Well, obviously, since you can collect them. But I mean in a more intrinsic sense.
Today I made what many would call a poor purchase. I bought two Switch games at Best Buy (with a Gamer’s Club Unlocked membership, which gets me 20% off, at least) that I absolutely did not need to buy. The first was Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. It’s an enormously fun game, without a doubt, but it’s far from a masterpiece. More important than its quality is the fact that I already own it on the Wii U. I have already beaten it, and therefore experienced nearly everything that the Switch version has to offer. The meager addition of some Super Mario Odyssey themed levels is not enough to justify a $32 purchase.
The second game was Octopath Traveler. By the look of it, it’s not a terrible game. Reviews are fairly mixed, but everyone seems to have at least something good to say about it. Problem is, I generally hate the turned based combat system that makes up the core of the game. Plenty of people have strong nostalgic connections to such a system, but I have always found it tedious and boring.
So why did I purchase these two games? It would have been a much wiser decision to wait until they went on sale, or to not purchase them at all. The thing is, I didn’t purchase them explicitly to play them. I bought them to add them to my collection.
In the last few years, I have begun to consider games as collectible merchandise as well as artistic experiences. They are fun to play, sure, but they also look very nice on a shelf. Plus, just the knowledge that they are available to play brings me a sense of satisfaction and joy, even if I don’t intend to play them any time soon. Sure, they’re expensive collectibles, but that doesn’t make them fundamentally different than any other merchandise designed to be purchased en masse. You can still buy them for the sake of having them, even if that’s not their intended purpose.
Basically the point behind this poorly written, rambling post is this: don’t judge me for buying these games just because they look nice. Judge me for something more egregious, like putting Nutella on pumpkin muffins, or thinking that Chandelure is the best Pokémon.