As an avid video game collector, I am always trying to expand my collection. Get new video games that I don't yet own. Problem is, sometimes I cannot remember what I have and what I don't have. For I have thousands of video games in my collection, all scattered around the house: on bookshelves, in closets, in boxes... If I ever want to find out whether I have a game or not, I have to frantically rummage through all those locations, creating a total mess in the process.

As a user of the database, you most likely collect something as well, whether it be video games, comics, books or what not. frequently receives questions from users on how to better organize their growing collections.

And so, in  order to catalog my video game collection, and to explore solutions available for the collectors community, I decided to try out the Game Collector software from

The Game Collector is a database software for organizing your personal collection of games. It is one of many suites offered by Other suites include the Music Collector, to catalog your CDs. Movie Collector, for cataloging your DVDs. Comic Collector, for organizing your comics. And Book Collector, for cataloging your (can you guess what?). They also offer some suites for cataloging digital items, such as the MP3 Collector, and the Digital Photo Collector. This review will focus on the Game Collector (But look out for the review of some of the other suites in the future).

After installing and running the program, I was greeted with a sample video game collection that gave me a feeling of how your collection will look like when entered into the database. I examined the controls and they are intuitive enough. There is a menu bar on the top to access all the functions, as well as icons that give you access to common functions such as adding or editing a game.  The manual is very detailed should you need to look up how to do something.

Adding a game is easy. There are 2 ways to add a game: automatically or manually. You will usually want to add a game automatically, as all you have to do is enter the title, after which all the rest of the data – publisher, developer, box cover, release year and any other available data will be fetched from the database and automatically filled in for you. You can also add a game manually by filling in all the fields yourself. Game Collector also supports barcode scanners; if you have (or are willing to purchase) a barcode scanner, you can quickly and easily add games just by scanning their barcodes.

The Game Collector supports a wide variety of consoles – including early systems such as the ColecoVision and Atari 2600, and up to more modern ones such as the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. You can also add your own platforms to the list if you are collecting something extremely obscure.

In addition to general game information such as release year and publisher, Game Collector stores many collection-related fields for each game including purchase date (It's nice to know when you obtained the game), purchase price (Did you get it for a steal?) , Store (You can maintain a list of stores to be used for all entries), and condition. There are also user defined fields where you can put whatever you want; perhaps store the game's rarity from

You can mark games as being in your collection, but you can also mark them as being wanted, for sale, on order, or just plain not in collection. This is useful for keeping track of which games you still need to get, similar to a wishlist or a checklist.

Your collection displays in a table like grid, and you can configure how many or how few columns will be displayed. You can sort by any of the fields; another feature of the Game Collector is that you can instruct it to ignore the “The” word when sorting, so you can go ahead and put the full name of the game knowing that it will be sorted correctly. You can also view your collection by images. You can show all games in your collection, or only games from certain systems. Game Collector Software
(Click on image for full screenshot)

When you have as large a game collection as I, you also gain lots of “friends” who wish to borrow your games all the time. Often, I do not remember which games I loaned and who I loaned it to. Who knows how many games I've lost this way. Luckily, Game Collector has a handy loan management feature. You can mark any game as loaned, including who you loaned it to and a due date. At any time, you can bring up the loan manager to see overdue loans or print the list of all games out on loan. Kinda feels like being a librarian. Now if only I could impose overdue fines...

If you want to brag about your collection (after all, what good is having a large collection if nobody else knows you have it...) The Game Collector offers an HTML export feature, which let's you instantly build a web shrine dedicated to your collection. You can also export to text, xml and even to your iPod.

For a full list of features, you can check out

There are 2 editions, standard or pro, with the pro edition offering some more advanced features. At the time of writing the article, the standard edition is $29.95 and the pro edition is $49.95. A free trial is also available from their website.

Bottom line, If you have only a small collection, then this product is most likely overkill and you'd do fine with a simple Excel spreadsheet. But if you have a large collection, or are looking to start one, then I'd definitely suggest checking out this product, which has lots of very useful features to help you keep track of your collection.

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