Getting Rid of Old Video Games
I have a hard time saying goodbye to old video games. It always takes me a long time to finally get rid of an outdated game or system. I kept my Nintendo 64 until just a few weeks before the Wii released, and yet I probably only used the N64 once a year. Even then, I’d play one game, say, “Wow, this really hasn’t stood the test of time,” and switch over to the Gamecube.
There’s always that chance you’ll get the hankering to play GoldenEye 007 or the original Super Smash Bros. again, and it’s that voice that causes me to hang onto these games for so long, completely ignoring the fact that they’ve been done better since then. Honestly, though, I can’t kid myself into believing Super Smash Bros. Brawl is somehow inferior. The limitations of the N64 make that a pretty hard case to defend.
I know many gamers pride themselves on still owning every Nintendo console ever made, but my reasonable side keeps telling me there’s no need to hold onto things I’m not going to use. I might as well sell them now while they’re worth something, while some other sucker hasn’t yet taken off his/her rose-colored, 64-bit glasses. Eventually, my reasonable side wins.
Granted, I do like going back and playing an NES or SNES game from time to time, particularly if it’s a multiplayer game that I can enjoy with someone else who’s also familiar with how great these games used to be. Nostalgia is worth a lot… but not enough for me to clutter my little gaming corner with systems that will only get turned on once or twice a year.
The real issue, though, isn’t the space and money these old games take up but the time. For better or worse, I just don’t have enough free time to spend on reliving all of my favorite memories of past generations. Hell, I hardly have time to relive my favorite memories of this generation! I’m a busy guy, but new (and cool) games are constantly coming out, and nobody wants their gamer cred to fall behind.
Because I feel so pressed for time (in my normal life as well as my gaming life), I will sell a game as soon as I beat it. Unless I absolutely loved it or it has some kind of multiplayer mode that could potentially extend its replay value, it’s gone. With the games I like, though, I still run into the same problem of never actually playing them again. They just sit on my shelf for years.
As for the games that weren’t so lucky, I even have my regrets there. Should I have really sold that game? What if I have a bad day and suddenly want to play it again? What if I forget I played it at all? Then my time with it would have been wasted! Er… as if it wasn’t wasted already, right?
That’s one nice thing about achievements on the Xbox. They keep a record of all the games I’ve played. Sometimes (and I’m pretty sure this is perfectly normal behavior), I’ll scroll through my list of achievements, noting the different games in there, and mentally check them off, “Yep, that was a good game. Nope, terrible game. Yep, good game.”
All I really want is the memory of the game. Everyone knows that if you try to play an old game again, it’s not going to be the same. The graphics are going to suck. The controls are going to suck. It’s going to be a lot harder and more frustrating than you remember. In many cases, it’s probably better if you just don’t touch it. But every game I’ve played reminds me of what my life was like at the time, who my friends were, what I was going through, what the game made me feel, and that’s something that is worth keeping.