The Cull Criteria

I have a lot of games. About 1000. That’s too many so I am selling a lot.

I have always loved buying games. I have a lot of great memories of buying games, either going to a store to buy the exact thing I want, finding good bargains online or searching through second hand shelves for unknown treasure.

Almost every game I own was bought with the intent to play. I don’t buy to collect outside of a couple of small collections. I’m a total optimist that always chased the thrill of not knowing what Deadly Premonition was and having my head blown clean off my shoulders. I’d buy a lot of stuff hoping for a hidden gem like that.

Let me tell you: there aren’t many of those.

So I was amassing all those games and realising they weren’t going to give me what I want. This went hand in hand with the price explosion over recent years. So over the last few months I’ve completely changed my gaming setup.

I should point out here that I always play on original hardware if possible not because I’m One Of Those People, but because emulation can’t be trusted for what I want to play. Parasite Eve 2 doesn’t work right. PS2 emulators can’t do fog effects correctly. Laura’s hair in D2 doesn’t render right and Warp did something crazy with the disk swapping so it doesn’t work under emulation (or it didn’t use to at least). I only have a limited time on this planet and I’m not fighting with emulator config files for each game.

Things are way better for hardware players now. Handhelds are hacked, my Dreamcast runs off an SD card, a Retroid does PS1 and under (easy emulation is better now!) and my PS2 has a hard drive in.

So now I can sell off lots of games. They were there to be played and now I can play them without owning them. I’ll say that I don’t hack modern systems. I still buy a lot of PS and Switch games.

I started culling over the last few months. Anything that I have played but don’t have an attachment to is going. Anything that I want to play that isn’t cool is going. It turns out I have an attachment to a lot of games so I’m steadily getting more ruthless rather than doing a lot at once. It is proving difficult to decide to sell off my Japanese 360 games. I don’t even like Idol Master but own a couple and don’t want to sell them. So I still have a bit of brain poison.

I collect Grasshopper Manufacture games and different regions versions of some Resident Evil games. Those are the only games that I buy to collect rather than buy to play. They aren’t big or expensive I think that’s fine.

I’m enjoying getting rid of stuff that doesn’t mean much and removing some backlog guilt. The extra cash is nice to put into savings and I’m reclaiming some room.


Primarily I think I subscribe to the Marie Kondo way of things: if something doesn’t spark joy anymore, it’s time to let it go. Funnily enough, I let go of a lot more books and games (regretfully, I think, but there were complicating factors that I won’t get into) during a particular moment in my 20s than I ever did for either my cross-country or my continental move.

Now I just try to be really picky with whatever I choose to add to my physical collections of games or books. Sometimes I still get a dud, but it’s less common–I’ll usually try something digitally first before committing to adding a physical version to my home–and I just donate it in that case. Happens far more often with books than games though.