Collectors need that "happy place" to store, display, and enjoy their goodies, right? Join our architect of gaming for a session in improving your room's functionality and look.
Welcome back to Invading Spaces. What a long, strange spring-into-summer it's been - where the mantra in my house has been "What did our termite policy say again?" Needless to say, with an encouraging phrase like that recurring so much in recent months, there's been a bit of work done at my house and things aren't quite back to normal. (If indeed anything in my house even comes close to skirting the edge of normal!).
So having had to tear things apart and put them back together, I haven't made much progress on the decorating front - I had hoped to have a review of those dandy Blik Space Invaders that you stick on the wall by now - so let's rewind a bit and talk about some stuff that I had already been working on.
Surely everyone reading this has something they'd really like to display, or is truly worthy of display. It may be a complete set of boxed Mythicon games, or that Nintendo NWC Gold cart, or just that favorite console that holds a place in your heart. Surely these things deserve to be on display full-time - the pro being that you and your gaming guests get to admire the fruit of your long weekends of hunting (and/or eBaying), but the con being that dust, not unlike death, taxes, and apparently termites, ain't goin' nowheres. You're stuck with 'em. You've got to account for them. The obvious solution is to put your prizes under glass...but have you tried to price a glass case, or at least any kind of case with a glassed-in section lately?
I have. Here's one I got for free.
I'm sure that's a price most anyone reading this could live with. The only real cost involved in moving this puppy, which stands about 5 1/2 feet, was a bit of gas in the car (okay, now that is expensive these days, depending on where you live) and some elbow grease involved in taking it apart, carrying the pieces in, and putting it back together.
And where are they handing these out for free? Try the curb of all the yard sales you've been hitting up for games. ('Tis also where Mrs. PDF got a practically-new, still-working trash compactor for our new home as well.)
While you're doing your thrifting and yard-sale-browsing, never neglect the offerings that don't contain silicon chips, folks. And when you're helping friends or family move, check out the stuff that they aren't having you help them haul - the stuff they'd rather throw away. There are more glass-doored stereo cabinets and bookshelves out there looking for homes than there are copies of Glib looking for homes, trust me. And they can probably be had for a small price (if even that) and a bit of sweat.
It may also be worthwhile to cheaply acquire a bookshelf that has no glass, and then doing the work yourself. With many inexpensive bookshelves being produced to fairly standard sizes, and art and hobby supply stores also providing standard sized sheets of glass, all you have to do is cut a pair of even grooves into the top and bottom of each shelf, carefully position one piece of glass per groove during assembly, and voila - sliding glass doors. That's not exactly a new idea, and it's only slightly more complex to just bite the bullet and do hinged doors, but the savings on a DIY job over going out and buying a trophy case (or laying in wait for the perfect store display kiosk) make the simple stuff worthy of a reminder.
For my bonus tip this time around, we're going into storage. Some time back, I was looking for something that would serve as a good shelf for the cartridges that fit my CD changer at home; these are about the height of a CD jewel case, so it occurred to me that this might work for CD-based games and NES cartridges as well. It's an easy-to-assemble, store-bought item, but you'll never find it if you're looking with the rest of the CD storage. And that's because it's a shoe shelf.
And the real beauty of this particular unit is that it's stackable - sections can be arranged side-by-side, or secured on top of each other. If you've only got under-counter storage space available, the former option is obviously the way to go. But if you've got a closet or an open section of wall, vertical stacking works too. And at about $17 bucks a pop (at least at Wal-Mart, though those who live in a state not dominated by the Walton Empire can probably find these babies at Target or a similar discount store), you can repaint it however you like to fit your decor. And they fit nice and snug, with a bar at the back to keep things from falling through. Never mind pricing some expensive CD shelf and then despairing at the price tag - and, as the Firesign Theatre once said, "and hey, bring us your shoes."
Oh, and check for termites too. Shooting bugs. Man! Someone oughta make a game out of that.
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