As digital content delivery becomes an ever-more important part of the modern world, the need for physical titles, hobby hoardes and boxed copies continues to diminish. One generation’s basement burden is another’s flash drive filler, an extensive collection paired down to fit increasingly tiny formats. So where exactly does this leave the avid collector, the aficionado and the kind of person who’d willingly sacrifice a spare-room to house their obsession?
Well, if they’re anything like Buffalo’s own Michael Thomasson, they’ll likely just carry on collecting. The 43 year-old Texas-native owns almost 11,000 games in total, having started his collection way back in 1982. Following two successful do-overs — earlier collections were sold off to cover the cost of a SEGA Genesis and Thomasson’s wedding, respectively — the part-time tutor, writer and designer now holds the world record for largest gaming hoard.
With a self-imposed budget of $3000 per-year to spend on enlarging the collection, Thomasson has managed to rack up an impressively wealthy set of games, totalling almost $800,000 in overall value. Rare finds include the Casio Loopy and Apple Pippin consoles, as well as the Colecovision system that kicked off Thomasson’s initial love affair with the medium.
Interestingly, despite owning more games than any other player on the planet, including former champ Richard Lecce (8616 games) Thomasson claims to find very little time to devote to his hobby, enjoying less than 3 hours of gaming per week.
For those looking to follow in Thomasson’s footsteps, it should be noted that the collector purchased most of his games at a significant discount, having opted to wait out new titles before eventually buying in on the cheap. Most modern games tend to drop to roughly two-thirds of their initial cost after a period of 6-to-8 months, meaning like-minded gamers could boost their collections to three times their current size just by waiting.
Of course, the prevalence of modern digital formats, including EA’s Origin Store and the ever-popular Steam network means that assembling an impressive collection has never been easier than it is right now. For $3000-a-year Thomasson could have bought roughly 600 Steam sale games (at $5 a pop), a feat that if repeated for 20 consecutive years would eventually outmatch his current total. The fact that Thomasson managed to accomplish his record-breaking tally in the space of only 15 (following the post-wedding restart) is an even greater testament to this outlandish achievement.
How many games do you have in your collection? Are digital titles as valid to you as physical copies? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest weird and wonderful gaming news, right here on Game Rant.
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