On July 13, 2008, I purchased Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines on Steam. Up to then I had not realized that Valve—the game developers behind Half-life, Left 4 Dead, and Team Fortress—had morphed their online matchmaking system into a digital video game storefront. I had been too busy in the closing years of my decade in Japan to pay much attention to anything other than teaching English non-stop, so that I could fund the years I would spend getting educated. Sure, I had been playing computer games, but I had bought them in cardboard boxes from places like Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara. That first purchase on Steam would mark a gradual but eventually total migration into digital ownership. Fourteen years later my collection consists of some 5,500 titles and only a handful of them are still marked as physical versions. I know this because of Backloggery.

Backloggery is a website I came across in February of 2009, a few months after I started my Foundation Art and Design degree at Vancouver Film School. I remember sitting on the toilet of the terrible apartment we lived in at the time, balancing a hot iBook on my naked thighs and arduously scrolling with the trackpad to set up my account. I had added a second video game to my Steam collection, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, and there was my legacy collection of physical games for Xbox, Dreamcast, PlayStation, and GameCube, as well as what I could recall of early console ownership of Atari, NES/SNES, and personal computer. All tolled I had less than a hundred entries input, but it was the start of diligent record-keeping that I have maintained to this day. Every time a new game enters my collection, it enters the Backloggery.

The service is free, and they have both a Patreon and a Twitch channel that allows for some monetary support. An updated version of the site is slated to appear some time in 2023, and at that time the long-awaited feature of data export is expected to arrive. While I have thoroughly enjoyed using Backloggery, I am at the point where I would rather consolidate and be responsible for my own data—as evidenced by the ongoing migration to DARK ACRE from various sites like Tumblr, LiveJournal, and Goodreads. When we get a CSV export function on Backloggery, I expect I will build a database management and display system here. Until then, the collection on Backloggery is an accurate representation of my video game collection to date, and I encourage you to peruse it at your leisure.


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