May 14, 2015

8-Bit Minute: Collector Peeves

If you've been keeping up with me on twitter lately, you'll have noticed that I've put my collecting into overdrive. I've been spending a lot of time in game shops lately and a few of my pet peeves have been rearing their ugly heads more than I'd like them to, so I thought I'd share my thoughts here and see if we're all on the same page or if I'm just crazy.

One of my greatest pet peeves is basically exclusive to modern generations; PS3 is the biggest offender but others have used similar tactics, and that is this:

These hideous, colored cases. Who's brilliant idea was this anyway? You'll mostly notice colored cases affiliated with "greatest hits" releases of popular games but these days there seems to be little purpose. Mario Kart 8 came in a red case to contrast the rest of the system's blue cases right from day one.
In the past we saw this trend begin with case labels (also SNES/N64 colored cartridges for popular games, but for whatever reason, those don't bother me as much). PS2 best sellers were marked with red banners on the label and disc, PS1 hits shout at you with a loud green banner, and even GameCube made "Player's Choice" games stand out with an icky yellow banner. For a collector, this was offensive enough, but now these companies have taken the leap into ugly, colored cases, too. These things stick out like sore thumbs on a gamer's collection shelf and I hate them.

That leads me to my biggest pet peeve of all: GameStop. Oftentimes, while perusing a GameStop, I'll notice multiples of a particular game on a shelf. Naturally, I sift through them all and look for the case in best condition and preferably with the manual (where applicable) and other inserts still present. I then hand the case to the GS employee to fetch the disc, and the bastard comes back with some godforsaken, colored, beat to shit, manual-less case for me. Fuck off, GameStop! I specifically chose that case for a reason, just stick the damn disc in there and hand it back to me! This whole debacle is made even worse when I don't notice until I get home and check the game (I often purchase many) so I don't get the chance to scold the employee for making the switch. This drives me bananas! What is the purpose of this practice?!

These peeves of mine seem to have given birth to another collector's woe. Something I was never particular about in the past but find myself picky about now is complete in box games. As I mentioned before, I'll often choose a certain case because it suggests I'd be getting the game CIB, but I find myself especially anal about this regarding older, disc-based titles (PS1, PS2, GC etc.) more. I suppose it's to do with the justification of cost. Sellers ask a lot of money for these games when they're only selling a loose, scratched disc, and now I've noticed now that simply selling the box and/or manual alone is a viable business, too, and those sellers ask astronomical prices! I just refuse to spend an amount I find too high unless the product I'm getting is in pristine condition and complete. I've seen sellers offer NES/SNES/N64 boxes alone for prices higher than the actual games. I understand the desire for boxes but would you really spend that kind of money on a piece of cardboard?

I don't know, guys. I think I'm turning into the psycho collector lady. How do you feel about this stuff? And apart from stickers and marker-on-the-cartridge, what are your greatest pet peeves?


  1. I completely agree with this! In fact I won't buy collector's editions as I can't handle it on my shelf. That includes the SNES Players Choice carts with the little gold badge on the label. A friend of mine recently bought a game online that he thought was the original print however when he received it it was the dreaded Greatest Hits. The fine print on the ad said the company doesn't differentiate between the prints.

    The astronomical cost of boxes is why I make my own cases, and I'll often pass up a game that is CIB for a cheaper cart only version.

    1. Sometimes greatest hits can't be avoided, I find. Thankfully cases can be replaced, but those banners and stickers are there to forever remind you how stupid it all is. I thoroughly investigate online ads to be sure I know what I'm paying for, since I would be homicidal if your friend's debacle happened to me. I'm really starting to get my ass in gear regarding boxes/cases, too. I wish it weren't such an expensive activity. :(