Saturday, February 10, 2007


Enough is Enough

I finally did the count. I have three home consoles hooked up to my TV right now -- a Super NES, a Dreamcast, and a Gamecube. I also have a GBA SP and a DS Lite -- between the two of them, I have access to portable video games from every era of Nintendo's reign. Between these systems, I have nearly two hundred games available to me. This does count multiple versions of the same game -- Yoshi's Island for the GBA and SNES, for example -- but it doesn't count each individual game living inside my compilation packs. Moreover, it doesn't account for the systems I don't have readily available -- PSX, PS2, N64, NES, Genesis -- or the games on my "standalone" units, like the Atari Flashback 2.

Two hundred. Two hundred cartridges or discs. I can't even wrap my head around a raw number like that.

I remember when I went to a special video game history display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was truly an experience worth geeking out over, hall after hall of completely authentic, interactive video game exhibits. Vintage coin-ops were set up to be played free of charge. There were Game & Watches, the evolution of portable game systems, novelty controllers, all sorts of crazy crap.

What was really insane was how many of the exhibits I was already intimately familiar with because I had owned them in the past. (Well, not the coin-ops. Thank goodness.) In fact, I still own a good many of them in one form or another.

I have Super Mario All-Stars and Sonic Mega Collection. I have The Ocarina of Time, just in case I ever get it in my head to finish it. I have Space Channel 5, Shenmue, Super Mario 64, Donkey Konga, DDR, Karaoke Revolution, Pong, Animal Crossing, The Sims, Dragon's Lair...

My entertainment center is a video game museum all by itself. In my humble opinion, it's the best in the world, stuffed with games ranging from the important to the idiotic to the endearing to the niche to the just plain fun.

I feel like I'm reaching the end of it.

What's the point of getting new video games? I already own video games that demonstrate the apex of every genre or series that I've ever been interested in. Do I really need Super Mario Galaxy when I know that it could never replace Super Mario 64 as my favorite 3D platformer of all time? Why get all worked up over Super Paper Mario; is it really going to be much different from playing the five Mario-themed RPGs that I already own? With Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, I'm all set for dungeon crawls and Pokemon games. I vowed to end my addiction to Mario Party with part 5. Not even the promise of a new Harvest Moon can tickle my fancy anymore.

I could go on and on. The point is, I'm getting fed up. I'm tired of compulsively buying new video games instead of appreciating what I already have. And, in a strange way, I'm tired of having so many games to begin with. I never take the time to play with half of them anymore, but I couldn't bear to get rid of them either.

What it comes down to is this. I'm not going to be buying any new video games for a while. This is a resolution that I have to make for myself so that I don't buy something just for the sake of having a new game in my collection. I will make an exception under some very specific circumstances -- if Phoenix Wright 3 is announced, my money's spent, for example. But for the most part... I think it's time I took a step back and a good hard look at what I already have. Or maybe I just need to spend some time away from the constant stimulus for a while.

Electric Dilintia is likely to be quiet for a while, and what little relevance it ever had to the discussion of contemporary video games is likely to become moot. Not, I expect, that I'm going to abandon the site for very long or anything. I just need to stop thinking about this stuff for a while before it totally bogs me down.


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