Why Are Gamers Driven To Collect? GS Roundtable #15

This week the GS Roundtable shares our thoughts on the concept of collecting. Do we really need to catch 'em all?

With Pokémon X & Y only a few weeks away from launch, we here at the GameSkinny Roundtable started to think:

Why do we want all the things?

In this week's episode Ernesto, Gary, Lui, Stephanie and Ryan discuss what it is that makes us gamers so obsessed with collecting.

What do we mean by "collecting"?

Almost every single game these days involves some sort of collection/collecting, whether its your need to collect each individual Pokémon or all the downloadable outfits for your favorite character, a quest/mission to gather items, or your desire to boost your gamerscore/trophies.

There are even things you can collect that are directly tied to games themselves but are actually outside the game, such as Steam Trading Cards or trading card games. It would be quite a challenge to find a game in today's market where there is no form of collecting at all.

But why do we collect all of this stuff?

Well, the first, most obvious reason is that we have to in order to progress further in the game (i.e. quests or missions). But it also appeals to the completionist/perfectionist inside each of us and with each new game that comes out we are further encouraged to do so.

There are even new games such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity which directly affect the gameplay based on which figurines you physically possess. In Disney Infinity, in order to play as a certain character and have access to a certain area/part of the story you need to have the actual corresponding figurine (i.e. Jack Sparrow to play in the Pirates of the Carribean part of the game).

Do we really need to do so much collecting?

Well if it's what you like to do, then by all means go ahead!

In terms of game design, quests where you have to go to one area to collect a certain rare item from a certain monster just seem like a bit of laziness on the developers' part. Those types of quests are designed to make the game experience last longer and act as a sort of buffer in between the main game content.

These types of "fetch quests" are a standard feature of all MMORPGs and can also be found in other games outside of the genre in one way or another. Will cutting these types of quests out of all future games improve the quality of games overall? Maybe, or maybe it'd just make a shorter game. 

It also begs the question: if you don't finish a game to 100% completion, does it dampen the gameplay experience overall? Do you really need to get the perfect ending or are you okay with just finishing with the "good" ending and never playing again?

What are your thoughts? Can your Pokémon collection make Lui jealous? Do you have all the Steam Summer Sale Trading Cards? Let us know in the comments below!

As always, thanks for watching and be sure to tune in next week!

This week's article is brought to you by Ryan and the letter C.

Featured Contributor

The Official GameSkinny podcast, created by gamers for gamers. News, gaming culture, and rogue unicorns are all fair game. Have a topic you want us to discuss? Let us know! Join us for our weekly stream on Wednesday nights at 9 PM EST on Twitch.tv! Cleaned podcast recordings can be found on GameSkinny the following Friday. We also do the occasional Let's Play and game stream.

Published Sep. 24th 2013
  • Big Chief 1
    Featured Correspondent
    My friend and I are obsessed over collecting games. Nice post!
  • Jamie K
    Featured Contributor
    Nice podcast
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    Why thankies.
  • Jamie K
    Featured Contributor
    Nice podcast
  • Ryan Chizmar
    Featured Correspondent
    Thanks! We really tried :D

    What did you like about it? What do you think we can do to make it better?

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