The charge: Bryony

No one needs so many consoles. We don’t have enough room and he rarely uses one

When Max and I moved into our apartment two years ago, he brought two game consoles. I said, “That’s kind of weird, why do you need an Xbox One and an Xbox 360?” Will we have room? He said he needed both because some of his games can only be played on one of the consoles.

We don’t have much space in our small apartment. We have a TV cabinet with three rectangular dividers the size of a DVD case; I said okay, we could put his two consoles there. The third divider contains our wifi router. I didn’t want to stop his game – I like to participate sometimes.

Then I realized the only reason he kept his Xbox 360 was to play a game, Guitar Hero. I love Guitar Hero, it’s a classic, but I said to Max, “If you’re only keeping this console for one game, you better play it.” And in the two years we’ve been living together, he’s only played there twice. It’s even more annoying because the game comes with guitar-like controllers that we have to store in our closet.

Now Max wants a third console – a PlayStation 5 or a new Xbox, I can’t even remember. But where will he live? Max suggested keeping it on the floor, but I don’t want the apartment to look messy or like a big playroom. I also think it’s ridiculous to own three consoles; it’s so forgiving.

We are at an impasse. I said, “You don’t play the old Xbox 360 enough to justify buying another one.” But then Max had fun throwing it away. He’s a bit of a grabber. Every time I suggest having a clearance he stops me and says we can find a home for something and we might need it again.

I think threatening to throw away his Xbox 360 fuels his anxiety. But I’m already lenient in allowing two consoles. In my mind, the only way to make room for a new one is to throw out an old one, especially since he’s only used one twice in two years. Finally, Max needs to make sure he justifies the price of a new console by choosing games he will play regularly. Otherwise, I give up.

Defense: Max

What if I want to play the old console on a whim one day? It brings me so much joy

Bryony says we don’t need three consoles, but how much space does one console really take up? They are only small; they can fit anywhere and we have a TV stand with slots. Outraged, some games are only available on certain consoles, so it makes sense to keep them all.

I have the Xbox 360 which is about 10 years old and then the Xbox One which is a bit newer. Now all these next-gen consoles are coming out and I’d love to keep up with the latest trends. And of course I will keep the ones I have. Xbox 360 games are great. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and a few others only work on this console. Why should I throw them all away?

Before I moved in with Bryony, I had Xbox 360 in my bedroom. and the Xbox One downstairs – my roommates and I played on it together. It was good to be two in a roommate. If anyone wanted to watch TV downstairs, I would go to my room to play.

Now it’s just Bryony and me, we keep the two consoles in the living room. She says there is no room for a third but I disagree. Our house is always tidy, but Bryony is obsessed with decluttering. I don’t think we have a lot to start with. I have always lived in large shared houses and each time I moved I brought the same possessions with me. I’m not in the habit of analyzing every item and throwing stuff away. I may be lazy. Bryony used to say, “Why would you bother to keep that?” about a book or an old sweater, but I like to cling to things for sentimental reasons.

Bryony and I play together from time to time, but she doesn’t think I can justify buying a third console because I don’t have the time. She’s probably right, but even though I haven’t touched the old Xbox 360 in years, it’s worth hanging on to. What if I want to play it on a whim one day? It brings me so much joy – who cares how often I play it? Also, we are planning to move soon, and I intend to find a space for this third console and maybe even a games room. Bryony will have to get on with it.

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The Guardian Readers’ Jury

Should Bryony let Max have as many consoles as he wants?

Max is not guilty. When Bryony brings up Max’s alleged hoarding habits, I think she’s worried about taking a back seat to her love of gaming. I suggest a compromise: Store the old Xbox somewhere safe to make room for the new one. console.
Joseph, 46 years old

Max shouldn’t be banned from buying a new console. But I respect Bryony’s wishes to keep things tidy by only allowing two consoles to sit in the dividers, with the Xbox 360 being stocked.
Kay, 25 years old

Max, if you’re going to indulge your sentimental attachment to silicone that gets old quickly, put it away at least for the long haul until you move out. Considering you rarely play it, removing it from view hardly seems like a compromise given the stress it causes Bryony.
Thomas, 28 years old

Three Xboxes is definitely overkill, and Max is seduced by the trickery of for-profit industries into feeling pressured to keep buying new releases. It’s a vicious circle; what would stop Max from buying more later if he got a third now? Bryony is right to take a tough stance.
Bea, 18 years old

Max is not guilty. It’s perfectly reasonable to have different consoles for different games. I’m sure Bryony has different clothes for different times, it’s the same principle.
Heather, 30

you are the judge

So now you can be the judge. In our online poll below, tell us: Should Bryony let Max have as many consoles as he wants?

The poll will close on Thursday July 21 at 9:00 a.m. BST

Last week’s result

We asked if Zubir should water the plants when his roommate is away?

61% of you said no – Zubir is innocent
39% of you said yes – Zubir is guilty