Confessions of a Gamer – Picking Up ‘Stuff’

We often have proud moments in games. Be it the time you completed your first game, getting the most challenging trophy, or even the most ridiculous kill/death ratio humankind has ever seen. This is not about any of those things; it’s a collection of the darker, more secret moments in our gaming life. These are the confessions of a gamer – please don’t judge me too harshly.

There is nothing I like more than big open games. I could spend hours exploring vast worlds, wandering the great outdoors and exploring buildings. No game developer satisfies my wanderlust in quite the same way that Bethesda does. Fallout 3, New Vegas, Oblivion, and Skyrim, have to be included in my top 10 favourite games of all time. Sure, I like their story-lines, sure, I enjoy the gorgeous landscapes the games offer, and sure I like to upgrade my character, but there is nothing more satisfying for me than picking up ‘stuff’. These four games allow me to pick up all the ‘stuff’ I could ever want. ‘Stuff’ I don’t need, ‘stuff’ I will probably never need, this is what appeals to me.

My compulsion ensures that I’m kept busy.

My compulsion to collect manifests most strongly in what should be the final throws of an all but completed game. The point in the game where all the quests have been done, all the side quests have been dealt with, where every local addresses me with awe, and the nastier wildlife just bounces ineffectually off my all but impenetrable armour. Yet still I wander around picking up ‘stuff’. And any ‘stuff’ will do. I pick up any bit of food in case I could cook something, maybe, at some point, that I couldn’t have bought. I’ll spend ages hunting down every bottle of a particular potion to the very last one because somehow the act of creating my own seems to be more hassle. However the limitless supply of potions at my disposal won’t stop me gathering all the plants, flowers, and bits of tree I can find just in case I run out of the potions I that keep picking up.

Cabbages. A lot of them.

Now, you may ask, ‘watcha gonna do with all that junk?’ Well, I hate to disappoint, so some of it does indeed get abandoned in a bottomless trunk. That chosen crate, footlocker, or chest, soon becomes filled with more knickknacks, keys, and shiny things than I’ll ever bother to scroll through. Sentenced to gather dust forever in a ‘just in case’ collection. For everything I keep, there will be ten more generic items that I sell. Why? So I can buy and collect even more interesting ‘stuff’.

Much of the ‘stuff’ has a specific in-game use for power players. Things that, although next to useless in their own right, once assembled, brewed, enchanted, or sculpted, promise to make my already overpowered character truly omnipotent. I once slaved away for hours finding everything I needed to craft a full suit of Dragon Armour in Skyrim, yet the final act of forging my prize held such little appeal in comparison that I never got it done.

Imagine the amount of Dragon Armour this would make.

When I’m not picking up stuff to sell, my compulsion ensures that I’m kept busy. Regardless of whether the game calls them coins or caps I’ll spend an inordinate amount of time picking up every small disc of metal that I see. The best bit is when they’re left individually on a table rather than in bulk on a corpse so that I get to pick them up one by one counting, sometimes out loud, as I do. Yes, I know I have more money than I’ll ever be able to spend, but I’m powerless to walk away from that one gleaming coin.

I know for a fact that I’m not on my own with this. Many of those players that choose to play as a thief do so from a desire to get to the best ‘stuff’ as quickly as possible. To many, hoarding every bit of currency they can is how it manifests, promising themselves they’ll buy that ultra weapon yet never bringing themselves to empty out their wallet. But for me, I don’t do it for the hoarding. I don’t do it for the stealing, or collecting. I do it so I can pick ‘stuff’ up.

If you do have a problem with picking up ‘stuff’, maybe you will find some solace in the video below.







Leave a Reply