Video gamers are some of the most dedicated and passionate consumers in the world. While many of the best games on the market today can simply be downloaded and stored on a hard drive, there is no replacing the feeling of putting together a serious collection. It is how you can track your expertise and the evolution of your interests. Every once in a while you’ll pull out that old game you beat just to give it another try and make sure your skills haven’t eroded. Other games will remain in circulation no matter their age, simply because there is no ‘beating’ them and they always remain fun to play. Some games are imports or limited releases, making them collectors items that are coveted and never resold. Other games require complicated accessories or additional controllers. Regardless of how many of the above categories appear in your collection, it is never a secret if you need help organizing. If you can’t find a game when you want to, have lost or scratched discs, or simply want a better way to show off your gear, try on any of these approaches to organizing a large video game collection.
The most traditional method is to display each game on a shelf. Just as with a book, CD or DVD collection, gamers who fall into this category love the art as much as the games themselves, and want to keep all of the original packaging for friends to look through. If this is your preferred method, the easiest way to organize is by alphabetical order. Separate each game by the first letter in the title, and then further alphabetize by second letter. Buy a bookcase or install shelves on the wall and lay each case up in order. And when you want to play a game, pull the disc out but leave the case in its proper place. That way you’ll keep the order without a ton of effort.
If you don’t care about the cases and just want to be able to find a game when you are looking for it, try buying a CD book that can zip up. Each disc will sit in its own, plastic-protected slot, and even hundreds of games will fit in only one or two large books that can then be placed on a mixed media shelf or slid into a drawer of your entertainment center. You’ll want to alphabetize with this method as well, and remember to place the game back in its proper slot when you’re done with it. The problem with this method is that anytime you buy a new game you’ll have to move every single disc down a space to maintain the proper order. Depending on how frequently you buy games you might want to wait until you have five or ten new titles and then handle the rearranging all at once.
The more difficult organization comes down to accessories and consoles. If you’re an avid gameplayer you might have more than one system in play at all times. In that case, separate them into racks on your entertainment center, and then plug them into an ‘A/B’ switch you can toggle between on your TV. Store the controllers and smaller accessories in plastic bins labeled with the system name, and put them away in a drawer. If there is too much to fit in your entertainment center, buy rolling plastic bins you can slide under your bed.
One alternative method for game organization you might want to consider is separating by game type. This has a lot of benefits over alphabetizing. First, if a novice gamer comes over and wants to try something you can easily take them through games separated by difficulty or by genre. You might easily recognize a first person shooter, a puzzle game or an immersive 3D title without having to check out the art or the Seareach code, but visitors may not be so well informed. In either case, place a marker in between each organized section that details the game type, and you and your friends will easily be able to grab a title based on mood, without having to go through the entire alphabet.