Friday, 15 June 2018

Culling a game collection

I've been subjected to a lot of cyberpunk recently, especially after the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, and I've been looking at other games like Deus Ex, Syndicate and the Blade Runner game from the late 1990s that I still can't get to work on my machine.

Because of this I thought a hell of a lot about the roleplaying games, so I dug through my boxed RPG collection to get hold of my copy of Cyberpunk 2020 with the intention of settling down for a couple of hours to enjoy that retro gaming feel.

I couldn't find it. I found my old copy of Shadowrun first edition - which was nice - but I still couldn't find my CP2020. Then, as I wondered at the missing book I suddenly remembered... I'd sold Cyberpunk 2020 and the supplements I had back in 2006. My son was on his way at that point, and to help pay for his impending birth I sold a huge swathe of RPG products. I made a lot of money; my collection turned out to be a hell of an investment and it pretty much paid for my son's first year on the planet. More than worth it, but when I realised that this particular game was gone my heart sank.

However, I did hold some games back, games I didn't think I could part with for all sorts of reasons, but sadly Cyberpunk 2020 didn't make the cut. It was one of my favourite games, but I think I was putting the feelers out on Ebay and I was made an offer that was amazing. I remember parting with quite a few things I said I wouldn't; my MERP modules sold really well and a lot of my more obscure and collectable games ended up in bidding wars.

So, how did I decide what was going and what was staying? I remember sitting down for an entire day going through the collection and making three piles of books and boxes; To sell, to possibly sell, and to keep. At first, I just went through the games deciding what it was I didn't want anymore, but in the end the 'possible sell' pile was the highest and it made very little difference to the collection. I decided to have a look at what had been sat on my shelf for years without being used, and that was a lot! It was a shame to hold on to stuff that wasn't going to be used, I'd rather they went to people who would appreciate them more.

Then I did the hardest thing, and that was to go through my collection to see what I'd get for it on Ebay. That drastically reduced my collection; the impending arrival of my son overshadowed any emotional connection I had to some of these games, and I think Cyberpunk 2020 fell into that category. Over the following few weeks my collection went out across the world, and I like to think they have a place on someone else's shelf and they get used often.

Selling a collection is not an easy thing, but I had to be realistic. I needed the space more than I needed the money, and being a dad meant that the majority of the games I owned would never see the wood of a gaming table again. I had no qualms about parting with about 80% of my collection for my son, but there were a few games I didn't want to let go. Regardless, sitting down and going through the collection piece by piece and deciding what to sell and what to keep, and then looking at it all again and being honest with myself as well as checking prices, meant I got the collection down from more than 300 books and boxes to less than 60.

Three entire bookcases, one entire wall, of games was gone. For a long time it kind of hurt as there wasn't a single game in my collection that I wasn't connected to in one way or another, but I realised it was necessary and in the long run the best thing to do. There were a few things I sold that I regret parting with - Cyberpunk 2020 and my five D&D Basic boxsets mainly - but that can't be helped. I can still get hold of CP2020 on POD and I got an original copy of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, so it's all good.

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