Sunday, August 18, 2013

Video Gaming on a budget at the University of Texas at Tyler

Shigeru Miyamoto, often referred to as the father of modern video gaming, once said that "Video games entertain people by constantly surprising them with new experiences." The video game industry's sole objective is to constantly surprise and wow its audience.  In the past couple of years, this industry has definitely taken off. 

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 58% of all Americans play some form of video game.  This has both positive and negative implications.  It is a good thing because it means that there is more support and money going towards improving gaming.  However, it is also a bit troublesome because according to the laws of supply and demand, the prices will inevitably go up.  Most video games now-a-days start at a price of $60 and don’t get any cheaper for several months.

A while ago, Dallas wrote a blog about how the steam summer sale can easily get the best of you.  Hopefully, this blog will help you embrace the sales, while still maintaining fiscal responsibility. I have compiled a list of things you can do to still enjoy everything that gaming has to offer, without bankrupting yourself.
1.       Buy used games -
Buying a used game can drastically reduce the price you pay for games.  Stores like GameStop and online retailers like Amazon usually have a pretty quick turnaround from new to used games.  In my experience, in a few weeks, you can buy a game used for 40 dollars or less that would usually cost 60 dollars new.

2.       Trade in old games -
 Most stores that sell games will also buy them back from you.  You won’t get much for them, but if you have 5 or 6 old games then you can sell them back to the store for enough to buy a game or 2.  Just recently, GameStop did a special where you   got way more credit for games than usual.  Take advantage of these kinds of opportunities to maximize your access to those awesome games, while minimizing your spending.

3.       Wait for sales -

Game stores will also do special sales for the purchase of games.  Some stores do something like a “Buy 2 games get one free,” or something similar.  My advice for you is to wait for these deals and take advantage of them.  If you play your cards right, you could end up getting that game you've been waiting for AND two other games that you were excited about as well.

4.       Play old games –

It’s always fun to take a stroll down memory lane, especially when that lane involves lots and lots of video games.  If you haven’t traded in your old games, browse your collection and see what sounds fun.  Find an old open world or sandbox game and just explore and see what mischief can be made within that virtual world.  Even if the graphics are a bit outdated, it can still be loads of fun.

5.       Get games with high replay value -

This is kind of similar to the above tip, but I gave it an individual section because I feel that this can also apply to games you buy
in the future.  If you base what games you buy around whether or
not you can play through the game multiple times, or if you can just waste hours of the game wandering around the world and exploring, you can save lots of money because you will end up buying fewer games, but playing just as much.

6.       Play more indie –

Not all amazing games are made by big time studios like
Bethesda or BioWare.  There are plenty of fun, playable games made by independent developers. While these games may take longer to develop, and may not look as beautiful, or play as smoothly, they can still offer hours of fun for the casual gamer.  Plus, most indie games are extremely cheap and easy to obtain.

7.       Be more picky when deciding what games you want –
As gamers, it is in our nature to want every single game.  However, that just isn't feasible unless you have an unlimited source of financial support.  What I suggest is to only buy the games that you are 100% certain that you would enjoy and want to keep playing.  Read every review that you can from websites like IGN, GameInformer, or other reviewers.  Watch gameplay videos to make sure that the game will play like you expect it to.  You can also even ask your friends who have the game about it, and possibly even borrow it from them for a short period of time to see if you like it.

8.       Just be patient -
The easiest thing to do is just be patient.  This will be hard, but if you just wait a couple of months after a game is released, the price will begin to drop.  This can also be beneficial because sometimes when games are first released, there are several bugs that need to be ironed out, and the developer will have to release a patch to fix it, and if you have waited, then you don’t have to bother with a bugged version of that game you've been waiting for.

 Playing video games is an awesome way to just escape from everything for a little bit and have your own little world to play around in.  It's a great form of stress relief, and can even help some people overcome disabilities.  Unfortunately, prices are on the rise, and some people are losing access to the gaming industry. Hopefully, with these 8 tips you, too, can enjoy all that video gaming has to offer.

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