Is anyone else out there collecting games as an investment?I sat down to do my taxes and I realized that I’m spending a good chunk of money to pay for a storage locker that’s basically filled with games, consoles, and ephemera.
I certainly hope that games become the next comic books, and my beloved copy of Dragon Warrior 3 for NES will some day put my kids through college.
What do ya’ll collect, and what growth markets do you see emerging? What price guides do you use? Where do you find the good stuff?
Don’t have the space or budget to collect games but I imagine in the future there may be a computer games market dedicated to the box art of the old style “huge friggin block” packaging from that wasteful golden age before the industry converted to the mini boxes.
I collect PC games. Sadly, I didn’t start actually collecting till around 96 or so. I’ve lost or given away a bunch of games that were released between 91 and 96. You could say I collect console games too… I just don’t collect that many of 'em.
I used to have a pretty big Commodore 64 collection as well, but alas, it’s gone now.
From here on out, I plan to keep pretty much all of the PC and console games that I buy.
I collect pretty much all sorts of games, computer games, console games, portable games. Not for investment or any higher purpose than that I just love games though. I haven’t traded a game in since I was in college (back when I had no money and needed to get new games) about 14 years ago. I find that even keeping the bad games I buy brings me a sort of warm fuzzy feeling inside. Heck I’d spend 15 bucks to get a game I have little interest in playing just to get that great feeling when I tear open the shrink wrap and flip through the manual.
That’s what I do, too. When we get a bigger house and I can have my own den, I’ve got plans to set many of them up in display cabinets for my own enjoyment. I’ve only traded in a handful of games over the years.
As a warning, don’t store your stuff in your parents or grandparent’s house because you don’t have room for it at your own place. My gran decided, one day, that all the ZX81, ZX Spectrum, plus some of my Atari ST and Amiga games (and about 200 magazines) were sitting there for no reason, and gave them away - for free - to a relative who I don’t even like!
Fortunately for my gran, I was 8,000 miles away when I found out.
I used to have a closet full of PC games that I had immense pride in… I used to be downright obsessive about what was good enough to keep in my collection, and what was just mediocre and had to go. It drove me nuts for years, and then one day I just clicked. I started wanting things like my own house, a boat, a motercycle, things like that. Then I realized collecting games was rather worthless and just ebayed it all :) Got tons of money for my games, especially the Sierra compilations and Ultima games. Nowadays, I’ll buy a PC game, and if its not some super life changing experience, I’ll just ebay it when Im finished with it.
I don’t know if I deliberately think about it as an investment but I do keep games I think of as essential or classics around with their boxes and manuals intact. I even had gotten into the habit of burning patches on cds and sticking them in the box along with any particularly relevant mods and online strategy guides. In some cases, for space, I destroyed some boxes (Close Combat comes to mind) and packed several iterations of the same line into a single box but mostly everything’s not only intact but maintained in a better state and with more documentation than it was originally released with.
And then I never get around to playing them because I’m preoccupied with something new. Still, every so often, I poke around and see what new patches or information has come out for older games that have made the keepers shelves.
But I don’t think so much in terms of selling these games off or even, so much anymore, playing them again any time soon. I just want to maintain 'em and maybe pass them along to someone who’d really appreciate 'em one day - or play them myself when and if I ever manage to retire.
The reason the market fell out in comic books is because the publishers realized they could reprint old issues that people wanted. This made it so older issues became less valuable to anyone but hardcore collectors.
Video games are the same way. If you own Asteroids on the Atari 2600, you can get it on dozens of compilation CD’s for $20 or a lot less. Nobody wants to buy the cartridges, unless you have some Chase the Chuckwagon rarity. And those are usually games that are terrible, that nobody bought, so that makes them rare.
I’m hanging onto a bunch of games out of nostalgia, but keeping them for investment purposes seems absurd. With a few exceptions, gamed depreciate, not appreciate. There are so many better things to do with your money that will get you a better return. Open an I.R.A. for cryin’ out loud.
I’ve been selling stuff --especially console games-- I don’t feel the need to keep on Amazon.com Marketplace to get some kind of value out of it before it becomes just worthless plastic that takes up space.