I recently stumbled upon some dusty old files containing shopping lists from more than ten years ago. Lists of games that I thought about ordering, games that I did order and games I picked up at one convention or another.
I already knew that I was a game hoarder, perhaps (hopefully) a recovering hoarder. But looking at this jumble of lists, electronic but still reminding me of old yellow legal pads with curling pages, makes me look at games that I can’t even remember.
It’s one thing to have bought games that end up never played, the shelf of shame that has passed into both common language and myth. Yet, I found myself looking at game after game that I couldn’t even remember buying.
Who was this person that combed through shelves at conventions and electronic catalogs, gobbling up random games like gum drops, ignoring the chance that some of them might be licorice? This person who was me seem foreign, lost in a fog.
Acquisition as a hobby in and of itself is an ancient affliction. Pyramids packed full of stuff for the afterlife must have similar roots, if dramatically more impressive results. But it seems to serve little purpose other than to use up time and money and space.
Wanting to play lots of different games? Eminently reasonable, even noble. Filling up shelves with games that I have no longer heard of? Not so reasonable. Not quite sad but not a good idea.
Ten years ago, I began heavily purging my game collection. Some games were sold and others were given away and some were delicately tucked away into Goodwill bins. (Have no worries or fear. My closet still has plenty of games) These mystery games? They have long ago vanished. Like Bigfoot, leaving no trace of their existence.
I love being a gamer. The games change but I still love it. Being a mindless hoarder, less so. (Don’t ask about all the PnP PDFs I have filed away)