Confessions of a Gaming Collectibles Addict

Hi, I'm Liana and I'm addicting to video game collectibles. From my beloved, and extensive, Mass Effect collection, to hunkering down in a vault with my Fallout replicas, the sky is the limit for all things gaming.

I first began collecting back when I was a wee one at the age of four. My mom and I used to play SNES together (though I'm beginning to suspect that it was more because she wanted my extra lives), and from there - that passion grew. From the original Nintendo, all the way up to present day PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4 - the road of gaming has been paved with some epic loot. So why does being a collector matter so much to me?

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Like many other people, and it's sad it's so common, I was bullied a lot when I was younger and gaming became a way for me to fully immerse myself within a new world. A world where I could be anyone I wanted to be, with no apologies, and no limits. I could be the hero, I could be the one with the answers, and I could be untouchable. When I purchased my first collectible (meaning when it was purchased for me, I was a kid - come on), it was like taking a little piece of that comfort into the real world with me. The feeling was something that meant more to me than it probably should of, but I was hooked.

From there, each time a game, comic, whathaveyou stuck with me and carved its own little niche in my heart - I was able to keep that with me in a more tangible sense: through collecting.

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When I was 22, I joined the military. A little later than many, but the different direction was necessary. I had a pretty extensive collection at this point, all tucked away safely in a storage unit. When I shipped out to my first duty station, the USS Harry S. Truman, I took a few little pieces with me. It may sound silly, but it gave me courage. I had a little figurine from Contra, and a little Luke Skywalker figure from Star Wars. Every time I felt in way over my head (which is more than I'd care to admit), I'd look at one of them. Kind of a corny geek moment of, "what would they do?"

I remember one moment in particular. I worked up on the flight deck and I was moved to night crew mid-deployment. It was 2 am, and I was staring at the stars. Unbelievable moment, let me tell you. From sea edge to sea edge it was nothing but the open night sky and the soothing lull of the waves. I remember looking up and just feeling defeated, despite my meditative surroundings among the usual chaos. I second guessed every decision that led me to that flight deck. A temporary moment of weakness, but it was there and I'm not afraid to admit that.

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I remember thinking, "I can't do this anymore, I'm not cut out for this" and I kid you not (you're probably making fun of me at this point), but I had a moment of "Nut up, kid - What would Commander Shepard (Mass Effect) do?! She wouldn't be crying up on a deserted flight deck at 2 am, that's what." And boy, was that the pep talk of the century.

As soon as I made it back stateside and I had orders that provided me a little more stability, I purchased my first huge Commander Shepard collectible statue as a reminder to dig deep and be the badass I wanted to be. From there, the ride has only gotten better and so, so much fun! So collecting to me is much more than just hoarding anything and everything on sight - it's a way for me to take some of the best gaming memories with me into the real world, in a tangible sense that matters. It might not be for everyone, but it's been a great ride for me so far!