Collecting Memories

I’ve been a Nintendo fan as long as I can remember.

My first memories of Nintendo were playing the NES at the barbershop my Dad took my brother and I when we were kids. The earliest games I remember are Duck Hunt, Gyromite, Top Gun, and of course Super Mario Bros.

My memories are inherently tied to video games, specifically Nintendo games. I don’t remember what my first kiss felt like but I can tell you what the first time playing Super Mario 64 in a local game store felt like: dreamy bliss. It’s confounding how my brain is wired.

When I started collecting video games, systems, and accessories a few years ago, it was spurred by finding my original Game Boy in a box of old items. That was the spark but I’m not certain what has kept that flame bright. Was it my sled named Rosebud? Was it to add to my geek cred? My precious antique cans? I think I am finally realizing what it is. It’s my link to the past (see what I did there? no?) Maybe that’s just my way of justifying material possessions. I understand people who want to eschew keeping all but the necessary physical objects. I just have never been able to do it myself. I like having things that other people have created, and things I can use to create.

Now I’ve moved into the realm of “collector” complete with a “collection.” It’s weird for me to think about. I don’t have items just to have them; they all mean something to me. They are part of me. Games differ from movies and books. Movies and books are easily rented or purchased regardless of publication date. Games on the other hand can often fade into the time they were created. Some will be remembered or even rereleased. But some will live on only on the system they were created for. Take Earthbound for example. It was a Nintendo game released for the Super Nintendo. It is actually fairly rare, and until 2013 never rereleased or available again for purchase. It’s a quirky RPG without a real equivalent. Maybe games like these will never fade and some library will exist for them to be played by anyone in the future, or maybe they will eventually die. Video games are a very young medium.

I don’t have anything in particular to achieve with my collection. I hope to share my memories with others, for them to share their memories with me. To share my experiences if I ever have a child. If I do I’ll raise them right.

Honestly I can’t imagine where this will end up. Maybe in ten years I’ll be selling everything for drugs and guns thanks to Armageddon (Thanks Armageddon!). I do know one thing that I keep coming back to: these games, toys, time wasters, playable stories, experiences, or whatever else to call them – they are a part of me. They are part of how my brain works. I’m collecting my own memories.

Columbus, Ohio, United States

2 Replies to “Collecting Memories”

  1. Well said. I once started to travel down the path of collecting video game stuff but one day came the realization that if you’re going to have a collection you need to a) play with it, or b) have a place to show it off. I wasn’t doing either.

    I had a few consoles and accessories but they were just in boxes, doing little more than providing proof when I claimed to have 3 NES decks or something like that. I also think that I found more joy in collecting “stuff” about video games rather than actual video games and consoles. Artwork, nicknacks, mugs, whatever…I think I like the nostalgia of video games rather than actually playing them – and that is horrible to say. Although to be fair, I did live through many of them so I feel I have a right to claim said love.

    So while that was the fate of my collection, seeing yours is exciting and makes me smile. I’m glad I know someone that has put the effort and dedication – nay, passion – into collecting video game history. I couldn’t keep it up, thus it was a waste. Your efforts, sir, are not wasteful, especially since you share the experience so proudly. And I’m also happy to donate to your collection as I find stuff from my own collecting past.

    1. I never replied to this. I sincerely appreciate all the things you’ve donated, and the time we’ve spent playing. While time doesn’t always permit it I still love playing everything. I still love looking back how far we’ve come, or how far we’ve not come.

      We need to plan something bigger this year for Four Score. Live stream, etc. Maybe we can do it for a cause like a charity.

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