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Videogames can become a way of life for some gamers. They live to play and collect everything there is, just to show it off to other players.

This article is about the competitive scene and reasons why people collect game merchandise.

The competitive scene isn’t nice.

I view videogames as a means of relaxing or having get-togethers. One game is never enough, because after each patch or sequel you become more skeptic towards a series or your ego gets inflated, meaning you feel the need to criticize everything and share that opinion with everyone. In highly competitive games in genres such as MOBAs, fighters and FPS game this is extremely prevalent.

People familiar with that world, know how this can ruin a game. There will always be someone better than you, or worse a ‘hacker’. You keep training and learning the moves and keep progressing. The younger you are the better you become. But what also happens is that these people will ignore other gems.

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If a Portal or Red Redemption leaves no lasting impression because they are single player and you can’t become the best at them, this can be problematic. In worse cases people close themselves off from the world. I suspect parenting can also be part of this equation. Overprotective parents who leave their child alone in their room where they are left to look for some excitement end up in this environment. Euphoria is the reward for winning and the group can become closer through losing. In some places where the pressure for performing is very high, people project this attitude on this form of entertainment.

Just think about all the Asian countries where Starcraft and DOTA reign supreme. Don’t get swept up in a world like that, it brings out the bitter part of you. When you’re in a candy store, you never want to eat just one type of candy, right?

A collection doesn’t complete you

As a kid, when you saved up some money you often bought a game. If you were very impressed by this game, the need to buy its sequel or predecessor was often great. From there on out, you can end up talking to other lovers of the series and this reinforces the illusion that this series is associated with a certain type of status. You end up buying a statue or something related to the game in order to impress other people or find other related items to buy. This is an unending cycle. It keeps going because you’re chasing a type of esteem that you can’t seem to express any other way.

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Still, I suspect most collectors feel lonely. They try to empty a void that has occurred for one reason or the other. I suspect this because I see a lot of people dropping their collection when a child is on the way because maybe this has filled that void. Not in all cases though, as collecting can be an addiction that is very hard to get rid of. It can bring people with a shared hobby together, which causes them to feel at ease and having unique items in their possession gives them a sense of accomplishment.

I’d say let these people live in that world, but instead of buying a statue for 300 euros yourself take a trip to some capital abroad. Eat a delicacy and post about it on Facebook. You’ll see you get just as many likes, if not more and let this become your collection.

In short, don’t let games be your sole source of entertainment. Let it be a social platform where you can discover new shared experiences with people. Talking about how you plowed through Dark Souls to other people can be more fun than actually playing it.

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