Monday, March 10, 2008

Marking the Games

Previously, I have written about how I select games from my library and the methodical devices I use to keep myself current as well as fulfilled in the video gaming experience. Today I want to share the particularly ritualistic physical things I do with them when they initially arrive home after purchase. There is nothing remotely sexual here, sorry to disappoint!

I like to buy my video game software locally. I hate ordering online because I don't see the point of waiting for the games to arrive. I only order games online when I get busy with other things in life or when the games are not high on my priority list. Online purchase is also prone to box scarring that I hate. I always ask for a reimbursement when that happens. In the store, I could look at the game case closely and make sure that everything is immaculate. This observation process is unfortunately not perfect and is a continuing work in progress because every so often, I will notice a tiny dent or scrunch on a small area of the case that I apparently missed until post purchase. In regards to pre-ordering, I have only done that two or three times at Gamestop. I will never be doing it again because I don't like being limited to go to one place to get a product when it comes out.

Firstly, as I unwrap the plastic seals of the games, I would save any special stickers outside and stick them inside the video game cases. This is especcially common for the X-Box 360/PC games and their "Certificate of Authenticity" tags. The PlayStation games used to have them as well until they just stop doing that all of a sudden. It was more difficult to find a spot to re-stick these things inside the CD cases of the original PlayStation. For Japanese imports, saving the "Spine Cards" is extremely important because they are as meticulously decorated as the rest of the software's physical presentations.

The perfect place to re-stick the tab is right behind the manual holder.

Next, I would sign and date the instruction manual. This is something I wish I never stop doing all this time. For an extended period of time in 2006, I stopped because I felt that doing so would taint the whole pristine nature of the manual. I changed my mind quickly later that year after the hard drive on my computer corrupted and I lost precious video game purchase data because of it. Nowadays, I see this action as more of a connection between myself and my video games... A sort of a sacred binding between the owner and his beloved collection. Scribing a little bit of ink on the manual made perfect sense as I do not fear anal collectors wanting everything in perfect condition if I were to sell these games since I do not have plans to part from them.

Last page on the bottom right is the normalcy.

I also get into the habit of properly orienting the games in disc format as they are placed back into the case. They have to be "upright" whenever they are not used. All of my games are stored alphabetically, which can be a real pain when you have a big collection like mine because you would then have to basically move a lot of games onto the next rows of shelves. This is particularly nightmarish whenever I buy a PlayStation 2 game because they extend beyond just one DVD cabinet.

Rotated to its rightful position.


After all these are done, I would then log the new entries into an Excel spreadsheet I have on my computer. It automatically tracks the overall number of games I have and I separated the consoles by their own individual tabs. It was created in late 2006 and while I have been disciplined when it comes to new games, around 20% of my older games are still left undocumented. Previously, I used one Word Document per game, complete with the game's box art - just imagine how inefficient that memory hog method was. The Excel sheet retains its small size and its back up data is very easy to manage.

PENDING means I need to play that game to completion.

All of the above does feel a little like work to be honest with you. Still, it is an evolving routine I have enjoyed ever since its conception which was around 2000. It was then that I became more self-aware of this hobby and I felt the need to be organized in living with such a fun obsession. This website is of course an extension to my ever growing involvement as an avid gamer - a form of self expression to acknowledge the need to justify and celebrate the beauty of the video gaming phenomenon. I hope you see how much I care about my collection as I treated them with the utmost care and tenderness unlike some gaming website personalities I have seen out there.

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