Expanding Collection and Fortuitous Timing

I don’t want to bore anybody with an account of my recent financial situation, in part because relating a blog post to a recent event (the recession) dates it much faster than I’d like and in whole because it’s a boring subject about which nobody wants to hear me whine. But fortuitous timing has allowed me to fill out my video game collection with games, good and bad, from the previous console generation without much cost.

While movies are generally my entertainment of choice, I’m actually so nerdy that I can’t settle for just one girl repellent fixation. Video games fit quite nicely with my collections of weird science fiction and fantasy novels, my kung fu movies, and epicuriousness. So when I discovered that I possessed an unused Gamestop gift card, (graduation present from several months ago) I headed straight to their website, to see which Gamestop location had which games that -- should I own them -- I might actually play.

The interesting thing about Gamestop is the price they ask for their used Playstation 2 and Game Boy Advance games. For PS2 games, it has gone lower and lower in the past year, to the point where I can buy a relatively rare game, used, for anywhere from two to ten dollars. GBA games, popular and unusual, can cost anywhere from six dollars (Riviera: The Promised Land) to twenty (Summon Night: Swordcraft Story; I own the sequel). The Final Fantasy ports are even more expensive. I ended up buying Yggdra Union, Mystic Warriors, and Orcs and Elves (a DS port of a cell phone game), all for fewer than twenty dollars. Since I still have store credit left, I plan to head over to a different location and purchase Riviera, King’s Field or Wizardry, and possibly the GBA version of Mazes of Fate. I’ll have gained six or seven games for thirty dollars. It’s an incredibly nice feeling to have picked up a good handful of games because Gamestop would rather have money than excess stock, even if they’re still expecting animu fans to shell out twenty dollars for mediocre GBA games. The economic environment isn’t pleasant or sunny, but at least it offers a chance to round out my collection of Koei crap and Sting developed RPGs.

The mall is a strange place. Gamestop and Barnes and Noble used to be the only stores I would go inside; the theater was the last resort, a place I’d only go to see a movie if there were no other available showings. It doesn’t seem like the sort of place to find a video game specialty shop, but there it is, a "Console Gaming Exchange" store, housing an absurd collection of games for nearly every system released in the United States. If I wanted to, I could have bought an N-Gage. Serious -- an N-Gage. (I could have bought the only English version of Xanadu Next too) I really had to convince myself that I shouldn’t buy Record of Lodoss War for the Dreamcast, which was hard, because it looks quite fun. Now, Record of Lodoss War cost about fifty dollars, and thinking about that, I have to wonder: do nerds even come to buy games here? Games like unusual Dreamcast RPGs and the imported Super Robot Wars games are priced according to collectability, but wouldn’t it be easier to buy them off ebay than to drive to the mall? It might even be cheaper too.

I have no desire to collect games for the sake of collectability, which is the mentality I wrestle with as a collector of movies. I own From Software's PS2 launch games not to say that I own them, but because I actually play them. Eternal Ring actually appeals to me. Maybe if I just wanted to have it for the sake of having it, I'd have bought it from an ebay seller or from the specialty shop with the manual and original packaging. I bought it about eight weeks ago from Gamestop for two dollars in an "artless" case. To be honest, I really wouldn't want to pay any more.

This whole post is quite topical. It'll be obsolete very quickly. Incidentally, I like the title. It sounds Engrish.

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