As someone who has played video games off and on for nearly 25 years, it’s safe to assume I’m a digital hoarder. And it’s not just in MMOs, in many singleplayer games, I go out of my way to collect anything with the smallest amount of value. In some games I meticulously organize my hoards of treasure. For example, in EVE Online, all of my junk will either be sold off at a discount in contracts, or collected in my market alt in Jita and organized in containers. While in others I literally just fill rooms with piles of armor and weapons. (I’m looking at you Cheydinhal Mages Guild basement in Oblivion)
It might seem crazy to some, to collect virtual junk throughout your gaming career, but to some of us it feels like part of the story. Yes I know, attaching meaning to meaningless junk is a sign of deeper issues, but go with me here. All the time we spend in these virtual worlds can be life-affirming, players develop lasting memories and friendships; they go on to develop a deep bond with the games they play. And to me, the collection of rare and powerful loot is as much emotional as it is psychological.
The acclamation of wealth is a definite status symbol in modern civilization, and that tendency has absolutely transferred to the microcosm of gaming. The rush players get from rare drops or large wealth is something we all chase for our own reasons, and it would seem that a lot of us gamers attach some significance to the stories we play out over the course of the chase.
I would say this is one of the main reasons I’ve always loved crafting systems in MMOs, having an active and engaging way to grow player wealth with effort has usually been a very rewarding experience for me personally. I mean, you can never have too many stacks of epic armor pieces you made yourself, right?
But no matter how connected one is to their digital story, at some point it all goes poof. Either you lose a save file in the case of singeplayer games, or the MMO itself shuts down. For whatever reason, all those stories are lost, only to continue in the hearts and minds of the players themselves.
So the question remains, what do you do with your stuff? In the real world and in the digital ones, we do many of the same things. From fire sales to just throwing it away, all of this stuff has to go somewhere.
All of the weapons and armor I collected in Oblivion and Skyrim eventually ended up organized in player homes or other similar setups. The same is true for many other singleplayer RPGs I’ve played. All my stuff in WoW, EVE, BDO, SWTOR and all the other MMOs I’ve played ended up being sold or organized. I’ve always been quite good about not letting my junk get too out of control in MMORPGs. Although to be fair, I ended with personal guild banks full of crafting mats in WoW and a few other games, so whoops. . .
Let us know in the comments what kinds of things you’ve collected over your years of digital chicanery.