I Love Old School Video Game Boxes

I sat down in our gaming room this evening to think up ideas for blog content.  I casually looked around the room and realized I was surrounded by inspiration.  While growing up I had trouble throwing things away — I still hate throwing things away.  If something looks neat, I have a natural desire to display it.  One of my favorite things to collect when I was younger was video game boxes.  We have hundreds of PC game boxes on display in this room.  In our built-in wall unit we have these sections near the roof that go along the edge of the room with recessed lighting.  What’s in them? Computer game boxes.  Across the room from where I’m sitting now we have 2 very large book cases.  Are there books in those shelves?  I think there might be 12 books, 30 game boxes, and some action figures.

Here’s one my favorite shelves.

old school video game boxes

That shelf alone represents more than ten years of memories, and contains some of the greatest video games ever made.  I can lean back in my chair, close my eyes, and transport myself to a world where the memories of these games are alive and well.  I remember watching Graev play Final Fantasy 7 every day when he got home from school.   Graev and I used to go online in Nox, coordinate our play, and just stomp other people.  Age of Empires… my gosh, I got my Mom into that series and to this day even she has fond memories.   Black & White consists of game mechanics which, to this day, are still untapped. Need I say anything at all about the original EverQuest or DAoC?

Collecting boxes has become a hobby.  I can look around this room and see how video game boxes have evolved — how my hobby has evolved — over the years from enormous, cardboard works of art to the smaller boxes with those flaps on the front.  Then came the plastic thicker boxes, and not long after that the thinner boxes shrink wrapped like console games.  In a way, I feel like my collection validates my love for the older generation of gaming, and in a small way I know exactly how some of you must feel about your Atari and even older collections.

I feel almost sad about PC gaming shifting to almost being entirely digital.  How will I keep the memories alive decades later?

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  • I know what you mean, but maybe its because I’m older, and allready have so much stuff and all my old video games are just put inside a closet. I love that I can buy all my games digital. That means that whenever i’m up for some old school Age of Empires II HD edition, I can just set it do download, play one weekend and delete it again. No hassle finding an old box, no hassle wondering if it will work on Win 7.

    I think digital gaming, sites like GOG.com and steam means that some of those old games get a second chance. People can buy them for nostalgia, or players that for some reason didnt play them the first time, get a second chance.

    When save games and Characters get saved on the cloud, it means that in 10 years, when Skyrim or one similar game is ancient history, I can download it in an hour, and get back to playing my old char.

    So I love digital gaming, and I without it I would never play those old games, but now I do at times 🙂

  • From where I’m sitting I can see a full shelf of the smaller, dvd-style boxes, almost all of them MMOs, many of them in identical pairs where Mrs Bhagpuss and I bought one each. On the bottom shelf of the same bookcase are a couple of the older, bigger boxes from the days before we played MMOs – Baldur’s Gate II and Icewind Dale.

    My Everquest boxes I keep separately but apart from that all the other big boxes are stuffed on shelves in the study along with over 8000 assorted comics, nearly a thousand videos, over a thousand vinyl albums, many hundreds of books and so on.

    I love the physicality of all this stuff but there comes a time when you begin to realize that you just can’t keep on keeping it all unless you are sure you’ll never move house again. Digitized entertainment may be soulless but it is practical. I still prefer to buy my MMOs in a box if I can, all the same.

  • The Boxed game on PC is dead and good riddance..me and my tiny apartment are thankful!

  • “I love the physicality of all this stuff but there comes a time when you begin to realize that you just can’t keep on keeping it all unless you are sure you’ll never move house again.”

    I disagree. I’m 100% in agreement with Keen on this one. I love my old game boxes for the PC. The memories they bring me are far to valuable to just throw or give away. Their will always be room in my moving van for the boxes of old computer games I have. In a sense, they are no different then the person with the large coin, comic, or base ball card collection. Just as with every thing else in life, you weigh whether something means a lot to you or not. If it doesn’t, you end up eventually tossing it. If you truly treasure it, there will always be room for it in your life.

  • The above post is a reminder that spell check does not replace proof reading: *too (instead of to), *There (instead of their), etc. 🙂

  • I totally agree with Cthreepo! It’s just old fashioned to have a collection on display. It looks good, but you also have the memories in your head/heart of all the good games you played. Why the need to display it ?

    Besides my music collection is also slowly transforming from a cd cupboard to Spotify. Hail to the future!

  • It may be old fashioned, but when I see boxes for Nox, Savage, and dozens of other games which never see any press these days, I am reminded of those memories. Imagery on the box brings those memories to life, and I have a physical, tangible element to those memories.

  • Google will be an implant in your brain so you wont forget anything. I am serious, give it 20 yrs.

  • I too have a few old games boxes and especially love the collectors editions. I have Age of Empires Gold edition in a massive box that is bigger than my PS3!

    I must say though I miss the days when I played DAoC and Guild Wars 1. Those were the days that you could just play for hours and emerse yourself in the game and loose the concept of time.

    Bring back the good old days!

  • Haha how cool is this? I still remember the cool game boxes of MDK and UBIK…Sometimes i’d love to play those games once again. Unfortunately all game discs are gone :/

  • I had saved all of my game boxes for many years, 4 moves later, I could care less about keeping a piece of cardboard with some pictures on it. I’m even annoyed with CDs/DVDs. I’m all digital now.