In response to “A Penny Saved is a Dollar Spent” from The Escapist Forum: Good Old Games’ “2 For 1” sale recently dug into my pockets rather deeply… for 8 titles, totalling about $25CAD. Even if I don’t play some, I’ve still gotten my money’s worth out of the Earthworm Jim and Fallout soundtracks (now ripped to my Zune, with their blessing no less) and somehow I doubt that Freespace and Fallout Tactics will go unplayed for long.
I’d have to agree that bargain titles do drift into “impulse buy” territory and make folks like me more likely to buy on whim. However, that’s not going to eat into my “first run” game purchasing… simply because I buy so few, and those are planned well in advance and even budgeted for. Discount titles come out of my “incidentals” money… and it’s hard to argue that it’s better to spend $5-10 on beer or take-out instead of a game.
While I generally do go for the highly rated games right just weeks after the release date, I find it hard to resist to Steam’s sale offers too. Take the 2K huge game pack, for example. It’s twenty games for about €50. The thought that I should check see which games in the pack would be worth purchasing by itself was quickly pushed away by twenty games for €50!!! As it turned out, I played three of the twenty and I actually don’t have much desire to play the other ones.
Although I do buy the games I know I’m going to like before they lower in price, I don’t have loads of money to spend. To keep the bank account from running low, I use a very profitable alternative to bargain bin hunting: Currency crunching! Being located in the Netherlands, I can purchase goods online (specifically downloadable ones) in at least three different currencies with relative ease: Euros, GB Pounds and US Dollars. A year or so ago, dollar rates were exceptionally low, and European tourists took this opportunity to go on massive shopping sprees in New York. During that time I bought the Orange Box on Steam, which still charged Europeans in dollars, three months early and €10 cheaper than local retail. Nowadays the GBP is at a comfortable position in respect to the Euro, and I can get my games up to €20 cheaper at sites like Amazon UK or Direct2Drive UK.
So here’s a tip for those in advantageous economic regions: Pick your currencies wisely, because a Pound spent is a Euro saved.
In response to “Hooverville … Now Loading” from The Escapist Forum: We have a saying in the Netherlands;
“Als het niet gaat zoals het moet, dan moet het maar zoals het gaat”
Roughly translated to something like;
“If things don’t work the way they’re supposed to, then they’re supposed to work the way they do.”
That’s pretty much what popped into my head while reading the second half.
Beside that, my hat’s off to you, awesome style.
Even though things make a turn for the silly every now and then, there’s some very valid points about getting the most out of your games in there.
I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that I narrated this entire article in my head in a 1930s New York snake-oil salesman’s voice, or that I UNDERSTOOD EVERY LAST REFERENCE.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to kick my feet up, turn up the old Victrola and let George and Ira Gershwin bring me those sweet soft melodies.
In response to “I Won’t Budget an Inch” from The Escapist Forum:
My general strategy to only rent games and, when buying one, buy a game that’s at least two years old (and thus one quarter of the release price) has worked so far.
And here in Brazil brick-and-mortar stores are dead. Unless you’re buying games directly from the importer you’ll be paying double the price in taxes and mark-ups.
I find myself buying less at retail, but more susceptible to the impulse purchase on Live using Microsoft Spacebucks these days. I suppose I really shouldn’t load up 5000 points at a time since you don’t save anything by buying in bulk, but it’s nice to have a little cache of currency that can ONLY be used for game stuff.
Needless to say, the cache rarely lasts long.
Also I donated $50 to the most excellent website www.gamerswithjobs.com today.
In response to “Playing Like It’s My Job” from The Escapist Forum: The sheer volume of management sims and city builders I’ve played during stretches of unemployment as I’ve tried to find my place in the finance industry speaks volumes about the brain’s need for consistency and willingness to generate it artificially. With no real-world company spreadsheets to pore over and work with, I found myself poring over and working with artificial company spreadsheets. Too bad I can’t put it on a resumé.
If you have savings to rely on for a while, it’s probably ok to obsess over gaming rather than looking seriously for work. While I was unemployed and limping along on unemployment benefits that scarcely pay for groceries (much less a mortgage), the anxiety of mounting debt was incentive enough to keep me off the XBOX and the computer during work hours. I hope never to be in that spot again.
Advice for any of you falling into the “gaming trap”, make a regular schedule. You’ll have plenty of time to game once those resumes are out the door (or inbox).