The reads of Unpacking my Library and Unpacking My Record Collection were two very fascinating reads. While occasionally I have pondered the difference between hard copy and virtual, I never thought about my own collection in this way until now. Walter Benjamin and Julian Dibbell have two very different viewpoints. Benjamin saw collecting as a passion in which each of his physical collection was sentimental to him. Dibbell, on the other hand, wondered if Benjamin would enjoy a “growing library of MP3s.” MP3s are considered virtual, while the books are physical. Will the virtual or physical aspect be more appealing? I honestly believe it will depend on the person that you ask. I grew up with both physical and virtual video games, and I still lean toward the physical ones.
I completely relate with Walter Benjamin’s way of thinking. I (admittedly) was a Pokemon game fanatic for my Gameboy SP when I was younger. I always was saving up to buy the newest Pokemon game as soon as it came out. I would immediately spend all of my time playing the game and ultimately completing it with the biggest sense of accomplishment. Then, I would keep it in my special Gameboy SP bag with the rest of my collection. Whenever I look over at my collection of games, the only thing I can think about is how much sentimental value it has to it. I see all of my hard work and accomplishments in those game cartridges sitting in that special bag.
I do have access easily to the games online, as well. I have two options in front of me – physical and virtual, but I still grasp for that physical aspect. It’s hard for me to look at a computer screen compared to a physical collection and think about all of the accomplishments that were made on those physical games rather than get lost in the virtual chaos. To me, the virtual aspect makes it a bit overwhelming, and I feel as if that Benjamin would agree with me on that point.