To sell or not to sell? What does one do with more than twenty Game Boy systems? I’ve been wrestling with this question for a couple of months. While I’m fine with letting my game collection gather dust, I feel that it would be a good idea to sell this stuff and get a new gaming PC. There’s so much magic coming and I want to get in on it. My gaming regimen is becoming something of a relic these days. As far as the eighth generation goes, I’m only rocking a Wii U. PS4 and XBone just aren’t doing it for me. Unfortunately, getting a solid gaming rig will cost more than I can afford without parting with a few things.
I just can’t do it! I can’t justify selling my things. It hurts my brain to think of doing so. But why? What is it about collecting these things that I enjoy? I browse garage sells, flea markets, and second hand stores looking for some sort of game related tech and when I spot a good deal, I take it. I enjoy the hunt even if I don’t find anything. When I do find something I get a sort of high from it. I revel in it. I take it home, clean it up, and put it on display in my game room. I look at it. I play it for a few minutes. Then the high subsides and I’m back on the hunt.
Digging around on the internet has shown me that the psychology of collecting is… complicated. The reasons we collect things are so varied. We do it to showcase power and wealth. We do it because we are nostalgic. We do it to cope with anxiety. We do it to profit. We even do it to feel more connected to the subject matter; Collecting Paris Hilton’s chewed gum, for example. Some go to extremes (hoarders), to fill some void in their lives. These are all well and good, but I want to know why I, specifically, am a collector.
Enter M. Farouk Radwan (http://www.2knowmyself.com/about). He says, “Because life is uncertain and can easily make a person feel helpless, some people use their collections to create a private comfort zone that they can control.” Oh. My. Gob. Is this why I have a game room? Is it my private comfort zone? I am in control over it after all. He continues, “Some people collect stuff in order to create a bank of good memories that they can get back to whenever things go wrong. If their lives became bitter those people can get instant mood boosts by going back to their collections and recalling the good memories.” When I’m in my game room, I feel like I’m being recharged. I don’t need to be playing anything. Just sitting in there make me feel better. I’m surrounded by my collection and I can breathe a sigh of relief.
So is this my answer? Am I collecting to, as he puts it, “reduce anxiety and help those people cope with the uncertainty of the real world.” Being the head of a single income family of four, I can assure you, I have anxieties. Money is forever an issue. There are good months and bad ones. Keeping the kids happy and healthy is always a major concern. The various circumstances that take money out of my paycheck are no good at all. The idea that I can lose my job while we live in a city with no real family or friends around is stressful to say the least.
In a post I wrote a month and half ago, I explained that I’m a gamer because I love the escapism of it all. It lifts my spirits the same as the collection does. Unfortunately, Radwan explains “No matter how better you feel after revisiting your collection your current life will force you back into the bad mood.” Another statement I agree with. This guy is dropping pearls of wisdom as if he works at Confucius’ Oyster Farm.
Well. It seems I have some sort of anxiety problem. It’s amazing how the brain works. What to do now? Radwan says “The only way to fix things permanently is to fight for a better future instead of leaning on a good past to feel better.” So I should part with my collection and work toward a better future in gaming? Letting go of the past isn’t easy. I love my collection, but maybe that’s only because I’ve conditioned myself to love it. Two years ago, I had a small shelf with some games on it. I was fine then. Now, I have a room full of game related things. How do I just abandon that? It’s funny how understanding doesn’t always help us make a decision.
I feel like I’ll still be struggling with this for some time to come… At least I still have my game room to sit in. For now.
Reference: http://www.2knowmyself.com/Why_do_people_collect_things (Screw you APA! This is my blog!)