Most of us are prone to a bit of indulgence on Steam, especially when it comes to sale season or a particularly juicy humble bundle. But even those of us with the most bloated Steam libraries can't hold a candle to the sheer obsessive need to collect that defines these gamers.
What Drove These Gamers To Purchase Over 10,000 Games On Steam
When #Steam user Hyptronic received a free copy of Half-Life 2 in the box for his new graphics card (well, new at the time of Half-Life 2 being released), he never would have guessed the rabbit hole of spending that he would plunge down over the next decade.
Today, Hyptronic's Steam account boasts almost 11,000 games, valued at just over $83,000. It's taken him around 13 years to amass the collection, and thankfully for his wallet, he bought most of it through sales and bundles. Some might consider spending thousands on completely digital games madness, but Hyptronic has no regrets:
"There was a time I was asking myself what the hell am I doing and why I’m doing it, but when time went by I slowly understood and managed to accept it and I’m now enjoying every minute of it. Knowing that I’ve the option and freedom on Steam and can browse between many titles and play whenever I want to—I don’t regret it."
Other gamers are a little more uncertain about their obsessive Steam purchasing habits. One collector, seph.au, has joked with his friends that he needs a lock on his account to prevent himself from adding more impulsive purchases to his almost 10,000 strong collection of Steam games. He claims he'll stop when he hits the big 10k, but it's a promise he's made himself at previous milestones.
For some though, the act of collecting is a game unto itself. ReaperMadness is one such gamer, having amassed a similar amount of games to Hyptronic and seph.au. ReaperMadness has never played around 70 percent of his Steam library, but that doesn't seem to phase him much. Reaper sees himself as something of a collector and a bargain hunter rolled into one. For him, the joy comes from spotting games on sale for absurdly low amounts and snagging the best deals he can:
"Part of the thrill of having a large Steam library is always looking for new ways to get titles at a heavy discount or even as a giveaway. It is not unlike one building a great book library within their home, one so large they cannot possibly ever read all the books that that library contains. There is something that I find very awesome about the fact that as a gaming enthusiast, I will never run out of options in regards to having something new to play, and that I can carry such a library with me anywhere I go."
So Why Collect Digital Games?
My father is an artist, the kind who constantly collects items "just in case" they'll be useful for a project. Whether it's toy store replica guns to use as reference for sketches or rusted metal for sculpture work, he's always finding stuff he wants to take back to the studio (at this point, we're banned from letting him near a dollar store).
Inevitably, when he actually needed an item he's collected for a project, he wouldn't be able to find it among the clutter in his studio. The urge to collect, to hoard even, seems to come naturally to many people (some more than others). Perhaps it arises from an instinctual compulsion to stockpile, perhaps from modern life's focus on amassing consumer goods as a method of fulfillment. Probably, it's a bit of both.
As far as items to amass go, digital games certainly have their advantages. You probably won't have your house featured on an episode of Hoarders for collecting 10,000 games, and, unlike my father's studio, you have a search function to locate whatever item you're looking for. If you're going to hoard, digital is definitely the most convenient format.
For some, the urge to collect takes on a more noble tone. Gamers like PhrostB see themselves as digital curators, collectors for a personal museum of games who safeguard against complete removal of titles. Think about the dedicated fans who painstakingly preserve P.T. on their PlayStation 4's — in essence, they're conservationists of a kind.
At least, that's a good excuse for having purchased every add-on for Euro Truck Simulator 2.
What's your game count on Steam? Know anyone with a truly prodigious collection? Let us know in the comments!
(Source: PC Gamer)