn't take into account sales or bundles, and counts every title in your library at its highest possible price point, but regardless it produces some horrifying numbers. In reality I've probably spent anywhere up to £500 on there, but that's still a stultifyingly large sum.

A few months back I enjoyed a stint of re-watching the classic Scottish games TV shows Consolevania (independent) and VideoGaiden (same blokes, but on BBC Scotland). At one point Rab, one of the show’s two main players, indulges in a rant about games collectors, before confessing that he’s gone through something like it himself: ordering imports from Japan, playing them for a few minutes and having no idea what’s going on then sticking them on a shelf to be forgotten about. Possessing as I do a keen sense of irony, I followed up my marathon TV session by using some of that aforementioned disposable income to buy up all the games recommended on these shows that I’d always wanted but could never afford at the time: Bujingai, Global Defence Force: Tactics, Michigan: Report From Hell, Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII and so on. Most of these I’ve only played for an hour or so before getting distracted by one of the other unfinished titles on my shelves.

Is this a phase that everyone goes through – or at least, everyone with the money to spend on things they don’t always have the time for? Is it an inevitable process? What’s your worst crime of collection, or do you live free of consumerist sin? Are you one of those people who trades in everything and saves nothing? And most importantly, will I ever play all of these games? Because Glod only knows I want to.

Tell us your stories, readers.