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Game Collector/Electronics Galore

May 28th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

My dh is going to buy some kind of Nintendo(?) game system for $40 today. Used, with a pile of games.

He told me last night and I think I was only half listening. Then I said, "Huh?????" That woke me up.

I said, "Dude. How many game systems do you have? Seriously."

So he starts listing them all off and we counted 10. & today we will be proud owners of 11.

But I am okay with this. In the grand scheme of things it is a cheap hobby. I just hadn't really realized what a collector he had become.

He also wants to buy a Wii, when they come down in price, of course. Wink He'll probably get one for Christmas in a year or 2.

So yes, my spouse, the game system collector.

The funny thing was he tried to tell me he really only used 2-3 regularly. He just doesn't want to sell the old ones. Perhaps trying to defend himself. I said, "That is not true." Which I actually prefer if he has all this "junk," that he uses it. Except for 2 extremely old game systems he keeps for sentimental reasons, I think all of them get pretty good use. I will give him that.

Likewise, he doesn't buy new games, which is the expensive part of gaming.

So at face value I know many people would think, "OMG - 10 game systems???" and think $$$$$$. But really, it's kind of the opposite. I am amazed at how well some of these were made. Dh bought a great number used, but some of these systems were made in the 1980s. So it is a slow accumulation over time.

As far as the games, for the longest time he subscribed to game rentals similar to netflix. Which is perfect for most games, that are his style anyway. In the last year or 2 he has been selling his old ones for credit at the used store and buying newer games on credit. So the cash flow has been about 0 on the game front. We also get free game rental coupons with our blockbuster online movie rental subscription. He is generally content with one game at a time, and has quite the collection from when we were young and had more cash flow. So it is not an expensive hobby in that regard.

Likewise, our PS2 has always functioned as our CD player and he primarily bought the PS3 for the Blu-Ray player. So they double in function in that regard.

But what do we have?

*Gameboy & Gameboy Advance - I am not sure he uses the old Gameboy at all. The Advance has largely been replaced by the DS2, but I know dh and BM play some games on here occasionally.

*DS2 - This is a FUN toy. We ALL play with it. Maybe LM not so much. (It's a portable system like the Gameboy). Doubled as a TV on our road trip (some kid shows downloaded onto it).

*PS2 - We have a lot of games on this that the kids love - from our childless/bigger cash flow days. We have the snow boarding games which I LOVE, and BM has taken to. We have a really cute muppet game. Dh plays all his big games on this.

*GameCube - There was some reason for this purchase that I don't remember... It gets used for certain games.

*PS3 - used as a movie player more than anything. But dh and BM play games on here.

*PSP - dh got this used rather recently (in trade) and it has all sorts of fancy uses beyond gaming. Don't even ask me what they are. I don't remember but I think dh watched TV wireless - could be HDTV quality. Not sure. He had it modified for some wireless capabilities. He gets all excited about that stuff, I don't even remember what it does. LOL.

*Nintendo - he already has 2 systems. One that is I believe defunct, and one that he has set up upstairs on some old TV. He has a few kids games that they love, up there.

*Atari - defunct. Though I think he would love to set it up. It's just sitting in a pile for now. Not sure how usable it is.

& that's 10...

But yeah, I can say most of this stuff gets regular use. So I will give him that.

Hard to believe, but we don't play video games every day. We REALLY limit with the kids (like 20 minutes at a time - they are so young). Dh used to spend days playing video games, so he has REALLY cut back. He may play a lot while I am at work, but it's not anything I notice him spending an inordinate amount of time on.

I know, hard to imagine with all those games...


However, thinking about it, it reminded me of our computer situation.

I probably am rather biased since I am from Silicon Valley and our dads collect computers and computer parts.

But I remember being on an online community like a decade ago and I remember when anyone talked about money problems people would come back and say, "well if you are so poor - how do you have a COMPUTER." I remember always laughing at that. Were they serious? I could find a computer pretty quick for free if I Was willing to go used or hand-me-down.

I always thought maybe the internet subscription was more worrisome, to someone who was really broke. Wink Anyway the idea that only rich people had computers, was foreign to me. Though I am no spring chicken I have always had a computer. I got my first one when I was 3 or 4 (a hand-me-down, of course).

But anyway. Likewise, I have heard the topic come up often how horrible and excessive and expensive it is for kids to have computers.

I sheepishly think, both my kids have computers. LOL.

But we just buy quality and keep everything forever. We have 5 computers, 4 in use. I don't even remember the last time we bought a computer, except for the laptop we bought much more for luxury, in 2005. It's not a very big part of our budget. Every 5 years or so we upgrade one computer and the rest get shifted down. The top dog is dh's editing computer which he uses to do his work. He needs a lot of power for that thing and he has been talking about an upgrade, which won't exactly be cheap. But it's been a good 5 years.

But when he upgrades, everyone in the house will get a new computer. I'll get his. BM will get mine. LM will get BM's, etc.

I couldn't tell you how old our monitors and printers and peripherals were because we have pretty much never replaced them. Not in adulthood anyway.

So yeah, when you buy quality and do the hand-it-down method, we all can have a computer at very little cost.

We probably have a significant advantage in that our dads are computer junkies. PArticularly dh's dad who likes to collect stuff and has just about anything you need sitting in his garage. Dh's monitor did go kaput a while back (it had been on its last leg for YEARS but we finally gave in) and I am pretty sure he got one free from his dad - he just had it sitting in his garage. We have learned to always ask before buy. Which means I don't think we have bought anything computer, outside free store of father-in-law, in a long while.

We haven't upgraded at all to the fancy monitors or anything. But a working monitor, if you don't mind clunky, is easy enough to find for free. Particularly in a computer heavy area like this.

I think when BM starts school we will consider moving one of our older computers into his room and buying him a mouse and keyboard more his size. Give him my old monitor and maybe I can get a new one. Big Grin A more modern monitor is certainly on my wish list. Just completely unjustifiable for now. & I guess the other plus is we have held out so long they are probably cheaper than I even imagine at this point. Though we will go for long lasting quality over "cheap." You see why...

But with both game systems and computers, we generally let everyone buy the premium, going new. We wait for prices to come down, ourselves. Even if it takes many years. Patience pays.

The kids have computers earmarked for them, but not really in use, for now.

So anyway, I just had to share because I would find it ironic that people would look at our computers or game systems and assume we were broke. In the end we will probably spend $100 this year on game systems (& games). I would be surprised if dh's top of the line computer cost more than $100/year. If he spends more than $500 every 5 years for a faster computer. He builds his own and reuses the parts he can. Though I think he has his eye on something more in the $1k range. We'll see. Technically, he uses his computer to make money, so would probably pay for itself quickly, if he committed to some paid projects to pay for it.

Of course I can't tell you how much stuff we have in our house that we have had since we were kids. The stereo system in our family room is the one I bought as a teen.

When you buy things to keep for decades, it doesn't mean a large annual expense for electronic pleasures. Quite the contrary.

Now, if we had to have the latest and greatest of everything? Well, yeah, I have no idea how people afford all that! That is certainly not our style. We may buy more of that if we resume back to a 2-income lifestyle. But if not, "old and trustworthy" is fine with us. Sometimes it's the only way to have your cake and eat it too.

Of course, thinking back to the games... We're only 30 and dh has quite a collection. I will probably have to work on him in the future in maybe getting rid of some of the old stuff. Maybe for each new system an old one goes. I just don't want to be 50 and have 100 game systems. Wink

Likewise, one of these days we may have to dispose of a computer. Imagine that!

3 Responses to “Game Collector/Electronics Galore”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I don't have any of those things, but that's ok! I just got my first and only computer about 3 years ago. My dh's hobby is cars. We buy them and we keep them!!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    My son is a game collector also. If he can have his way, he would own every console system out there, and as many games as humanly possible. But then, he's also a teenager, so I guess that's not surprising.

    I'm a gamer too, but I'm not a collector at heart so.... I only have games that I really want to play. In fact, I currently don't own any console systems... but it's largely because I'm too cheap to buy consoles right now. I might get a Gamecube eventually, because at $40 a pop, they're pretty affordable....

    Something about the collector's mentality. I don't quite understand it, but yeah, I can see it my son too....

  3. sagegirl Says:

    Wow, that is a lot of game systems. Smile We have a PS2 that mostly DS and hubby use and a few games with it (maybe 8 or so). DS gets a lot of use out of it and it is aging well, as we bought it about a year after the PS2 came out. I come from a family of techies so computer parts are pretty easy to come by around here, too. My BIL also works for a computer-type company (won't name names) and we get their products pretty cheap. These days it can be pretty inexpensive to have a computer if you can find decent but cheap ISP.

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