Some advice for everyone that amasses huge collections then realizes they never actually play anything or care about half the stuff - just use emulators and only physically buy games you really want! hehhehe
After reading byuu's comments on emulator inaccuracies years back (that he later combined to form his popular SFC emulation article) and after experiencing firsthand that no emulation was a flawless substitute to the real deal for the game I compete in (Super Street Fighter II Turbo), I've no longer been able to tolerate emulation imperfections. I suppose it's my desire to experience a game as accurately to the released artistic vision as possible. For example, even if Disney created a replica Walt Disney World resort somewhere else with all the same attractions in the same setup, the atmosphere still wouldn't feel the same.
Emulation was an amazing gateway to games I had only dreamed of playing one day, but I feel dirty now not playing the games as the developers intended. With the means to get whatever game I'm really interested in playing, I avoid emulation whenever possible. I don't mind others skirting real hardware though; each person can set his own bar. However, there are 3 groups of people that I'm not a fan of when it comes to game piracy: ignorant folks who bash games for problems due to emulation errors or anti-piracy measures that they're not aware of, people who actively boast about pirating games, and insecure folks who try to morally justify their piracy habits.
Magic Knight wrote:On the finding games you didn't know you had front, I've read articles about games and thought, wow that sounds great I must check it out, so I buy it and enjoy it, and then look at my ebay purchases spreadsheet and find that I already owned this game years ago, I just never played it. Happens all the time. Maybe it's just me. I once climbed up to Ljubljana Castle in Slovenia and only when I got there did I realise I'd already been there, about two or three years before. My mind absolutely blanked the entire experience.
It's interesting that this forgetfulness seems to be the case for all connoisseurs. Once someone has so much breadth in one area, it's very difficult to remember details in all but the most personal experiences. It's especially hard to find a new high from an RPG after playing over a thousand since a lot of plot elements will seem very familiar.
I remember the shock I felt the first time I accidentally bought a game I already owned. I do have an inventory list but was so confident I didn't own the game that I didn't even bother checking. That unfortunately wasn't the last time I bought a duplicate but these mistakes have helped me consider my habits and slow down my purchases.
The main key to that has been in constraining the types of games I'll buy. There are specific genres I've realized over the years I'm interested in that I'm very hesitant to reach beyond. And there's very little before the 8-bit console era that I'm interested in. An intriguing game for $10 used to be an automatic buy for me, but now I don't even bother unless it's something I know I'll really enjoy.
One aspect I've always been sensitive to is physical space. To aid the whole "game experience," I only buy complete games, which doesn't help things. Arcade PCBs and computer games take up way too much space so I'm extra careful to limit games from those platforms to only those I really like. Space is probably my biggest deal right now since there are no large sunproof cabinets available to store games. It's incredibly inconvenient to have most everything in cardboard boxes.
One bad habit I have is that if I already own a few installments of a series, then I feel compelled to keep buying new cardinal (and sometimes gaiden) installments in the series. I'm still interested in the games but do wonder sometimes if I would purchase the game if it was called "Dream RPG" instead of "Final Fantasy X."
I'm glad I don't have perhaps the most infamous of collector bad habits though: buying expensive games for no reason other than to collect them. I've never felt a need to exclusively pursue a "collection;" I've only bought games I felt I could enjoy. A few folks also buy rare, expensive, but inferior ports, which I don't understand either. I'll take the original or most accurate version every time, sometimes with helpings from arrangements.
For a few years now, I've been thinking that if the video game industry turned in a direction I didn't like, I wouldn't be upset at all. There are enough classic games to enjoy.