Crispy Gamer

The Great Cull of 2009: What Do You Do With Old, Crappy Games?

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I'm back in New York for the first time in a couple months. Back in my old bed, back in my old desk chair, back in my neighborhood of many years.

It's strange being here. I find myself looking at my old things like an anthropologist, wondering: Who this person was who lived here? What were his values? How did he live? Did he enjoy his life at all?

Clearly this person wasn't terribly organized (note: laundry discovered in closet that has been sitting there for several months). He seemed to enjoy pornography and dry roasted peanuts and string cheese. The kitchen drawers are stuffed with old soy sauce packets and chopsticks; he must have had at least seven thousand dollars worth of Chinese food delivered over the years.

And clearly this person played a lot of games. Bad games, mostly.

I am astonished, and more than a little embarrassed, by the mass quantities of terrible games I'm still harboring.

True Crime: Streets of LA (Xbox). The Matrix: Path of Neo (Xbox). Driver: Parallel Lines (Xbox). MVP Baseball '05 (Xbox), a series that has been defunct for several years now. Something called Spartan: Total Warrior (Xbox). Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance (Xbox). True Crime: Streets of NY (Xbox). That's just a swatch of the larger fabric, too.

Added together, the total value of these games is probably -$6.04.

You cannot give these games away. Literally. And I feel strange putting them in the garbage. Somebody, somewhere worked on these games. (I've been to dev offices; I've seen how hard these people work. They bust ass.) Somebody put in long hours. Somebody--at least one member of the dev team--put a little bit of heart and maybe even a bit of soul into these virtual worlds. Whenever I stare at my shelves of bad games, I inevitably think, Well, maybe some day I'll get around to finishing Black, or 007 Everything Or Nothing, or Destroy All Humans. Maybe I'll take a good, hard look at those games, and I'll finally find something to love about them, something to appreciate.

And thus: Here they sit, lost in a kind of collector's limbo.

I've made it my mission to cull the stacks this week. To thin the herd. Anything that's even marginal has got to go. I'm traveling light from now on. It's Jones 2.0. No! It's Jones 2.1!

I'll keep you posted on Project What To Keep What To Toss 2009 this week.

Send me strength, oh mighty gods of gaming.

Meanwhile, here's a question (and be honest here): What's the most embarrassing bit of gaming effluvia you are harboring in your collection?

Let's hear it.