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The first video game system I bought with my own money was the original Xbox. I began working at Blockbuster, specifically to save up for the console the year it was released.

Having a job and just a few bills made it easy for me to blow money on video games. I splurged on new games quite often and built up an impressive collection rather quickly.

Sometimes I’d play a game, get stuck, and then just pop in something new, because there was always something else there for me to enjoy. I never mastered a game, and heck, I didn’t beat many of the games, but I had a large collection to brag about.

My high school friend at the time lived down the street, and I spent most of my free time with him. We watched movies, talked about girls, and played video games. His video game collecting was the total opposite of mine. Whereas I had dozens of games, he had just one, NBA Street. And every day, he played NBA Street and loved it.

I’d give him a hard time about it, like, how many hours can you play the same game and never get tired of it? He’d laugh, and talk about how he was mastering it, and despite all my joking, secretly, I was really jealous. So, much so this has stuck with me for twenty years.

This man was content with just one game. You can only play one game at a time, a line I constantly spouted while working at GameStop, but he truly was content. When Street 2 came out, he didn’t rush out to get it. He just kept playing NBA Street because it was everything he wanted in a video game.

I’ve never been good with that. I’ve always felt like I was the guy who had to know everything. I had to experience everything. It was better for me to play a bunch of games for just twenty minutes than one game for a hundred hours.

There was such a collector’s boom in the early 90’s, it felt like the goal was always to collect the most. It started with sports cards and comics, and it spread from there. I was collecting VHS, autographs, wrestling magazines, and eventually DVDs. The stuff continued to grow and grow, until finally, sometime around 2008, I began purging. I got rid of pretty much all the things I had collected over the years, but then I just started back up again. My DVD collection began growing, then my comics, and action figures. Then video game consoles and games and then I’d purge again.

Now most of my excess is found digitally in video games, way too any movies and TV shows on various streaming platforms, and even blogs that I read. I find myself overwhelmed at times, and not just with the paradox of choice, but just the never-ending battling of more and more things adding up. At least when I collected physical things, I only had so much space and so much access. I’d revisit movies often and explore special features. Now, there is always something someone recommended to check out.

I’m quite good at clearing out anything I don’t use every three months. If I have bookmarks or movies, that I haven’t bothered with it in three months, odds are I’m not going to bother with it. But even with this constant state of refreshment, things still feel overwhelming at times.

The only true reprieve I seem to find from this is to disconnect. I cut out reading blogs online for a week or stay off streaming media. I pick up a book and just focus on that one story. This one piece of information instead of the dozens and dozens that infiltrate my mind on a daily basis. I once felt like by isolating yourself with a single form of media you were missing out on so much, but now, I think you are actually gaining so much more. You’re getting your peace of mind back, and your focus. You are telling your brain, this is what you can enjoy right now, and nothing else and I feel like my brain relaxes when I do that. It’s like taking a vacation. You don’t have to work so hard, just create some mental images of the words I’m reading. There is no need to isolate, apply skepticism, and critical thought to what is coming across, just enjoy this story about a Wyoming Game Warden trying to solve a mystery.

I recently saw someone online had played 6,000 hours of the same video game. It wasn’t for a record; it was because he loved the game so much. He had a sweet story about how it was a dream game for him and once it came to be, he loved it. I admire that dedication. I don’t think I’ll ever be that dedicated to anything, but I do think reducing my options and trying to find more joy in a smaller pool of things will better serve me in my life.

Published inSelf-Reflection


  1. So many of your blog posts align with things I want to write about too.
    I went through a similar phase just recently – but through a different perspective. Always watching so many films, documentaries, and to what end? Now I try to watch something I can use or apply. Yes once in a while its nice to watch Planet Earth, or a ‘day in the life’ documentary to wind down. But with the overwhelming amount of information we can access, swiping on youtube shorts (or tiktok if thats your thing) makes you spiral down multiple videos of your choice; whether its educational or funny.

    Now I just say – What did you learn yesterday? What was that video about? What about last month? Can you remember it? Did it help you in any way?

    When it comes to topic of video games, I also have many games, many unplayed. I, of course, don’t have time to play all of them anymore so I too have settled on just a couple of games to play. Only because I cant beat them, or am still trying. I usually move on after beating and getting the reasonable achievements (some are just ridiculous and not worth the time) – then I move on to the next. No problem in that.

    Well, here I am, almost writing my article, don’t mind if you see an article some day in the future repeating these same points in more details lol.

  2. pikapal91746 pikapal91746

    That’s how I feel about Pokemon when I got my Game Boy Color the only games I had for it were 3 different Pokemon games; Yellow, Silver and Crystal. Most of the time I was happy with only having 3 games.

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