Settle Down, People
by Sean Kelly
Ahhhhhh....feels good to be back on paper again! Same situation applies for me whether we're on the web or paper though - I'm never at a loss for something to write about. I was kind of getting panicky though as I'm cutting it a little close here, but as usual, one of my fine collector friends came through for me and gave me an idea. I can't say that I don't enjoy making Joe sweat a little though. :)
In wading through my Spam-filled email box, I ran across some fairly disturbing email. It was from a fellow collector who had bid in an auction of mine but lost out on the item he wanted at the last minute. In this email he used phrases like (names changed to protect the psychotic) "Jim Shoo can BURN IN HELL", "I was so paranoid that I thought there was a conspiracy going on between you and Jim Shorts", "I have tested some of my conspiracy theories", to name but a few out of a 10k message (that's 10,000 typed characters for those of you computer-less readers). There were several frightening realizations brought on as a result of reading this message probably the most of which is the fact that this person was serious! Burning in hell may be an insignificant thing to some of you depending on your religious beliefs, but put yourself in a Catholics shoes for a moment and consider the ramifications. This person wished an eternity of suffering on another human being just because he lost his chance to get a videogame he wanted!
Of course the idea that the message was sent out of rage crossed my mind, but when his reply to my response to his original message echoed the same feelings, either this person has a problem dealing with his anger, or he was in fact, serious in his original message. This leads me to the second frightening realization that came out of this message. He is not the first one I have heard talking like this by any means.
A number of times in the past I have heard from people so "depressed" because they hadn't found any new games for their collection in a while. Or you have the guy so desperate to talk to people about his games and such that when nobody is interested in talking to him, he seeks out their home phone numbers and/or addresses so he can call them at 4am or mail a constant stream of letters just to be an asshole. What about the guy that offers $200 over the asking price of a game in an effort to get you to screw someone else out of what should rightfully be theirs. And I should probably make mention of the WOMAN that sent me email calling me names these virgin ears hadn't even heard before because she had missed the deadline to make an offer on something and I wouldn't accept her bid.
Yeah I know some of you are yelling out "Welcome to the real world Sean" right into your issue of DP, and making quite the spectacle of yourselves I might add, but are you serious? I realize that all walks of life are present in any aspect of life, but I had always innocently thought that even psychos took off their psycho hats in at least SOME areas of their lives. That even they had something they felt comfortable enough with to relax a little and try and have a little fun.
Some of this collecting stuff has undeniably gotten out of hand. If you were to pick up a cartridge listed as a 10 on the rarity scale in the DP guide, I don't think many people would blame you for seeing the dollar signs in your head and trying to decide if you would rather have the cart in your collection or the cash. It's a tough choice sometimes! Now if you were out cart-hunting and found out someone had been in the thrift store five minutes before you and walked out with a rare Miss Piggy's Wedding prototype, would you seek this person out and axe-murder him or her?
I know I've said this before but I'm going to say it again, this is supposed to be FUN! If at any point it's no longer fun for you, it's time to move on and do something else with your spare time. I've come up with something of a videogame collecting psycho test here. This is for amusement purposes only, but if you find yourself with more than half the boxes checked, maybe it shouldn't be for amusement purposes in your case.
Mark an 'X' in any box that applies to you in regards to your game collecting antics:
___ I religiously search for videogames more than four times a week.
___ I occasionally do without something I need in order to spend the money on a videogame I want.
___ I have spent more than a week's pay on videogames in a single week.
___ I have lied to my wife or "better half" about the money I spend on videogames. (Yeah, this one should probably get PRINTED with an X in it)
___ I have made a trade with another collector that was knowingly very much in my favor only because I knew more than they did.
___ I have misrepresented the rarity of an item of mine to another less-knowledgeable collector so as to get more for it.
___ I try to keep tabs on my local collecting competition so I can beat them to our mutual scrounging haunts.
___ I have bought or bid on a videogame that I didn't need or want just so someone else couldn't get it.
___ I have bid on items in auction I didn't need or want with the sole intention of raising the price so as to make it appear more valuable.
___ I get genuinely depressed when I haven't found any new games for my collection in a while.
___ I have left wantlists with local thrift stores or the like in an effort to get them to hold new arrivals for me out of view of other customers.
___ I have intentionally tried to spoil another collector's reputation with a mutual source for games to keep the source from dealing with him or her.
___ I have made sources aware of the potential value of certain games in order to "win points" or
___ If offered a price equal to two month's salary for a game I only have one copy of, I would not sell it.
___ There is at least one game I would pay an entire week's paycheck for.
There are fifteen questions above. Now if you see more than ten Xs on your checklist, you can probably count on a free lifetime membership to the videogame psycho's club. If you have more than 7, you're borderline and better watch yourself. Less than seven and you're probably not all that different from most collectors. Again, this "test" is intended for amusement only, but it does make some interesting observations now doesn't it?
This "test" came as an after-thought to the point of this article which is "lighten up people!" Let's have some fun here and quit being so obsessed with it. Even if you don't collect to play and you just collect for nostalgia or something to do or whatever, it really shouldn't be as important as some of you seem to have let it become.
Sean Kelly is a long-time collector and gamer, and part-time dealer. He's well known for his multi-carts and excellent deals on collectibles. You can visit Sean's Home Page at http://www.xnet.com/~skelly/
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Last updated Tuesday, February 13, 2007 06:01 PM