Monday, 3 April 2017

Other stuff I collect/am interested in...

Though it is my intention that this be a gaming blog first and foremost, I thought it might be good to inject a bit of variety now and then and share a few other things that interest me. After all, it can't hurt can it? Additionally - as much as I enjoy videogames - there really isn't much for me to write about when I'm going through one of my dry patches; times where I don't play much and don't feel like playing anything. It's during these periods of apathy that I spend money on other things and my main collecting interest (since I no longer buy games to collect) would be trading cards.

Specifically, I collect Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, two card games that I was really into as a kid then stopped buying for a very long time before getting back into them over the past few years. Starting with the Pokemon TCG, I collected the cards ever since they were first released in 1999 with the original Base Set but naturally, as others lost interest and people to trade with dropped off, I too stopped collecting. Fortunately, I kept my collection and a few years ago, I made the decision to finally do what a kid with limited budget had zero hope of achieving: complete all of the sets released by Wizards of the Coast before the game was taken over by Nintendo. Originally this goal encompassed Base Set to Neo Destiny but I've recently found a new appreciation for the quirky artwork of the three E-Reader sets (Expedition, Aquapolis and Skyridge) which were the very last ones produced by Wizards and so I have added these to my long term collecting plans as well.

I currently have complete Base 1, Jungle, Fossil, Team Rocket and Base 2 collections and I will post up my own personal thoughts/mini review of each set over a period of time. I just really enjoy the thrill of the hunt with trying to pick up all the cards I'm missing in great condition and for good prices and honestly, I find this much more interesting than buying videogames. I draw the line at the end of the Wizards era however for I was personally never really that interested in the sets that followed due to the increasing number of CG artworks, poorer product quality and a general loss of interest in the newer generations of Pokemon. I still pick up random newer cards now and then because the 'Ultra Rare' EX and full-art cards that Nintendo produce look absolutely bad-ass at times.

As for Yu-Gi-Oh, this was the card game that replaced Pokemon during my secondary school years since this was what the Pokemon collectors had moved onto. I was immediately hooked on the much darker art and awesome creature designs and I built up quite a collection. Again, I was there right from the start when you could still buy Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon booster packs in stores (they're now worth a fortune!) but eventually ended up selling my collection, only keeping a few favourites. I've been back into it again for a few years now, purely collecting cards that I like the look of from an artistic standpoint. I have many binders full of cards already and personally believe that my original collection (still sadly missed) was nowhere near as good as my current one. The wonders of a disposable income and internet shopping! Unlike Pokemon, I don't have any specific collecting goals with Yu-Gi-Oh and simply buy/collect what I like the look of. The bonus of this is that Yu-Gi-Oh is more of a player's market than a collector's and so the value of cards generally depends on how viable they are for play in the current meta. This means that you can buy some awesome cards for pennies simply because they are no longer used in decks or are banned/restricted for tournament play. Additionally, cards are constantly reprinted so while the original prints are certainly more desirable, you can get your hands on good cards in high rarities for peanuts if you don't mind a newer print. Again - like with Pokemon - I believe that the general quality of the cards and the ideas behind newer archtypes and creature designs has nosedived dramatically since the end of the 'original series' sets. The Yu-Gi-Oh GX era was pretty good but ever since then, I can't say I care for what Konami has released other than (ironically) reprints of older cards.

Away from collectable bits of cardboard, I also really like cars! I've had a few since I started driving but my current vehicle is a Honda Civic Type-R (FN2 generation) which I really enjoy, both in terms of its crazy (and still futuristic-looking) design and the performance on offer.

I have a huge list of dream cars but being an ordinary bloke in a pretty ordinary job without a proper means of safely storing something a bit more special, I don't expect to own any of them in the foreseeable future! I can't complain however because a few years ago, I would never have expected to be able to own/insure a Type-R so I have to be thankful for that for certain.

The last thing I feel like mentioning is my love for art and drawing. I've been through a pretty rough, dry spell for the longest time now in terms of creativity purely because of other stuff going on in my life and pretty big personal problems - both of which kill the kind of motivation that one needs to be artistic. I still have so much to learn in terms of basics let alone advanced skills but one of my dreams is to someday do something with art or illustration as a job and break free of the daily grind before it drives me nuts!

When I am in the zone however, I really enjoy creating characters or my own interpretations of existing ones. I have an account over on Deviant Art which only has a few bits uploaded at the moment but I hope to start adding more once I get my shit together, get out of this rut and finish off the many semi-completed projects I have lying around.

That's pretty much it for now. I do have other things I'm interested in but these are the main things that I like to spend time/money on outside of gaming. I will be covering these other interests now and then here on the blog just to mix things up a bit and keep me posting when I don't have anything to say about games. Maybe it might bring in a few more readers too - who knows.

1 comment:

  1. I found branching out into other areas helped me a lot, my blog started as purly games and then I threw in horror films and it really helped me to make my posts a little more regular. Your writing and posts have always been great so hopefully this helps you make more.