Parting with one's treasured game collection can be an unthinkable proposition for many. But having a baby absolutely transforms your life, as one long-tenured Kotaku commenter writes. And that makes such decisions not only possible, but downright necessary.
You might know of Shiraz Malik - he's the longtime commenter Spoony Bard here, and he was also our comment ombudsman last year. He's currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and he and his wife are expecting a baby soon.
Although a committed gamer for life, Shiraz is facing some mature decisions on the road to fatherhood, a path that has less time for games, in a household with not much space for them, either. He's written about his decision to sell his video game collection, the nostalgia he feels saying goodbye to those old friends, but knowing there will be new ones as soon, when his son arrives and embarks on his boyhood.
When I was four years old, my dad brought home an Atari 7800. In retrospect, that was his first mistake. I became hopelessly addicted to the wonderful world of video games. I made time for Mario, hung out with Alex Kidd in Miracle World, dreamed about Mega Man while doodling in class, and I soared through the sky with Starfox.
Twenty-six years later, I'm juggling graduate school, married life and a job search, and I still have managed to find the time to get my game on. Somehow I was even able to do some comment moderating for Kotaku in that time, too. Through it all, I've made sure to keep my love of video games alive in some way. But now, we have a new situation.
You see, the day my wife told me that she was pregnant, everything changed. All of a sudden, we're spending our free time taking classes and picking out baby names. Try as I might, the wisdom of hanging on to all of my video games seems to make less sense as time goes by. And in this tough job market, with the mountain of debt school has forced us to carry, we have looked for ways to scrounge up a baby fund.
So after lengthy debate, we decided on my extensive video game collection. I was hoping to hold on to some of my vintage game systems for my future kids, but we simply don't have the space anymore. My wife reminds me that I can play a lot of these games on a virtual console ... but she doesn't understand what game collecting is about. We hardcore gamers take pride in our amassed collections of gaming systems and games; there's just something special about that bygone era when you stayed up all night playing Mega Man II with a friend while your parents were asleep.
Now I look around at the game systems I must sell ... here's my green Xbox Halo Edition along with all my Bioware RPGs ... it has to go. Hey, there's my old N64 ... in college, we played it until the sun came up, and then we played some more. To date, I've never been as good at a single game since Goldeneye. And there goes my silver Gamecube that entertained me and my friends at parties.
I must console (no pun intended) myself with the fact that whatever I make will go towards making sure we can buy my son (yep, it's a boy!) of what he will need, and I certainly hope that one day I can share my love of video games with him along with my other passions. In fact, I've already planned how we're going to watch the Star Wars movies - starting with New Hope and ending with Revenge of the Sith, the only way they should be watched!
But most importantly, I hope he has fond memories of growing up like I did, and if that requires me to expunge some of the things that gave me joy, so be it. In a way, I'm cleaning out my past to make way for his future.
- Shiraz Malik (Spoony Bard)