We gamers tend to have a lot of plastic things laying around: consoles, controllers, peripherals such as headsets, mics, and adapters, add-ons, accessories, including large, bulky items like Rock Band guitars and Wii Sports attachments, cords, miscellaneous odds and ends, and the games themselves; some with cases, some without. We have large accumulations of stuff; most of it mismatched, unattractive and awkwardly-shaped.
Gamers have so much stuff, in fact, that a whole sub-industry has sprung up around us to accommodate all of our crap: video game storage! Did you know that “Game Storage” is one of the fastest-growing product categories among furniture manufacturers? Or that there are entire companies and blogs dedicated to video game storage? When it comes to keeping our gaming collections and gear neatly stowed away, there seem to be no limits to the amount of available products to choose from, which range from tasteful, furniture-like solutions to cheap, gaudy, and overly-specific wastes of money.
Here’s a humorous look at some of the most ridiculous “solutions” that some of these companies are trying to sell you:
Wii Tower Gaming Station
Despite being large enough to count as standalone furniture, this “officially licensed” thing only holds 16 Wii games and 4 Wiimotes (or 2 Wiimotes and 2 Nunchucks). At 47% of the purchase price of a new Wii, the Wii Tower Gaming Station can be yours for a mere $70 at Walmart. But hey, it looks like a Wii!
Nintendo DS Element Tray
I haven’t quite figured out who Level Up Gear’s Nintendo DS Element Tray is meant for. Most of us who carry around our DS—a portable gaming handheld—keep it in some kind of case meant for, you know, portability. I keep mine in my messenger bag and pretty much always have it with me. So what exactly is the point of this thing? Do we really need cupholders for extra styluses? Also, how are you supposed to pick this thing up by its handle without all your loose games falling off?
Playstation Versus Game Tray
Another gem from Level Up Gear, this piece of plastic with a Playstation logo slapped on it is supposed to be some kind of caddy for your PS3 controllers (or PS2 controllers, as their website so helpfully points out). Careful not to let any extra plastic go to waste, the Playstation Versus Game Tray also comes equipped with four awkwardly-positioned slots for holding games; I guess there’s only room enough for the ones you play most often.
Video Game Storage System™
Note the trademark symbol. I guess Game On wasn’t clever enough to come up with a unique product name, so they opted for the super generic sure-to-be-SEO-friendly “Video Game Storage System” to describe what is essentially a plastic box with some hooks stuck to the sides. While I can appreciate the simplicity of the design, what’s so insulting about this one is that it costs $60. Really? And for that price, this “system” doesn’t even have adequate airflow or a way to hide your cables if you’re supposed to mount this thing on a wall. For a good laugh, I recommend checking out their product demonstration video.
Step 2 Deluxe Video Center
Just looking at the Step 2 Deluxe Video Center pisses me off for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that it only fits 20″ televisions, that it’s made entirely of plastic, or that the poor stock photography subjects who can’t possibly both be playing a single-player FPS at the same time—but nice try! For the $150 price tag, you could go out and buy a real piece of furniture.
System-Specific Game Disc Stands
Do we really need to have game disc holders that match each console—especially ones that only hold 12 games? Ever heard of a shelf?
Who is buying this stuff??