I've been playing video games for most of my life. Being someone with that level of experience and devotion to a hobby does have it's ups and downs. For one, being a gamer keeps you away from all the "bad" the world has to offer to you. But at the same time as you grow older, and start living life the way society wants you to live, it becomes more and more difficult to find the time to actually play games. Even today I'm writing this now in bits and pieces due to such minimal free time in posting because of the two jobs I work everyday. I know it's becoming an issue because I still have 3 sealed PS3 games still sitting behind me that I had got the end of last year that I haven't touched yet because of the mass amounts of games I got on Steam, which I've only played maybe 10 or so out of the 50+.

This got me thinking if your still a gamer and still just as passionate as you were when you were younger, does it come a time where you just want to buy the games despite not having time to play them? I'm not sure if I'm the only one that experiences this, but I sometimes feel as though I'll buy the games I want and then "get to them whenever I can", which could be months or years away. Usually this is because I'm in the middle of playing another game or two. I can never keep myself from buying a game that I want because I'm such a smart consumer whore. I basically just want the security of actually having the game so that in case one day every store in the world just stopped selling video games altogether, I can have no regrets skipping out on the mass amount of games that I could have gotten, but decided to save the money and space for something more important.

 Then there's the side of me that suggests I get into just simple collecting. No huge worries of buying games and then have to play them within a certain amount of time, just buy them to have them. Although that's a good idea in theory there's that small group of skeptical individuals that see a huge gaming collect and they ask the question "Have you even played/beaten all of these?" I'd like to be one of the few that can simply say "Yes, I've beaten most of these, but have played a good amount of every game here". My idea of collecting is more on collecting quality, fun, rare, and unique games and not just buying every single game good and bad. When I see such collections that have a lot of sports games, or really low quality games I usually assume the collector doesn't play every single game that they own, and just collect games for the numbers.

I currently own 403 games between console, handheld, PC retail, and Steam downloads. I'd say about 98% of all games were bought during the consoles retail lifespan, so I've spent a pretty good amount of money on these games (roughly $15,000). By now the price of my collection is probably more down to about $5,000-$10,000 even with all the console games in very good condition with cases and manuals and no scratches on any discs. This is usually another aspect to a collectors rule of thumb that all their games are in very good, almost perfect mint condition, and just about all of my games meet this rule with the exception of Game Boy and Game Gear games, which I only have the game and manuals for.

I love playing video games and I don't ever see myself quitting. Even if real life tries to take over, I will always try to fill some time in the week for my gaming needs if only for just an hour or two. Collecting video games leaves me with something to do on my down time from all the chaos life throws at me. If a game is unfinished or has not been played, I'll fill the time to play it all the way through, or at least most of the way so I don't find myself bored with nothing to do. There's also times where I find myself with TOO much to do on my down time, but I'm alright as long as I'm not dying from boredom!

Games are a great way to escape from the troubles and stress of everyday life in the real world. Though sometimes there's no way to get your hands on a controller or find any sort of time to just sit down and play a game. Sometimes when you think about gaming one aspect that would come to mind is the music that plays during the game, and a lot of that music would be stuck in your head for eternity. Many games are beloved by many partially due to the amazing soundtracks that come with the game. This is especially true to such classic RPG's as Chrono Trigger, the Final Fantasy series, Secret of Mana, and Legend of Zelda. The soundtracks are amazingly well done and are very memorable to many to be some of the best work produced on 8 and 16-bit consoles.

It's not just RPG's that have fantastic and memorable music. A lot of other genres can carry some pieces of music that are loved by many gamers from action/adventure, platformer, fighting, and even puzzle games. There's something about the simplicity of these soundtracks that are soothing to the ears and bring in that same kind of escape from reality as the games they are featured in. The music, when heard outside of the game, will usually bring you to that specific point in the game where the music was played, and will provide you some loving (or hate to love) memories.

Today's soundtracks are just as important in games as their older brothers from the 80's and 90's. Many soundtracks today are produced with actual instruments, practically orchestral. Even now with actual orchestras bringing back the older soundtracks and re-imagining some songs to give a new direction of those same memorable chiptunes we heard when we were younger. One such concert series that does these orchestral performances of video games is Video Games Live created by music composer Tommy Tallarico, whose done music for countless number of video games such as Earthworm Jim, MDK, Maximo, Unreal, and Metroid Prime just to name a few.

Whether your taste in music is for the classic chiptunes of yesterday, or the orchestral and rock pieces of today, there is sure to be a piece of music you heard in a game that really caught your ear. It's those kind of songs that can take us away to another land that is out of the ordinary and fills us with excitement, peace, and happiness all around.