The Dahn is a collector. He's managed to painstakingly amass a glittering arsenal of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in-game items that total out to a real money value of between $US7500 and $US9000. And now he's getting rid of them all.
Dahn's collection — one of the most complete in the game, a veritable museum of glittering/camo-coloured/fire-decaled rarities that he recently put up for sale — began on something of a whim. He originally played CS:GO to snap up all the game's achievements and make a mad dash for the door. But then Valve announced they were adding skins — cosmetic gun customisations — to the game in the Arms Deal update, and Dahn realised that he wanted them. He wanted them all.
"Right [as I was about to quit CS:GO for good], Valve released an update adding new skins to the game," Dahn explained via email. "The collector in me twitched, and I just had to reinstall to see what it was all about. I didn't much care for the new skins, but I did enjoy collecting them. I slowly added more and more skins as the newest collections came out."
"Every once in a while, I would scoop up all the ones I was missing. It was a big disheveled mess, but it was complete. I've always been one to have a deep urge to complete something in its entirety."
Dahn's collection grew and grew, and eventually a whim became an obsession. As a result, what was once a respectable stockpile of skins and other items became a bullet-riddled mountain of history. Limited edition items. Skins that only dropped if you "attended" one-time virtual events like eSports matches.
"I took that disheveled mess and through MANY trade offers with my alt," said The Dahn. "I organised it into a kind of CS:GO museum which began to attract a great deal of attention." For a while he even offered rentals of his more prized possessions and accepted donations to help make his collection as comprehensive as possible.
It's not hard to see why. A quick perusal of Dahn's gallery reveals a stockpile of rare knives that would make Gabe Newell envious, a bunch of limited edition event weapons, discontinued skins, and more. Every music kit. Every gun skin. All seven fade knives. All 37 container series. All 168 stickers. 287 of 300 guns skins. Third-party service Steam Tools places the 641-item set's real money value at $US7,383.43, and that's likely not the full total given that Steam Tools has trouble with individual items worth over $US400.
Even beyond the obvious history of certain rare and discontinued weapons, there's personal history for Dahn in there too. Some of his spoils were particularly hard-won — for instance, one item, a rare AWP rifle, caused him so much trouble that he had to get the police involved. Also, er, a scammer's mum.
"You may notice a couple items in my Item Showcase: AWP | Dragon Lore (Factory New) and Bayonet | Fade (Factory New)," Dahn wrote of an incident where he nearly got scammed out of hundreds of dollars. "These items have the name tags of 'Kainoa's Gambit' and 'Kainoa's Regret' respectively. On September 5, 2014, I attempted to trade with a user from CS:GO Lounge for an AWP | Dragon Lore (Factory New). This user, whose username will go unmentioned, has a first name of Kainoa. After I sent the Paypal payment, the user ceased communication, and even attempted to fight the Paypal dispute that followed."
"After I spoke with the police from his city and called his mother at work, he re-initiated contact with me. We made an arrangement for the AWP and the knife (as a bonus for the hassle) to be transferred to my account, and I cancelled the dispute and stop-payment on the transaction. These items will forever bear the monikers of 'Kainoa's Gambit' and 'Kainoa's Regret' to symbolise a lesson learned."
Many of these priceless portraits masquerading as military-grade murder implements aren't just weapons; they're stories. So why sell all of that off? Why not, as many collectors do, keep them and treasure them forever and ever? For Dahn, the answer's simple: he's just not really into CS:GO anymore, and he'd rather put his collector-ly blood, sweat, and cash into something he cares more about.
"I am selling the collection because I really just don't enjoy CS:GO anymore," he said. "While I did enjoy keeping the collection up, I would rather collect something related to my current interests. That said, I could just let the collection sit there, or I could get some value back out of it. Once the collection is gone, I will probably uninstall CS:GO and call it a day for that chapter of my life."
So that's that. Understanding when to move on is an admirable quality, and I find it becomes increasingly rare the more time and effort people have invested in something. The Dahn plans to start fresh elsewhere, but there's no reason he shouldn't receive a little fruit for his labour. Or, you know, thousands of dollars.
It remains to be seen who'll offer the highest bid, but these chunks of digital treasure — little more than glorified rows of 1s and 0s, yet also much more — will live on in somebody else's hands. Maybe they will see actual use in combat, or maybe they will line another collector's shelves. Regardless, in some small way they will continue to create new stories. I wonder who'll end up with Kainoa's Gambit and Kainoa's Regret. I wonder if they will learn anything.