Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Insuring your Video Games

I had a visit last night from my insurance broker. When I explained to her my video game collection, I'm not sure she really grasped the concept. It took a walkthrough of the gamerooms to get her to understand. But did you know that many insurance companies limit the amount payable on 'high-risk' items like video games and televisions? I found this article, http://www.ntsc-uk.com/tech.php?tech=InsuranceFAQ that contained some useful information (although it is from the UK).

Either way, cataloging your assets is always a good idea. Most people who suffer from losses due to a fire end up losing a lot more than they had because they forget what they own! For me, this is very critical as sometimes you don't realize what you have until you write it all down.

Thankfully I have a secure home with good security. Nobody should be playing my XBox 360 except me. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm going to E3!!!

Well it looks like it's official! I have my E3 pass thanks to my writing endeavours and I can't wait. Hopefully I can stay with a buddy to cut down some costs if not, it's all good. I can't believe how inexpensive the flights from Buffalo to LA can be.

I'm looking forward to seeing the upcoming XBox 360 titles and of course I am pretty sure Sony will be there with a playable PS3. Will Nintendo actually reveal the Revolution for everyone? I am thinking they will. What will be up their sleeve in the handheld arena? Well since the Nintendo DS 'Lite' as already been announced, I think their 'surprise' may be a whole new console, as powerful as the PSP at a better price point. Or they may just choose to ride the DS wave out for a bit--- I think even Nintendo is surprised at its popularity.

Mostly I am looking forward to actually seeing and meeting some of the industry greats that I have read about and seen on television and followed through the years. Mr. Miyamoto, I'm looking for you bud!

Look for some great information to come out of the event as I am sure I will have soooo much to write about!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Video Game collecting a Legitimate Hobby

When people look at my video game collection, they have this indescribable reaction.

Sure, it's not stamps and it's not coins but does that make it any less legitimate? I personally don't think so. I like collecting games because it's something that so few people do. Sure, you have your occasional gamer that keeps a mint copy of Final Fantasy II from the SNES around even though he may have the system in a closet. But I am hardcore.

I now have two game rooms dedicated. A total of 6 televisions and one projected screen play host to around 40 systems. I have thousands of games. You will hear this annoyed response in my voice when the EB Games employee asks me for the millionth time 'Do you have anything to trade?'. Duh. No. This is the number one reason I don't shop there anymore.

You won't find me trading in 3 or 4 triple A titles to pick up the latest and greatest, or selling my 300+ cartridges from the Atari 2600 on eBay. You'll find me dusting off my Fairchild Channel F and my 3DO and even the Intellivision from time to time to remember our roots. I think I ought to make sure the Colecovision still works and try out that steering wheel with Turbo!

Do I even want to consider lending out one of my 225+ BOXED Nintendo 64 games? Not really considering how freaking hard I've worked to get that many games in the box. And that brings up another point. PEOPLE PLEASE. WHY? Why do you throw the game boxes out? Sure, not everyone has a ton of space but for the LOVE OF GOD please stick the boxes in a closet somewhere until you make that trip to Microplay to trade in your old junk. Please. You will be surprised that you usually get MORE money when you do this and you'll make a collector like me drool and salivate at the pristine condition you've kept your manuals in. Can't keep your peanut butter finger kids away from the manuals? Give them photocopies to thumb through and hide the real thing for the day it makes the trip back to the game store.

Video games really are like salmon I guess. Trying to swim back from where they came from to mate / reincarnate, whatever. But for the odd guys like me that drain the water so we can adore, share, and play those beauties for all eternity....don't look at us like we're got a screw loose. At least we're passionate about something.

Monday, January 23, 2006

On Used vs. New Video games

I buy a lot of games. Anyone that knows me knows that. For this generation alone, I have (combined) over 1,000 games spread out across my PS2, XBOX and Gamecube. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about buying new vs. buying used. Revenue from new games go directly to the publishers and distributors, with the retailer only getting a small slice (ie: a $50 game often costs the retailer close to $45). With slim margins like these, the retailers must turn to used sales.

That is, the smaller stores do. The EBGames, Gamestop's and (if you're in Canada) Microplay chains specialize in games. Their employees (usually) know a little bit more about games and you won't feel the need to 'bother' the person behind the counter at Wal*Mart to get that new copy of Grand Theft Auto out for you. I like buying in the smaller stores and supporting jobs for independants. What keeps them going however, is used games.

So what can we do? You can be like me. I buy (upon release) the games that I *really* want to support. Like innovation in Shadow of the Colossus.... or publishers taking a chance with platform games like 'The Legend of Kay'. Don't wait for the price drops, get them at full price. Save your money for later for the games you want but don't NEED. Then buy your used copies and help out the smaller stores. It's all about spreading the wealth.

Until the industry can figure out how to sell new games for $25 like the movie industry, we're going to have this issue. Maybe we'll never get there until we settle on one standard platform. Will we ever? I think we will, but it's still a long ways off.

Welcome to my BLOG

You know, I tried this BLOGGING thing before and I didn't keep up with it. I think this time it will be different. I feel different about it, about sharing my thoughts and everything else that goes with it. I think I've also grown as a writer. I find myself actually starting to think about how I'll write something in my head before it actually hits the screen (didn't we used to say 'before it hits the paper?').... yeah.

I had an interesting weekend to say the least. A had a nice group of people visit the Personal Computer Musuem (http://www.pcmuseum.ca) and they also looked around at my videogames. A friend brought up an interesting point about the marketing of videogames, something I definitely will look into writing an article about in the future.

Getting back into the BLOGGING thing has made me want to write about it in my weekly computer column that it's the Brantford Expositor every Saturday (http://www.theexpositor.com) so for all of my readers out there, thanks for reading I hope you enjoy my future columns as well.

My thought for the day is the old stand by of 'LIFE IS TOO SHORT'. Need to get on with things, get on with them and quit pissing around. Now, I just have to listen to my thoughts!