Monday, February 2, 2015

Playing with Game Boy Storage

Tired of sifting through piles of Game Boy games, tediously studying the front label of each loose cartridge until you find the right one? Well, not anymore! You may have noticed my page of "custom" inserts (I hesitate... they're just cut-and-paste jobs) which most heavily focuses on creating material for properly housing a Game Boy Advance game in a Nintendo DS case. This is something which can also be done for Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles, and I have kept those games in modified DS cases for two or three years now. However, my interests have begun to broaden since I began that project. I've started to enjoy plug-and-play machines, Skylanders, Amiibo, and other NFC gadgets, hardcover books (oh so many books) and it's turning out that I just don't have the space to keep everything in cases larger than they really need. In short: I want to fit more games in the same space without culling my collection.

Obviously the first step is to grab Virtual Console versions of whatever I can and sell or trade or gift my physical copies. That's worked out fairly well for games with digital counterparts--although, instances like Tekken Tag Tournament 2 force me to choose the more economical route (seriously, the eShop still wants full price for that game. I grabbed it brand new for 1/3 of that price. What the hell). Let's not forget that Nintendo's emulation library is incredibly meager in comparison to the vast pantheon actually produced for their consoles. They haven't even gotten all the first and second party stuff published yet, nevermind third-party and games now owned by competitors. People like me, who are just huge fans of the gaming medium, have no choice but to keep old hardware if we want to get the most out of what we love.

I've begun several initiatives to reduce the surface area occupied by my games (so that I can buy more). You'll get to see eveything come together as soon as my latest Amazon order arrives. In the meantime, here's a glimpse at what I'm doing to control my Game Boy and Game Boy Color collections (this will also work for over-size GBA games, like Drill Dozer, although I'm having trouble figuring something out for over-size GBC games. In particular, Pokemon Pinball).


That is a standard Game Boy cartridge case. They're only a tiny bit larger than the cartridges are, which means they're still prone to getting lost if you're the sort to leave your games lying haphazardly across your desk. However, the cartridge case offers multiple benefits over a modified DS case--chief among them being not accidentally plunging a box cutter into your thumb. They're also better at keeping out debris, they cost less, and they occupy less space. The only problem with these cases is that they don't make it any easier to browse your collection. You're still forced to remove the entire pile of games, shuffle through them until you find what you need, then put everything else back. That's a lot of steps if you're looking to play something on impulse or if you want to try something new but you don't already know what.

All of these problems are solved by printing off a teeny-tiny picture and sliding it into the bottom of the case. I thought about making a full case, with front matter and typical back matter, but the font was too small to read and the front label just fell down when I opened the case. What a pain. I suppose side matter could have worked out as well, but that's not something I need for my specific situation. What I need is top matter and top matter alone--even the larger picture is just there to support the spine. Now I can stack Game Boy games as high as I want and quickly pick whichever one I need. And you can too! Here's the image I used for Trax:


Just print that off at 100% its native size and it should fit perfectly in a cartridge case. Fold the top part so it can press against the hinged wall and you're good to go.

Now I've got to figure out what I'm doing with GBA games...

Front
Back
Top/Spine

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