I remember the first Collector's Edition I ever bought. I was in 8th grade and Halo 2 just came out, inherantly one of the best days of being a gamer. I jammed down chinese food and wiped my hands clear before touching it. That alluring package.
The Halo 2 Collector's edition streigned my allowence-based income, but the price was reasonable. A cool $5 bucks above the price of a regular, boring Xbox game. It had a clear sleeve over a hard iron casing. Sealed within were two weighty tomes, a book of alien garble, and the instruction manuel.
But, lo. Behind the razor-like disk was a second disk-based artifact containing scenes behind the game's production. Incredible! Acess to these treasures -- for five dollars? People expect an 80 or 150 dollar box of this and that nowadays.
Since then, the tin has scratched and caved in. Many years ago I snapped the commentary DVD back into the case after its last viewing, and I never sat down to read the alien book.
I'm not really compaining. That was a hell of a good deal. But a few years and one sweating economy later, Collector's Editions are a lot more expensive. A lot bigger.
Sounds okay as long as you keep away. But buying Halo 2 in 2004 was too effective an experience, some sort of consumer dopamine overload. Every green Xbox game I opened after that contained the same crap. Disk, manel, and the experience on the disk. What the hell was the point of that? Where was my shimmery-eyed, pumkin carriage unboxing rush?
Goddamn I've bought a lot of these things, man. Right next to Rock Band is Master Chief's head, which is next to a statue of Reach's faithfuls. All snuggled up in my attic.
In my closet is Pandora's Box, then the Peace Walker Box, then the StarCraft II Box, and beside that is the BioShock 2 -- err, tomb? It's the size of damn housing blueprints, the unrolled kind. The art book in there has roughly 30 of its 134 pages dedicated to doodles drawn by artists who were zoned out at meetings, and I counted 3 typos.
No offence to figher fans, but I find no love in mashing buttons or memorizing alphabedical/joystiq code. But, here I am. Being an a$$hole, buying BlazBlue day-one because it's Collector's is flat cost.
It's getting rediclous really. The last time I slipped was Diablo III, and I actually have a little touble regretting that one. The box is mad decent. Still, I have to talk myself down from the Infinite Premium Bird whatever they decided to call it, and StarCraft II's [potential] sitting buddy with the release of Swarm.
How much have I spent now? 500 bones? Likely not, maybe the number I'm looking for exceeds $1,000. That much could have net me a new mini-library of games. This is hardly an attack to lover's of a good CE, but really. Hit Ctrl + F and see how many times I use the word "thing."
And that's all it really is. Just stuff. More plastic, more baggage. You look at that and start thinking about the psychology of a Collector's Edition.
Well, it's a couple of things. For starters, you have the opening of the box that causes all the good feelings mentioned above. If you are really hyped about a game, this is about where the feeling peaks. Unless the game is truely fantastic, here's the top.
Second, this stuff is a symbol of status on this very GameSpot, and other gaming forums. Think about it. In a discussion thread of a game, people are quick to tote their most recent account deduction. "Got my [most expensive version] all paid off!" Or, "I bought three!" One to open, one to [keep and look at] sell and another for the bath or shower.
Thridly, if the game is really awesome. And I mean actually awesome, it feels good to look at that box and just know: there it is. That awesome experiece. And I have the best part of that experiece. Hey - sometimes this is appropriate we live in a [capitalist] democracy, so plant a corprate seed. Throw a little money, have a good time.
And finally, you might actually be buying a valuble rarity with high sell-back potential. This is not usually the case. These are made en masse and should really be called a Hoarder's Edition. If people really wanted specialty gaming paraphanalia, they'd import from Japan.
What does it all mean? Well, part of our happiness is hogtied to these goody baskets, no surprises here. And even less surprising that one is never enough.
Wasting money is a bad plan, and its about the games, right? No more of this incessent buying based experiences outside the game.
I know, though, the urge will well up again. That primal need of deloucing tape from chasse, art book from plastic. In July of 2010 I started DD and that really helps.
Truthfully I don't know why I wrote this. You're gonna' keep buying it if you want it, and previous naysayers will continue to nay.
But before you click that Add to Cart button, slide that card or pass that cash, just stop and think. Know that you're a victim of a consumer culture and your own greedy synapses. Then, buy that sh*t.