The Game’s Collector

July 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

It’s been nagging him for years now. Thrown out in it’s prime, left to gather dust in someone else’s collection, under-appreciated and under-played. The guilt has intensified of late, brought on by its two younger and one older sibling, winking at him from the shelf. Eventually a day arrives where he simply needs to get out of the house, he needs to go and – as much as he hates himself for saying it – shop for the sake of shopping. His collection will be complete, and finally he can rest.

The first shop proves useless, assistants looking on slack-jawed, bemused that you’d ever mention a game released earlier than the beginning of last year. Their second hand section is almost as disorganised as themselves, row after row of Fifa and Tiger Wood’s yearly releases crowd up the shelves. Every couple of feet a spine catches his eye, only to send him away with subtitles such as ‘Sons of Liberty’ and ‘Digital Graphic Novel’.

With a sigh he leaves and walks to the next store. Here his answer is greeted with more warmth, a casual suggestion that he try the shelf behind his left shoulder. Fifa 06, Fifa 04, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 and Fifa 03 again crowd the shelves, behind them trapped the titles none have bothered to unearth. A sign catches his eye, and ten minutes later he’s back walking on the street, five games better off, and ten dollars lighter. Still he is without his prize, but at least now he has something to show for his trip.

Next shop, browsing shelves, Fifa, Pro Evo, Tiger, and YES! Here it has lain in wait for him. Never again will he abandon it for the easy money it can provide. He doesn’t care that the original manual’s been lost, doesn’t care that he misses his bus, he’s filled the gap between 2 and 4, and bought himself freedom. The DVD case slides easily between its long lost brothers, pushing the row of boxes ever closer to the shelf’s end.

He’ll play it later he tells himself, for now busying himself with the other five purchases. Bully, Sands of Time, Sky Odyssey, Project Snowblind and San Andreas. All would be played, but not right now. He returns to Firefox, happy that he’s completed himself.

At one in the morning his eyes still refuse to close. He thinks of San Andreas, sitting alone on the shelf, and remembers the copy of Vice City he traded in. He rememebers Vercetti, Vance, and Candy Suxxx. He remembers the beach, the pink HUD, the pixels as big as his fist. With a deep sigh he pushes it from his mind.

It’s been nagging him for years now. Thrown out in it’s prime, left to gather dust in someone else’s collection, under-appreciated and under-played. The guilt has intensified of late, brought on by its eldest sibling’s presence, winking at him from the shelf. Eventually a day arrives where he simply needs to get out of the house, needs to go and – as much as he hates himself for doing it – shop for the sake of shopping. His collection will be complete, and finally he can rest.

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