So you’ve organized your time. You’ve got a daily schedule laid out, and a specialized time designated for gaming. You plop down on your beanbag chair, pick up your controller, and…realize you don’t have any games. And no, it’s not because you have a PS3.
”But Jamal,” you may decry. ” After tuition, meals, books, and supplies, I barely have enough to pay my weed-man on a weekly basis!” Granted, college students aren’t the more affluent of people. Unfortunately, we’re also the number one targets of the gaming industry. Seems kind of unfair when you think about it…all these companies are targeting their advertisements at us, and we don’t have that many avenues of attaining their games…through legal channels that is. Well, my dear readers, I have some more tasteful solutions to your monetary needs.
Your first option may generate some outcry from some of you: Used games. ”But Jamal,” you may argue. ”I want to put my moneys in the developers’ pockets, not the big scary game dealers!” Well fret-you-not, dear reader. There are many avenues to attain used games, and all without feeding your perceived “big-bad” GameStop juggernaut. One of the most simple and also the most personal methods is a local campus game-swap. Got friends/classmates in your school on FaceBook/MySpace/Twitter? See if they’re willing to part with some games they no longer play for a reasonable price, or a full on exchange with a game you no longer play. Chances are good that many of your gaming peers are in the same boat as yourself, and would gladly seek avenues of gaming input for their own entertainment needs.
Does dealing in games with your peers leave a bad taste in your mouth? Then there’s a broader but vastly more impersonal source of games: The Internet. Before you go on a tirade, no…I’m not talking about pirating. I’m talking about legitimate game outlets and peer hard-copy exchange. One of the first sites that come to mind is EBay. However, EBay isn’t without its share of risks. Not counting the security issues EBay/PayPal has had of late, there’s also the potential of shady dealers. In which case, I’d recommend another standby: AMAZON! You may be thinking Amazon isn’t any better than brick-and-mortar game retailers in terms of price, but fret not! Once in a blue moon, Amazon goes on a savings spree and often has ”Gold Box” deals where games are so ludicrously cheap, it’s almost criminal! So be sure to keep an eye on the Amazon main site, or any other major gaming journalism site, as they’re likely to share the news as well.
”B-but Jamal,” you may whine. ”I have no monies to part with that I may partake in said goods and services.” Well, my fine reader, it becomes a question of values. Chances are good that you’re a student in some sort of financial contract, whether it be student loans or scholarship. In said contracts, you’re given a small disbursement specifically for incidental purchases. What you do with said disbursements is entirely up to your good judgment. Just ask yourself what you’re more willing to pay for on a weekly basis: A new game, or a night on the town with the guys/girls?
Consider the following: You purchase a game, and find yourself in need of a new game a week later. What does this mean? Either:
A) You’ve purchased a game you’re not satisfied with. In this case, perhaps a game rental deal may be more to your liking ala Gamefly. Or…
B) You’ve purchased a game, finished it, and you don’t feel like going back and playing it again. In this case, it’s a definite matter of personal game value.
Did the game have an exciting storyline that you want to go back and re-experience? Were there collectibles and achievements you can unlock? Was the multiplayer not a total shit-fest? In future endeavors, dear reader, try going for quality, not quantity.
Repeat after me: Quality. Not Quantity. Aim for games with high replay value and/or a fun active multiplayer experience that you can go back to constantly.