Playing computer games can be a great little hobby, that comes with many benefits. It helps your brain think strategically, can improve your memory, and sharpen your reflex times, amongst many other things. But it’s not all good. Let’s face it – video gaming is an expensive hobby.
You can easily spend four-figure sums on the latest and greatest gaming rig, while some of the new release titles can cost anything up to $50-60 – or more. It’s a time drain, too, and many people have experienced a hidden cost to the hobby. For some, it can impact on their general productivity at work, and there are others whose video game habit has caused rifts and problems in their personal relationships.
So, if you are feeling like video games are starting to ruin your finances or your relationships, it’s important to make some changes. Here are a few ideas for you to ensure that your hobby doesn’t become a potentially dangerous habit.
Stop Buying Every New Game
First of all, don’t forget that a good game is a good game, regardless of its age. Of course, improvements to graphics production and speed help make modern games ‘look’ a lot better than older titles, but it’s all about the gaming concepts, depth, and actual gameplay rather than the superficial elements. And the reality is that the new titles don’t actually give you a lot of bang for your buck.
When you buy a new release, the price you pay covers a heck of a lot of people – retailers tend to get a quarter of each sale, the publisher almost a third, and the rest is divvied up between distribution, the cost of goods, and royalties. In short, you are paying a lot of people for the pleasure of being amongst the first to buy the game brand new. If you are willing to wait six months or so, you’ll find that the cost reduces dramatically.
Finish Every Game
Is your games shelf stacked with unopened, unfinished titles? If so, why are you buying these games in the first place? It’s incredibly easy to play a particular title for a while, make some progress, and then get distracted with something else. And because you haven’t finished it, you often end up not wanting to sell it yet, and it just stays gathering dust on the shelf.
So, try and finish every game you buy before moving on to the next. And also, make sure you do plenty of research beforehand, to ensure that you don’t end up buying a dud. We’re not saying you should only play a single game one at a time, of course, but completing the title will keep you from overspending, and make sure that you think carefully about your next purchase.
When you buy a next-gen console or pre built PC desktop/laptop, there’s only one certainty – it will be out of date within a couple of years. Console and computer manufacturers are always looking for the next step up, and it won’t be long before you need yet another upgrade.
The solution? We would try and stick to a PC – and build it yourself. Ultimately, ‘off the shelf’ gaming laptops and PCs are often restrictively expensive. And if you are looking to stick to a lower budget, it’s worth looking around for the best build your own gaming computer website or getting in touch with a local computer building firm. Buying each part of a PC is much cheaper when you take this route, and you will also miss out on all the unnecessary stuff you often get in reassembled devices – bloatware, for example, can be a significant pain and drain on your resources. Plus, when it comes to needing an upgrade, you can just invest in the latest chipset or graphics driver without the need to buy an entirely new unit.
Always Buy Used
It is a nice feeling, to buy a new console, gaming desktop, or the latest title brand new. The unboxing, unwrapping, and unveiling of something new is always an enjoyable experience. However, once your new item is open, it’s just like anyone else’s. And the premium you pay for the pleasure is considerable and wholly unnecessary.
Instead, try looking into the used market, where deals are there to be copped on a regular basis. As long as you stick to the local market or a regulated used goods site like eBay, you should be able to cut your costs by a dramatic amount.
Do you have any tips to add about cutting the costs of video gaming? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!