Special thanks to Chris Finley for coming up with the title of my article :^)
When most people think of collecting video games, they think of the ideal collection as being a complete library of games for a specific system. Doing this normally takes years of raiding flea markets, frequenting EBay, and spending loads of cash to get the Holy Grail of a near complete collection. This seems like a daunting and expensive hobby for most average gamers, but it doesn’t have to go that route.
You can create a collection like no other; it needs a basic theme amongst every essential piece. The theme can range from having all US releases of your favorite series to just collecting odd memorabilia. Just remember — it’s all about reflecting your personal gaming interests.
The first step in finding what collection choice is right for you is to look at your gaming habits, tastes, and purchasing habits. Finding a common thread among these categories will aid your collection of choice. For example: if you find yourself spending loads of money on the latest DDR machine, enjoy music games, and love to have a hands-on feel with your games, you should think about collecting DDR and other music gaming related software, hardware, and various promotional items. I recently have started looking into accumulating the whole Guilty Gear series due to my recent fondness of 2D fighting games and my infatuation with the series itself (I’m not obsessive, I swear!).
The second step is to research. It sounds lame, but it works; it can help you fine-tune your goal by knowing what to look for. From my personal experience, www.digitpress.com and www.gamefaqs.com work well for most of this information. If all else fails, try Google or your favorite search engine. Simple, ain’t it?
After gathering all your facts, it is time for the fabled hunt. There’s no specific way to hunt; and depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll be searching in various places for the integral parts of your collection. If your collection is aimed toward older games, or just in need of some relics of the past, yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores will be your friends, on a good day anyway. Sometimes just rummaging through the used games bin in your local game store is all you need. For everything else, you should try visiting gaming conventions and searching online. EBay and the friendly folks at www.digitpress.com will easily become your savior. As for import items, www.lik-sang.com is your best bet for starters.
For now, start small and see how you like it. Remember that it’s not just about having the best games — collecting is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. All you have to do now is get off your lazy ass and do it.