Hoard or horde?

An Oxfam chicken in a boxI’ve taken a very long runway into Christmas as far as gaming is concerned. Over the last 6 months or so I must have poured $1,000 – give or take a few hundred – into buying games and gaming equipment. The reasons (read: excuses) for acquisition are many and varied – a fantastic deal on the forums, a good cause (more about this later), the excitement of bidding on eBay, etc. etc. In my defense, I do tend to be a late adopter – that is, I don’t buy things until they’re well into their market lifecycle when it’s much cheaper, so this isn’t as expensive a hobby as it could have been.

Sometimes I just can’t help myself. For example, one enlightened soul on the Overclockers Australia forums offered to give away part of his games collection on the condition that interested takers must make “bids” by pledging to buy chickens from the Oxfam Unwrapped website. That was just too cool. I bid 2 chickens ($20) for a copy of “Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion”. The game isn’t even that good.

It’s not as if I don’t already have a severe backlog of unplayed games, or can’t think of better things to do with my time and money (little things like, say, planning a wedding?!), yet I still felt deep down inside that I needed more games. My conquests continued… first Nintendo DS, and another (because my bro decided to keep the one that I asked him to pick up for me) and then another (for Jenny, natch). Some games with that sir? Yes please! Next a PSP and more games, and even a couple of non-games (travel guides for Europe, and a UMD movie) just to show that it’s not just about gaming. All the while I was also adding to my PC games collection. Meanwhile, this year I have only managed to play and complete 2 games (God or War, and Prince of Persia 2: The Warrior Within).

It’s not that there is a gap in my life that needs to be filled, but rather, it’s something that I am interested in and that I find myself drawn to, in the same way that Jenny is drawn to movies. Problem is, a typical game will require a commitment between 10 – 50 hours, whereas your average movie is over and done with in a couple of hours. If only the games weren’t so damn good! The industry continues to come up with so much great stuff that even Jenny is now an avid gamer, regularly reaching for the Nintendo DS and Sudoku (part of Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training game).

I just can’t bear to miss out on great gaming moments. Right now, people are raving on about the recently released Okami, and the soon-to-be-released Final Fantasy XII. I imagine that within the next 12 – 24 months, I will acquire these games one way or another, probably through a great deal on the forums or eBay, and another hundred-or-so hours of my life will be pledged away to the Lord of Interactive Entertainment. It’s like serving multiple life sentences, except in a pleasurable way…

For the record, in 2006 I added the following to my collection:

PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 console itself (slimline)
SingStar Rocks! (thanks Diem and EJ!)
Guitar Hero (Diem and EJ again… hmm….)
Gran Turismo 4
Shadow of the Colossus
God of War
Resident Evil 4 (wait for it…)
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X-2

Resident Evil 4 Collectors’ Edition (yes, I have the same game on 2 different consoles)
Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (best Valentines’ Day gift ever from Jenny!)
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Nintendo DS
3 (yes, that’s three) Nintendo DS Lite units, one of which went to my brother in Adelaide
2 x Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training (1 copy with my bro)
New Super Mario Bros.
Mario 64 DS
Metroid Prime Hunters
Tetris DS (courtesy of Amazon.com gift vouchers, and with thanks to Greg for bringing it over from the US)
Mario Kart DS (Greg…)
Yoshi’s Island DS (… is…)
Kirby’s Canvas Curse (… my…)
Clubhouse Games (… hero!)

Locomotion (here chooky, chooky, chooky)
Prince of Persia 3: The Two Thrones (I really liked the first two, so I had to get the third)
Age of Empires III
Dungeon Siege II
Dungeon Siege II – Broken World expansion
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Tomb Raider Legend
Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
Psychonauts (on “indefinite loan” from my bro’s friend)

    PSP value pack with 1GB memory stick
    Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (thanks again to Diem!)
    Passport to London
    Passport to Paris
    Passport to Rome
    Serenity (UMD movie)

      Yeah. All I have to say is… erk.


      Still on the gaming theme: at midnight tonight, the Nintendo Wii will be unleashed onto the Australian public. One person on the Ars Technica forums noted that in their latest Financial report, Nintendo casually mentioned that their mission is to make the Wii part of peoples’ lives. Considering that the machine continues to be continually sold out in all of the countries where it has been released, I imagine that they have a pretty good shot at achieving that goal. I wonder if anybody has even done a study to measure the ratio of gaming devices to television sets in a household. If they did, I imagine that that number will have jumped significantly.