IT MUST BE MINE!
I recently picked up copies of Steve Jackson Games' Car Wars and its expansion, Crash City. I've no expectation of ever actually playing these copies again but they held a strong element of nostalgia for me—I played these games a lot during my youth. When I saw them in a thrift store I quickly snatched them up and while the price was inexpensive it may prove costly in the long run. You see, it awoke within me the collector's gene that I've tried to repress. In this case, I decided to re-acquire the entire run of Pocket Box games that Steve Jackson released.
At one point I owned most of them but there were a good reason why I got rid of them. (For some I owned a superior deluxe version, for others I realized that I no longer enjoyed that particular game.) So, why buy them again? As I mentioned, nostalgia plays a big part but since I plan on buying even those games I never previously owned, it can't be the entire reason. (I've tried to fool myself by saying that it's research for an article I'll be writing but I'm not falling for it!) There's got to be some other explanation and I think it's simply the desire to collect things.
In a similar way some people have mentioned an urge to acquire every Alea game due to the fact that they're prominently numbered on the spine. They may not like every release but they crave the sense of "completion" that having the entire run provides. I suspect that it's simply a fundamental aspect of human psychology as there are so many other hobbies that also engender collecting: stamps, coins, books, shoes, the list is endless. (Anyone have any old Pocket Box Games they want to sell?)
There are many games that are popular enough that they are published time and again by different companies and in different editions. A very nice possibility that arises with each subsequent version is the ability to improve upon the old. Unfortunately, newer versions do not always take advantage of this and some turn out to be worse than their predecessor. I've always thought it odd that no publisher released a six-player version of Adel Verpflichtet when it seemed like such an obvious thing to do. Finally, Uberplay has done just that with its version, Hoity Toity.
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